Friday, March 26, 2021

Practice Pointer: Fill Out Admissions Applications With Care

The New Hampshire Supreme Court Professional Conduct Committee imposed a public censure with conditions for an attorney's statements in admission applications to the state and federal bars

In 2015, Attorney Forghany was subject to disciplinary proceedings in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Attorney Forghany disclosed the existence of those proceedings in the N.H. Petition. The OBA subsequently requested information regarding the outcome of those proceedings. Although neither the Connecticut State Grievance Board nor the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers pursued disciplinary action against Ms. Forghany, she failed to provide information specifically responsive to the OBA's request. Ms. Forghany instead mistakenly provided a "letter of good standing with disciplinary history" from the Connecticut State Grievance Board. Ms. Forghany also failed to disclose on the N.H. Petition that she had previously asserted a medical condition in mitigation in a disciplinary matter.

The Federal Petition seeks broader categories of information than the N.H. Petition. In her Federal Petition, Ms. Forghany disclosed the most significant finding but omitted less significant findings that formed the basis of the Connecticut and Massachusetts disciplinary proceedings. In addition, she failed to disclose she had been a plaintiff in three small claims lawsuits, each of which was resolved in her favor, although she had disclosed these lawsuits in the N.H. Petition.

The issue arose when the federal court sought additional information. At that juncture, the attorney sought to supplement her state application.

Her practice involves a high-volume consumer bankruptcy and foreclosure relief matters.

On the merits of the dismissed bar complaints

she actively manages her stress levels and instituted management practices to ensure she serves her clients effectively. She altered her firm's procedures to ensure no repetition of the circumstances that led to the underlying matter. Finally, Ms. Forghany has never been sued for malpractice and has had no such claims filed against her.

Federally

To date, Judge McCafferty has taken no further action with respect to Ms. Forghany's application.

Here

there is no clear and convincing evidence that Ms. Forghany violated Rule 8.1(b), because Ms. Forghany began the process of correcting and supplementing her N.H. Petition in a reasonably timely way following the airing of issues with Judge McCafferty on July 23, 2019.

Mr. Forghany admits that she violated Rule 8.1(a), and that her state of mind was both negligent and knowing. Additional details regarding her state of mind are set forth further herein.

The order sets forth the conditions imposed.

If a Hearing Panel determines that a condition has been violated, the Panel shall impose a one-year suspension. If the Hearing Panel determines that no condition of the Stipulation has been violated, the Stipulation shall continue in force and effect pursuant to its terms. The PCC shall review the decision of the Hearing Panel.

(Mike Frisch)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2021/03/the-new-hampshire-imposed-a-public-reprimand-with-conditions-for-an-attorneys-statements-in-admission-applications-to-the-sta.html

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