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In the Matter of: Patch, Thomas F. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-183-13)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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‑11144   IN THE MATTER OF THOMAS F. PATCH. October 21, 2013.   Attorney at Law, Disciplinary proceeding, Suspension, Disbarment. Board of Bar Overseers.       Bar counsel appeals from an order of a single justice of this court indefinitely suspending the respondent, Thomas F. Patch, from the practice of law.  Bar counsel argues that the single justice abused his discretion by not accepting the recommendation of the Board of Bar Overseers (board) that the respondent be disbarred, and by instead ordering an indefinite suspension based on his personal observations of the respondent in the court room and his conclusion that the respondent’s misconduct was mitigated by “unresolved emotional issues.”  Because we agree with bar counsel, we vacate the order of indefinite suspension and direct that a judgment enter disbarring the respondent.   Background.  The respondent was admitted to the practice of law in 1987.  He was suspended in 2004 for a term of three months following multiple adjudications of contempt in the Probate and Family Court stemming from his own divorce litigation, in which he represented himself.  Matter of Patch, 20 Mass. Att’y Discipline Rep. 445 (2004).  During this earlier disciplinary proceeding, he presented evidence in mitigation indicating that clinical depression had contributed to his misconduct.  Id. at 446.  After serving the three-month suspension, he was reinstated.     In March, 2006, the respondent was convicted in the District Court of one count of criminal harassment (G. L. c. 265, § 43A [a]), for which he was sentenced to two and one-half years in the house of correction, suspended for five years; and of two counts of violating a protective order (G. L. c. 209A, § 7), for which he was sentenced to concurrent terms of five years’ probation.  As one of the terms of his probation, he was ordered to submit to a psychological evaluation, and he was later ordered to submit to mental health treatment.  In January, 2007, he was found to be in violation of the terms of his probation.  He was ordered to serve two and one-half years in the house of correction, with five years’ probation following his release.  In November, 2007, he was convicted in the District Court of one count of witness intimidation (G. L. c. 268, § 13B).  The victim of that offense was one of the mental health professionals who had conducted the respondent’s […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 21, 2013 at 8:43 pm

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