The Supreme Judicial Court recently suspended a Boston, Massachusetts attorney for violating legal ethics rules. In the matter of Orlando Dimambro, a brother and sister hired an attorney to represent them in a negligence claim against an electric company, after a manhole cover exploded underneath their car, injuring them.
The attorney filed an action on behalf of the sister in Boston Municipal Court, and filed a separate complaint for the brother in Suffolk Superior Court. The attorney settled the sister’s case, but took no substantive action on the brother’s case, other than responding to initial discovery requests from the electric company.
The Superior Court subsequently dismissed the brother’s case for lack of prosecution. The attorney never informed the brother of the dismissal, and stopped responding to his phone calls and text messages over the next two years. The brother eventually filled a complaint with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers (“BBO”).
After conducting an investigation of the attorney’s conduct, the BBO found that he violated rules 1.1, 1.2(a) and 1.3 of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct for failing to keep his client reasonably informed about his case. The BBO also learned that the attorney had falsely certified that he was covered by malpractice insurance for two consecutive years. This was a violation of Mass.R.Prof.C. 8.4(c) and (h).
The BBO submitted its recommendation for discipline to the Supreme Judicial Court. Justice Botsford issued an order suspending the attorney for three (3) months.
Decision: Re: Orlando Dimambro