Saturday, September 3, 2022
Use of illegally obtained evidence drew a public reprimand summarized on the web page of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers.
In a contentious custody matter
On a number of occasions between May and July 2020, the foster mother videotaped portions of supervised virtual visits between MW and her biological mother and great-aunt. The videotapes recorded the oral communication of the biological mother, the great-aunt and the DCF social worker supervising the visits without their knowledge or consent. The foster mother sent the videos to the respondent, who then forwarded them to a clinical psychologist. The clinical psychologist watched and listened to the videos and documented her observations in a report.
After the respondent filed the clinical psychologist’s report with the court, the biological mother filed a motion accusing the respondent of violating the Massachusetts wiretap statute, G.L. c. 272, § 99, and seeking leave to call the respondent as a witness. The court subsequently allowed the respondent’s motion to withdraw from the case.
The parties stipulated to the sanction. (Mike Frisch)