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Bar News - April 17, 2009


NH Supreme Court Orders

LD-2OO8-OOO9
In the Matter of Dennis M. O’Driscoll

On December 3, 2008, the Attorney Discipline Office filed a certified copy of the November 8, 2006 order of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County Massachusetts suspending Attorney Dennis M. O’Driscoll from the practice of law in Massachusetts for an "indefinite period." In accordance with Supreme Court Rule 37(12)(b), the court ordered that a copy of the November 8, 2006 order be served on Attorney O’Driscoll. It further ordered that Attorney O’Driscoll 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 O’Driscoll filed no response to the order.

Ruie 37(12)(d) provides for the imposition of reciprocal discipiine 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 bre hearcl 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.

In this case, there is no indication on the face of the Supreme Judicial Court’s record that the procedure it followed deprived Attorney O’Driscoll of due process. Tire court notes that O’Driscoll was found to have misused client funds and to have failed to return funds belonging to his client. In light of the seriousness of Attorney O’Driscoll’s misconduct, the court cannot find that the imposition of identical or substantially similar discipline would result in injustice or that the misconduct would warrant substantially different discipline in New Hampshire. Accordingly, the court concludes that reciprocal discipline should be imposed.

The Supreme Judicial Court suspended Attorney O’Driscoll for an "indefinite period" New Hampshire Supreme Court Rule 37 defines a "suspension" as "the suspension of an attorney’s right to practice in this State, for a period of time specified by the court . . ." On February 3, 2009, the court issued an order giving the parties the opportunity to file memoranda on the question whether Supreme Court Rule 37 allows the imposition of a suspension for an "indefinite period," and if not, what discipline should be imposed in this case.

The Attorney Discipline Office filed a memorandum in which it argued that under Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rule 4:01, Section 18(2)(b), an indefinite suspension is essentially a suspension for a minimum of five years" It contends that a suspension for a minimum of five years would constitute "substarttially similar" discipline under Rule 37(12)(b). Attorney O’Driscoll filed no response to the order.

The court concludes that a suspension for five years is "substantially similar" to the "indefinite suspension" imposed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Therefore, the court orders that Attorney Dennis M. O’Driscoll is suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire for a period of five years. The suspension shall take effect immediately.

Any motion for reinstatement will be governed by Rule 37(1a)(a) - (e). Attorney O’Driscoil is hereLry 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 and Hicks, JJ., concurred.

DATE: March 3, 2009
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


Pursuant to the provisions of RSA 541-B:3 and :4, Chief Justice John T. Broderick, Jr. appoints Mark E. Howard, Esquire, of Manchester, as a member and chairman of the Board of Claims, effective April 1, 2009. Attorney Howard is appointed to replace Attorney Matthew H. Upton, who is resigning as a member and chairman effective March 31, 2009. Attorney Howard shall serve the remainder of a six-year term expiring on October 28, 2013.

March 9, 2009
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


ADM-2008-0196
In the Matter of Steven C. Kennedy

The court on March 12, 2009, issued the following order:

Treating Steven C. Kennedy’s motion for reinstatement as a request to waive the late fees imposed for late filing of his trust accounting certificate and a request for reinstatement, the motion is granted.

Broderick, C.J., and Dalianis, Duggan and Hicks, JJ., concurred.

Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2008-0181,
In the Matter of Ernest J. Ciccotelli

On February 19, 2009, Ernest J. Ciccotelli was suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire for failing to file his 2008 annual trust accounting certificate and failing to pay late fees assessed for late filing of his certificate. Mr. Ciccotelli has now filed his 2008 annual trust accounting certificate and paid the late fees assessed. He has requested that he be reinstated to the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Mr. Ciccotelli’s request for reinstatement is granted. Ernest J. Ciccotelli is reinstated to the practice of law in New Hampshire effective immediately.

Dalianis, Duggan and Hicks, JJ., concurred.

DATE: March 11, 2009
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2009-0002,
In the Matter of David H. Phillips

The court on March 16, 2009, issued the following order:

The court has been notified that Attorney Phillips resigned from the New Hampshire Bar Association effective June 1, 2008. Therefore, the court vacates its order of February 19, 2009, suspending Attorney Phillips from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

No motion for readmission may be filed by Attorney Phillips in the future, however, unless he files his 2008 Annual Trust Compliance Certificate and pays the $300 fine prescribed by Rule 50-A(2)A prior to filing a motion for readmission. These requirements are in addition to the other requirements of Rule 37(15).

Broderick, C.J., and Dalianis, Duggan and Hicks, JJ., concurred.

Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2009-0016,
In the Matter of Laura P. O’Connor Shepard

On January 20, 2009, this court issued an order, in accordance with Rule 50-A(2), for Attorney Shepard to file the annual trust accounting certificate of compliance that was due on or before August 1, 2008, and pay the fee of $300 for late filing of the 2008 annual trust accounting certificate, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Shepard has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought herself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 50-A(2).

Attorney Shepard is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. The court hereby requires that Attorney Shepard’s trust accounts and other financial records be audited at her expense.

Attorney Shepard is ordered to notify her clients in writing that she has been suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire and to notify the court by Friday, April 17, 2009, that she has completed this task. On or before Monday, April 6, 2009, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Shepard’s files and to take action to protect the interests of Attorney Shepard’s clients.

Broderick, C.J., and Dalianis, Duggan and Hicks, JJ., concurred.

DATE: March 17, 2009
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


To facilitate participation by as many lawyers and judges as possible in the New Hampshire Bar Association’s "A Lawyer and Judge In Every School" program in celebration of Law Day, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire, pursuant to RSA 49Q:4, directs that participation by a lawyer or a judge in the program on Friday, May 8, 2009, generally should serve as sufficient grounds to continue any conflicting hearings scheduied on that date. A judge or master may decide, in his or her discretion, not to continue proceeclings in a particular case if the judge or master believes that interests such as the efficient administration of the court or ensuring justice in the case compel that a proceeding remain scheduled for that day".

Date: March 17, 2009
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


The Supreme Court of New Hampshire hereby reappoints Frederick J. Coolbroth, of Meredith, Doreen Connor, of Henniker, Gordon J. MacDonald, of Deering, and Lawrence A. Vogelman, of Exeter, to serve as members of the board of bar examiners for three-year terms expiring on November 1, 2011. Frederick J. Coolbroth shall continue to serve as chair of the board.

April 6, 2009
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


Supreme Court Rule 42(9) requires all NH admitted attorneys to notify the Bar Association of any address change, home or office.

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