In re: Jason K. Betts, No. BD-2009-112: Massachusetts Attorney Suspended Following Multiple Criminal Convictions

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”), located in Boston, has suspended an attorney from practicing law after he was convicted of multiple criminal charges.  In the matter of Jason K. Betts, an attorney admitted to sufficient facts for a finding of guilty on charges of resisting arrest, violating the conditions of his probation, disturbing the peace, driving under the influence, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

In the first incident, the attorney admitted to resisting arrest.  The Court continued the matter without a finding for one year, conditioned on the attorney’s full compliance with the terms of his probation, including participating in substance abuse treatment, submitting to random drug testing, and agreeing not to consume alcohol or other prohibited substances.  Later that year, the Court determined the attorney had violated the conditions of his probation, and entered a guilty finding.  The attorney served 60 days in prison.

In the second incident, the attorney was arrested, and admitted to disturbing the peace, as well as resisting arrest.  Once again, the Court continued the case without a finding as long as the attorney agreed to comply with the Court ordered sanctions.

In the third incident, the attorney was convicted by a jury of operating a motor vehicle under the influence, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.  The Court subsequently entered an admission to sufficient facts on both charges, and continued the case for one year, with conditions applicable to a first time OUI offender.

While the criminal cases were pending, the attorney’s license to practice law was suspended.  After the cases were resolved, Massachusetts Bar Counsel filed a petition for discipline with the Board of Bar Overseers (“BBO”).  The attorney did not respond to the petition, and Bar Counsel recommended that the attorney’s license be indefinitely suspended.  The BBO rejected the proposed discipline, and separately recommended a three year suspension to the SJC.  The attorney assented.

The SJC scheduled a hearing on the disciplinary matter, which Bar Counsel and the attorney waived.  SJC Justice Cordy then issued an order suspending the attorney from practicing law for three years.

Decision: In re: Jason K. Betts

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