In re Diane R. McGarvey, No. BD-2013-114: Massachusetts Lawyer Suspended After Engaging in Criminal Conduct

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”), located in Boston, has suspended an attorney from practicing law after she admitted to violating multiple Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct.  In the matter of Diane R. McGarvey, an attorney was involved in four separate motor vehicle incidents over a period of years, which resulted in criminal charges against her.

In 1992, the attorney was convicted of operating under the influence of alcohol, and sentenced to 1 year of probation.  She continued to practice law, and in 2012 was charged with operating under the influence of drugs. The attorney admitted to sufficient facts for a finding of guilty. The Court continued the case without a finding for 1 year, and placed the attorney on probation for that period, with conditions applicable to a first time offender.

Later in 2012, the attorney was arrested, and subsequently pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, where property damage occurred.  This was also a violation of the terms of her probation and the Court entered a suspended sentence, extending her probation for 2 years, and ordering her to participate in a substance abuse program.

One year later, the attorney pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license. She received a suspended sentence and two years of probation, conditioned on her compliance with her existing probationary terms.  The attorney never reported her various convictions to Massachusetts Bar Counsel, as required by S.J.C. Rule 4:01, §12(8).

However, following the last incident, Bar Counsel filed a petition for discipline with the Board of Bar Overseers (“BBO”).  The attorney answered by admitting to her illegal conduct, and multiple violations of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct, including Rule 3.4(c) by knowingly failing to comply with her probation, Rule 8.4(b) by committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on her fitness as a lawyer, and Rule 8.4(d) by engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.  The attorney and Bar Counsel submitted a joint stipulation to the BBO, recommending that her license be suspended for a year and one day.

The BBO approved the stipulation, and submitted its recommendation to the Supreme Judicial Court.  Justice Spina accepted the BBO’s recommendation, and entered an order suspending the attorney for the requested term.

Decision: In re Diane R. McGarvey

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