Posts tagged "1006818"

In the Matter of Moran, Robert C. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-068-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12356   IN THE MATTER OF ROBERT C. MORAN.       April 20, 2018.     Attorney at Law, Disciplinary proceeding, Suspension, Deceit, Drafting of will.     The respondent, Robert C. Moran, appeals from an order of a single justice of this court, acting on an information filed by the Board of Bar Overseers (board), suspending him from the practice of law for nine months.  We vacate the order and remand the case for the entry of an order suspending the respondent from the practice of law for fifteen months.[1]   Background.  Bar counsel filed an amended five-count petition for discipline with the board alleging multiple acts of misconduct in connection with the respondent’s handling of the affairs of two elderly clients, both of whom are now deceased.  Two counts alleged that the respondent charged excessive fees;[2] that he failed to inform his clients of fees for services rendered and fee withdrawals;[3] that he held the clients’ funds in nontrust accounts;[4] and that he drafted testamentary instruments for both clients that included substantial testamentary gifts to himself.[5]  Two other counts concerned the respondent’s conduct as executor for the same clients’ estates.  They alleged that the respondent failed to render diligent and competent services;[6] that he charged and collected excessive fees;[7] that he failed to hold estate funds in segregated interest-bearing accounts;[8] that he negotiated and withdrew estate funds before his appointment as executor;[9] and that he intentionally misrepresented, under oath, the amount of estate assets in a probate court filing for one estate.[10]  The fifth count charged misconduct in connection with trust accounts and trust funds.[11]  The respondent answered and asserted certain facts in mitigation.  See S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 8 (3), as appearing in 453 Mass. 1310 (2009) (“[a]verments in the petition are admitted when not denied in the answer”).   A hearing committee of the board conducted an evidentiary hearing and determined that bar counsel had proved, with limited exceptions, the petition’s allegations.  A majority of the committee recommended that the respondent be publicly reprimanded; a dissenting member found additional facts supporting violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.8 (c), 426 Mass. 1338 (1998) (substantial testamentary gifts), and recommended a greater sanction.  Both the respondent and bar counsel appealed to the board.  The board adopted the dissenting hearing committee member’s factual findings concerning the additional misconduct, and the hearing […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 20, 2018 at 2:47 pm

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