Bar News - December 14, 2007
NH Supreme Court Professional Conduct Committee
Salomon, Craig N. advs. Bernice C. Billewicz # 03-072
PUBLIC CENSURE SUMMARY
The New Hampshire Supreme Court Professional Conduct Committee deliberated the above-captioned matter, and issued a Public Censure as stipulated to by the parties, on September 28, 2007.
Attorney Craig N. Salomon entered an appearance on behalf of Ms. Billewicz in Rockingham County Probate Court in August, 2002. Ms. Billewicz paid Mr. Salomon a total of $8,751.51 in retainer fees. In July, 2003, she terminated Mr. Salomon’s representation, and requested a refund of the unearned retainer, and a refund for “unsatisfactory” service during the month of May, 2003, for a total of $1,390.47. Mr. Salomon did not dispute that he was holding $1,204.62 of Ms. Billewicz’s money, and paid her that amount from an operating account.
The Committee found that the Stipulation of facts and rule violations sonstituted clear and convincing evidence that:
- Mr. Salomon failed to separate and safeguard the assets of his client.
- Mr. Salomon placed all of the payments in his operating account, rather than into a clearly designated client trust account.
- Each of Ms. Billewicz’s retainer payments were advance payments for legal work Mr. Salomon had not yet performed.
- Mr. Salomon commingled client funds with his own property.
The Committee found that Craig N. Salomon violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct: 1.15(a)(1) and Sup. Ct. R. 50(2)(B) & (C): Failure to Safeguard Client Property, and Rule 8.4(a): Misconduct, as stipulated.
Mr. Salomon was issued a Public Censure, and assessed all costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of this matter, as stipulated. The matter is public record, and available for inspection at the New Hampshire Supreme Court Attorney Discipline Office, 4 Chenell Drive, Suite 102, Concord, New Hampshire 03301.
November 29, 2007