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Boston Lawyer Suspended — Bad Legal Advice

The Boston office of the Bar Counsel recommended a Boston attorney loss his license to practice law for one year and one day, and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court agreed. Massachusetts lawyers are barred from sharing fees with, and assisting non-lawyers in the practice of law. The Boston attorneys at the Law Office of Neil Burns provide direct, one-on-one representation to all their clients.

The case involved a Boston attorney who assisted a non-lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law. Thus, the appropriate sanction was the suspension from the practice of law for one year and one day, The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found. The case involved the Boston attorney improperly splitting fees with a non-lawyer, failing to supervise the non-lawyer, failing to communicate adequately with the clients, failing to provide competent and diligent representation to those clients, among some of the violations.

The Court found that the Boston attorney knowingly allowed an unsupervised, non-lawyer to practice law, and that that conduct clearly fell within the ambit of assistance in the unauthorized practice of law. The Court noted its long standing rule forbidding an attorney from assisting in the unauthorized practice of law in order to protect the public from the rendering of legal services by unqualified persons.

The case cited above is: In the Matter of: Hrones, Stephen (23 pages) (Spina, J.) (SJC) Case reported by Ireland, J., sitting as single justice. (Docket No. SJC-10613) (Sept. 10, 2010).