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In the Matter of Gustafson, Lauren (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-067-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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‑11307   IN THE MATTER OF LAUREN GUSTAFSON.     April 16, 2013.     Attorney at Law, Suspension, Reinstatement, Disciplinary proceeding.       Bar counsel appeals from an order of a single justice of this court suspending the respondent attorney, Lauren Gustafson, from the practice of law for six months.  Bar counsel argues that Gustafson’s failure to cooperate in bar counsel’s investigation of alleged misconduct, failure to respond to a petition for discipline, and failure to appear at hearings before the single justice warrant a greater sanction.  We affirm.   Background.[1]  The respondent was admitted to the practice of law in December, 2008, and duly registered with the Board of Bar Overseers (board) in January, 2009.  When her employment address changed, she did not file a supplemental statement of changes to the information provided in her initial registration statement, nor did she file a registration statement or pay the associated fee as required in January, 2010.  S.J.C. Rule 4:03(1)(a), as amended, 416 Mass. 1319 (1993).  Accordingly, on June 14, 2010, the board filed a petition in the county court seeking Gustafson’s suspension as an administrative matter.  See S.J.C. Rule 4:02(3), as amended, 447 Mass. 1301 (2006); S.J.C. Rule 4:03(2), as appearing in 421 Mass. 1302 (1995).  An order suspending her from the practice of law entered on July 26, 2010.  Thirty days later, Gustafson became subject to the provisions of S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 17, as amended, 426 Mass. 1301 (1997), governing suspended attorneys.  She did not comply with those requirements.   Notwithstanding her administrative suspension, in November, 2010, Gustafson was hired as in-house counsel at a company having its headquarters in Massachusetts.  She submitted a registration statement, an affidavit in support of her request for reinstatement, and a check to the board on or about November 11, 2010.  The board returned the check, advising her that she owed additional amounts.  It indicated that, when the fees were paid, it would present her request for reinstatement to the court.  Gustafson did not respond.  Eight months later, in July, 2011, bar counsel received a request for investigation alleging that, despite her ongoing suspension, Gustafson continued to be employed as an attorney.   Gustafson did not respond to the complaint, which was forwarded to her by bar counsel.  Nor did she respond to a subpoena that the board caused to be […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 16, 2013 at 9:08 pm

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