Bar News - May 9, 2008
NH Supreme Court Professional Conduct Committee
Cronin, John J., III advs.
Brenda L. Tilton # 05-038
SIX MONTH SUSPENSION
STAYED FOR 2 YEARS WITH
The New Hampshire Supreme Court Professional Conduct Committee deliberated in the above-captioned matter and issued an order dated January 22, 2008, which suspended Mr. Cronin from the practice of law for a period of six months. A Motion for Reconsideration was submitted on February 1, 2008, which was granted in part, and on February 26, 2008 the Committee issued an Order on Motion for Reconsideration with specific stated conditions.
The Committee determined that a Stipulation of Facts constituted clear and convincing evidence that:
· Mr. Cronin mishandled client funds by putting retainers into his operating account in nine separate matters rather than placing them in a client trust account.
· Mr. Cronin mishandled client funds when he accepted cash from a client and failed to deposit those funds in a trust account. Instead he kept the cash in his desk drawer or file cabinet for approximately one month and placed the funds in trust only after he was ordered to do so by the Court.
· Mr. Cronin falsely attested to the execution of a client’s will by signing her will as a witness, while neither the Testatrix nor the other witnesses were present. Mr. Cronin also caused his employee to falsely notarize the will.
The Committee found by clear and convincing evidence that Mr. Cronin violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct: Rule 1.15(a)(1), Rule 8.4(c) and Rule 8.4(a). He also violated Supreme Court Rule 50(2)(B).
The Committee granted a Motion for Reconsideration in light of the history of Mr. Cronin’s practice, his community activities, and his current recognition of the requirements imposed by the cited Rules, it was the Committee’s view that the public can be protected by staying the imposition of the six month suspension for a period of two years based on certain conditions.
Mr. Cronin was directed to take the Multi-state Professional Responsibility Examination and provide the Committee with confirmation of his successful passage of that test within one year. Mr. Cronin will bear all the costs associated with the MPRE. Mr. Cronin’s financial records will be subject to random audits for a period of two years and he will also reimburse the Committee for all costs associated with its investigation and prosecution of this matter. If Mr. Cronin demonstrates full compliance with the stated conditions for the two year period, the suspension will not be imposed.
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.
April 28, 2008