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Bar News - November 14, 2008


NH Supreme Court Orders

LD-2008-0006
In the Matter of Peter Paul Mitrano

On July 29, 2008, the Attorney Discipline Office filed a certified copy of the July 17, 2008 decision of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, disbarring Attorney Peter Paul Mitrano from the practice of law. In accordance with Supreme Court Rule 37(12)(b), the court ordered that a copy of the July 17, 2008 decision be served upon on Attorney Mitrano. It further ordered that Attorney Mitrano and the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) inform the court if either contended that the imposition of identical or substantially similar discipline would be unwarranted.

Attorney Mitrano filed a response to the court’s order. He challenged the determination of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that he committed disciplinary violations. He also argued that the procedure before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals deprived him of due process, that the imposition of the same or substantially similar discipline would result in grave injustice, or that the misconduct found warranted substantially different discipline in New Hampshire.

Rule 37(12)(d) provides for the imposition of reciprocal discipline by the court unless the respondent attorney or the PCC demonstrates, or the court finds, based on the face of the record from which the discipline is predicated, that: (1) the procedure followed by the jurisdiction imposing discipline was so lacking in notice or opportunity to be heard as to constitute a deprivation of due process; (2) the imposition of the same or substantially similar discipline by the court would result in grave injustice; or (3) the misconduct established warrants substantially different discipline in New Hampshire.

Having reviewed the decision of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and Attorney Mitrano’s response, Attorney Mitrano has not demonstrated, and the court does not find, that any of these circumstances have been met. The court notes that Attorney’s Mitrano argument that the procedure before the hearing committee and the District of Columbia Board on Professional Responsibility violated due process was reviewed and rejected by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. We cannot find on the face of the record that the procedure followed by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals was so lacking in notice or opportunity to be heard as to constitute a deprivation of due process. Nor has Attorney Mitrano established that disbarment would result in grave injustice or that the misconduct established would warrant substantially different punishment in New Hampshire. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals stated in its decision that "[u]nderlying all of the violations is the Board’s determination that Mitrano took and spent for his own purposes the entirely of a . . . check for $241,336.59 issued . . . to his client, . . . knowing that the funds – or at least the major part of the funds – did not belong to him." In light of this finding, we conclude that the imposition of disbarment is warranted.

Accordingly, as provided in Rule 37(12), Peter Paul Mitrano is hereby disbarred from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Mitrano is hereby assessed all expenses incurred by the Professional Conduct Committee in the investigation and prosecution of this matter. See Rule 37(19).

Broderick, C.J., and Dalianis, Duggan, Galway and Hicks, JJ., concurred.
DATE: October 6, 2008
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk

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LD-2008-0008

In the Matter of Tanya M. Pardo

On September 25, 2008, the Attorney Discipline Office, through disciplinary counsel, and Attorney Tanya M. Pardo filed a Consent to Disbarment in which the parties stipulated that Attorney Pardo had violated several Rules of Professional Conduct and that disbarment is the appropriate sanction for the violations. The parties stipulate that Attorney Pardo violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct:

Rule 3.3(a)(1) and Rule 3.3(a)(3). These rules prohibit a lawyer from knowingly making a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal and from offering evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. Attorney Pardo violated these rules by creating and backdating an objection to a motion to compel discovery that had been filed in a civil case, placing the backdated objection in the court file, and filing a motion to vacate the superior court order granting the motion to compel based on the false representation that the objection had been timely filed.

Rule 4.1(a). This rule prohibits a lawyer from knowingly making a false statement of material fact or law to a third person in the course of representing a client. Attorney Pardo violated this rule by advising her employer that she had filed a timely objection to the motion to compel, when she had not.

Rule 8.4(c).This rule makes it professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. Attorney Pardo violated this rule by creating and backdating an objection to a motion to compel discovery that had been filed in a civil case, placing the backdated objection in the court file, and filing a motion to vacate the superior court order granting the motion to compel based on the false representation that the objection had been timely filed.

Rule 8.4(a). This rule makes it professional misconduct to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct. Attorney Pardo has conceded that her conduct violated the above rules.

Having reviewed the notice of charges and the parties’ stipulation, the court agrees that disbarment is the appropriate sanction in this case.

THEREFORE, the court orders that Tanya M. Pardo be disbarred from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Pardo is hereby assessed all expenses incurred by the Professional Conduct Committee in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.

Broderick, C.J., and Dalianis, Galway and Hicks, JJ., concurred.
DATE: October 6, 2008
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk

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The Supreme Court of New Hampshire, pursuant to RSA 490:4, directs that proceedings in every State court in New Hampshire be suspended on Friday, January 23, 2009, to facilitate continuing judicial and legal education and to accommodate judges’ meetings being held in conjunction with the mid-winter meeting of the New Hampshire Bar Association. A judge or master may decide not to suspend proceedings if the judge or master and the lawyers on a case do not plan to attend the mid-winter meeting, or if the judge or master, in his or her discretion, decides that the efficient administration of the court or ensuring justice in a particular case compels that a case be scheduled for a hearing or trial, or that a hearing or trial continue to be litigated, on that day.

October 7, 2008
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk
Supreme Court of New Hampshire

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In accordance with RSA 328-C:4, I, the chief justice reappoints the Honorable Lucinda Sadler, of Bow, to the Board of Marital Mediator Certification. Judge Sadler shall serve the a three-year term commencing on October 1, 2008, and expiring on September 30, 2011.

October 8, 2008
ATTEST:
Eileen Fox, Clerk
Supreme Court of New Hampshire

If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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