The Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”), located in Boston, Massachusetts, has entered an order suspending an attorney after finding that he had falsely certified that he was covered by professional liability insurance. In the Matter of Eric J. Crane, an attorney accepted appointments from the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services (“CPCS”) to represent indigent criminal defendants.
Over a 28 month period from 2009 to 2012, the attorney accepted over 149 cases from CPCS, knowing that he was not covered by malpractice insurance. In August, 2012 CPCS requested that the attorney provide proof of insurance. He responded by sending a letter, which acknowledged a six month gap in coverage from December, 2011 to June, 2012 and attached an altered insurance declarations page, which stated that he was covered from December, 2010 to December, 2011. He submitted the page two additional times before admitting that he had falsified the coverage dates.
Disciplinary proceedings were brought before the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers (“BBO”). The attorney stipulated to certain facts and agreed to accept a nine month suspension. The BBO accepted the recommended sentence and presented its ruling to the SJC.
The Court issued an Order, finding that the attorney violated Mass.R.Prof.C. Rule 8.4 (c), (d), and (h), when he altered the declarations page and submitted it as proof of his professional liability insurance. The SJC accepted the BBO’s recommendation and entered a judgment suspending the attorney for nine months.
Decision: In re Eric J. Crane