Articles Tagged with “massachusetts legal ethics”

The Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers (“BBO”) has issued public admonition against an attorney for failing to obtain a former client’s consent before representing a new client in a substantially related matter adverse to the former client.  In Admonition No. 15-23, the attorney had been employed by the law firm for eight years.  During this period, the firm represented the former client’s spouse, seeking modification of a divorce based on allegations of child abuse.  The attorney did not directly represent the spouse, but was consulted on a financial issue in the case.

The attorney left to start his own firm, and several years later, was retained by the former husband to defend new allegations of sex abuse a civil matter filed by his ex-wife. The attorney advised him of his firm’s prior representation of the ex-wife, but forgot that he had been personally consulted on the case, and also failed to obtain the ex-wife’s consent to represent her ex-husband.

The ex-wife informed the attorney of the conflict of interest and requested that he withdraw as counsel, but the attorney refused.  Counsel for the ex-wife then filed a Motion to Disqualify, which the Court granted.

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) has suspended an attorney from practicing law for 6 months, following a determination that he had been practicing without a license, and falsely represented himself as a licensed attorney.   In the matter of Peter Larkowich, a Massachusetts attorney was administratively suspended for failing to pay his dues to the Massachusetts bar.  He did not apply to be reinstated, nor did he notify his clients of his suspension, or withdraw from his current cases. Continue reading