Posts tagged "1017017"

In the Matter of Corbett (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-170-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   SJC-12305   IN THE MATTER OF WILLIAM P. CORBETT, JR.     October 25, 2017.     Attorney at Law, Disciplinary proceeding, Disbarment, Commingling of funds.  Conversion.       A single justice of this court ordered that the respondent, William P. Corbett, Jr., be disbarred from the practice of law for conduct including intentional conversion of funds belonging to two clients, causing deprivation for both.  The respondent concedes that his conduct violated the rules of professional conduct applicable to attorneys; he appeals only the sanction imposed as being too harsh.[1]  We affirm.   Background.  Bar counsel filed a five-count petition for discipline with the Board of Bar Overseers (board).  Three counts concerned the most serious allegations, charging that the respondent intentionally misused client funds, with deprivation resulting, and that he made various misrepresentations to the clients.  One count alleged that the respondent failed to comply with the rules of professional conduct regarding client trust accounts.  The final count charged that the respondent failed to cooperate and made misrepresentations during bar counsel’s investigation of the respondent’s conduct, and that he violated the terms of the resulting suspension from the practice of law.  The respondent answered the petition, and the matter was referred to a hearing committee of the board.  After a hearing, the hearing committee issued its report and recommended that the respondent be disbarred.  The board voted to accept the report and recommendation.     Pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 8 (6), as appearing in 453 Mass. 1310 (2009), bar counsel filed an information in the county court.  After a hearing, the single justice concluded that the hearing committee’s factual findings, all of which were adopted by the board, were supported by substantial evidence, accepted the recommended sanction, and entered a judgment of disbarment.   Discussion.  The respondent has acknowledged the most serious allegations of misconduct, i.e., those involving misappropriation of client funds, and it is unnecessary to our decision to consider other evidence of misconduct.  Instead, we focus on the question of sanction.  While each case is unique, and every offending attorney must receive the sanction most appropriate in the circumstances, the common, overarching factor for our consideration in all cases “is the effect upon, and perception of, the public and the bar.”  Matter of Alter, 389 Mass. 153, 156 (1983).  That factor is promoted by “even-handed results […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 25, 2017 at 3:58 pm

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