Bar News - September 8, 2006
NH Supreme Court Professional Conduct Committee:Tierney, Nancy S. advs. Michael J. Mead #03-050
PUBLIC CENSURE SUMMARY
The New Hampshire Supreme Court Professional Conduct Committee deliberated the matter of Tierney, Nancy S. advs. Michael J. Mead #03-050, and issued a Public Censure on May 8, 2006. A Motion for Reconsideration was denied on June 20, 2006.
Mr. and Mrs. Mead hired Nancy S. Tierney, Esquire, to handle a real estate transaction. The Meads relied upon Ms. Tierney’s assertion that her fees would be approximately $400, and that she had experience handling real estate transactions. Ms. Tierney’s fees were substantially higher than originally quoted, at $865.00, plus $155.88 for “extra costs and fees.” Ms. Tierney failed to pay $550.00 owed to the White Mountain Athletic Club, which was paid to Ms. Tierney’s trust account as part of the closing and listed on the HUD Statement. The Committee determined that the record supports factual findings by clear and convincing evidence that:
- Ms. Tierney failed to communicate or explain her fee structure to Mr. Mead;
- Ms. Tierney failed to promptly return disputed funds to the client.
- Ms. Tierney did not maintain the amount of money in dispute in a separate account until the dispute could be resolved;
- Ms. Tierney disbursed to herself the amount of attorney’s fees listed on the HUD Statement, though she was aware the fees were disputed, prior to paying all closing costs, and
- Ms. Tierney failed to respond to Mr. Mead’s requests for return telephone calls.
The Committee found by clear and convincing evidence that Nancy S. Tierney violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct: 1.5(b), 1.15(b), 1.15(c), 1.4, 1.16(d), and 8.4(a).
Ms. Tierney was issued a Public Censure, and assessed all costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of this matter. The matter is public record, and available for inspection at the New Hampshire Supreme Court Attorney Discipline Office, 4 Park Street, Suite 304, Concord, New Hampshire 03301.
August 3, 2006