The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) has suspended a Boston attorney, after finding that he had knowingly submitted altered documents to the Committee for Public Counsel Services (“CPCS”) in order to appear that he was covered by professional liability insurance. CPCS is a state sponsored program, which appoints attorneys to represent indigent persons in Massachusetts.
The attorney had been certified by CPCS for a period of five years, but during the final year, his malpractice insurance policy was terminated for non-payment of premiums. At that time, CPCS selected the attorney for a random audit and requested that he provide proof of insurance, as required by the program. The attorney then purchased a new insurance policy and furnished an altered version of the declarations page so that it appeared he had been continuously covered.
At some subsequent time, the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers (“BBO”) initiated disciplinary proceedings against the attorney. The BBO and the attorney submitted a joint stipulation recommending that he be suspended from practicing law for 6 months.
The SJC reviewed the case and found that the attorney’s conduct constituted violation of Mass.R.Prof.C. 8.4 (c), (d), and (h). The Court accepted the joint stipulation and entered an order suspending the attorney for six months and one day.
Decision: In re Brian Goodwin
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