Monday, May 10, 2021

Misconduct Uncovered

A summary of a matter drawing a year and a day suspension from the web page of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers

At all relevant times, the respondent was certified to accept appointments to represent indigent defendants through the Committee for Public Counsel Services. The respondent knew that, as a condition of getting such appointments, an attorney is required to carry professional liability insurance. Nevertheless, during the period when the respondent did not have insurance, he accepted at least 340 appointments through CPCS. CPCS relied on attorney registration statements to verify that they carried liability insurance.

In September 2019, CPCS’s Audit and Oversight department, conducting a random audit, requested proof of coverage from the respondent. The respondent replied with two expired insurance certificates he had altered to create the appearance of coverage from October 2019 to October 2020. CPCS also obtained two more altered certificates the respondent had provided to Middlesex Bar Advocates, for 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019.

During a telephone conversation with a CPCS staff member and during a statement under oath before Bar Counsel, the respondent admitted that he had altered these certificates.

The respondent obtained coverage in February 2020. 

The misconduct was established by default. (Mike Frisch)

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