A Massachusetts attorney has been suspended indefinitely as the result of two claims of misconduct, including falsifying information to the FBI and forging real estate documents. Specifically, in April of 2006 and January of 2007, the attorney met with FBI agents and alleged that his bank had “misdirected” approximately $88,000 from his account. The attorney furnished several documents to the FBI, which were found to have been fabricated. The attorney pleaded guilty to criminal charges for this misconduct on October 29, 2007, and was sentenced to two years probation, which he failed to disclose to bar counsel, as required under S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 12(8) and Mass. R. Prof. Conduct 8.4.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) recently held that the simultaneous representation of business competitors by attorneys in different offices of the same law firm does not constitute a per se conflict of interest. In Maling v. Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP, the client hired a law firm’s Boston office to secure patents for his screwless eyeglass invention. After successfully obtaining the patents, the client discovered that the law firm’s Washington, D.C. office represented a competitor seeking a patent for its own screwless eyeglass technology.
The Supreme Judicial Court recently denied the application of a prospective attorney for admission to the Massachusetts bar on the basis that she lacked sufficient moral character. In the matter of Malgorzata Chalupowski, a woman, who had passed the Massachusetts bar exam, submitted an application to the Board of Bar Overseers, seeking to be admitted as an attorney in the state. The Board requested a meeting with the woman to discuss several disclosures contained in the application.
The Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers (“BBO”) has issued a public reprimand against an attorney for misrepresenting a settlement offer to his client. In the matter of Derek H. DePetrillo, a woman hired an attorney to represent her in a claim against a loan company, which was making harassing phone calls to the woman. The attorney and his client entered into a contingent fee contract, under which he would only be paid if the claim was successful. Continue reading