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Bar News - July 16, 2010


NH Supreme Court Orders

ADM-2010-0030
In the Matter of Jason J. Sakellar, Esq.

On April 22, 2010, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Sakellar to file his certificate of compliance with the minimum legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2009, and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

On April 23, 2010, the CLE Board notified the court that Attorney Sakellar completed the continuing legal education requirements but failed to pay the $450 fee for late filing. On May 10, 2010, the court reissued an order requiring Attorney Sakellar to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Sakellar has neither responded to the show cause orders, nor brought himself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(3). Attorney Sakellar is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Sakellar is ordered to notify his clients in writing that he has been suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire and to notify the court by Monday, July 5, 2010, that he has completed this task. On or before Thursday, June 24, 2010, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Sakellar’s files and to take action to protect the interests of Attorney Sakellar’s clients. The court hereby requires that Attorney Sakellar’s trust accounts and other financial records be audited at his expense.

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

ISSUED: June 4, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2010-0031
In the Matter of Scott R. Sargent, Esq.

On April 22, 2010, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Sargent to file his certificate of compliance with the minimum legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2009, and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Sargent has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought himself/herself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(3).

Attorney Sargent is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Sargent is ordered to notify his clients in writing that he has been suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire and to notify the court by Monday, July 5, 2010, that he has completed this task. On or before Thursday, June 24, 2010, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Sargent’s files and to take action to protect the interests of Attorney Sargent’s clients. The court hereby requires that Attorney Sargent’s trust accounts and other financial records be audited at his expense.

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

ISSUED: June 4, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2010-0032
In the Matter of Thomas Schlesinger, Esq.

On April 22, 2010, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Schlesinger to file his certificate of compliance with the minimum legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2009 and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Schlesinger has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought himself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(3).

Attorney Schlesinger is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Schlesinger is ordered to notify his clients in writing that he has been suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire and to notify the court by Monday, July 5, 2010 that he has completed this task. On or before Thursday, June 24, 2010, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Schlesinger’s files and to take action to protect the interests of Attorney Schlesinger’s clients. The court hereby requires that Attorney Schlesinger’s trust accounts and other financial records be audited at his expense.

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

ISSUED: June 4, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2010-0034
In the Matter of Lynn D. Morse, Esq.

On April 28, 2010, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Morse to file his certificate of compliance with the minimum legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2009, and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Morse has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought himself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(3).

Attorney Morse is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Morse is ordered to notify his clients in writing that he has been suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire and to notify the court by Monday, July 5, 2010, that he has completed this task. On or before Thursday, June 24, 2010, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Morse’s files and to take action to protect the interests of Attorney Morse’s clients. The court hereby requires that Attorney Morse’s trust accounts and other financial records be audited at his expense.

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

ISSUED: June 4, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2010- 0035
In the Matter of Anastasia Coravos, Esq.

On April 28, 2010, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Coravos to file her certificate of compliance with the minimum legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2009, and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Coravos has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought herself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(3).

Attorney Coravos is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Coravos 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 Monday, July 5, 2010, that she has completed this task. On or before Thursday, June 24, 2010, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Coravos’ files and to take action to protect the interests of Attorney Coravos’ clients. The court hereby requires that Attorney Coravos’ trust accounts and other financial records be audited at her expense.

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

ISSUED: June 4, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2010-0036
In the Matter of Thomas E. Drottar, Esq.

On April 28, 2010, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Drottar to file his certificate of compliance with the minimum legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2009, and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Drottar has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought himself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(3).

Attorney Drottar is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

This suspension is in addition to the suspension imposed on December 11, 2009, in ADM-2009-0177, In the Matter of Thomas E. Drottar, for failure to file his 2009 trust accounting certificate and pay the fee of $300 for failing to file the certificate.

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

ISSUED: June 4, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2010-0037
In the Matter of Mark J. Gardner, Esq.

On April 28, 2010, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Gardner to file his certificate of compliance with the minimum legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2009, and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Gardner has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought himself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(3).

Attorney Gardner is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Gardner is ordered to notify his clients in writing that he has been suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire and to notify the court by Monday, July 5, 2010, that he has completed this task. On or before Thursday, June 24, 2010, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Gardner’s files and to take action to protect the interests of Attorney Gardner’s clients. The court hereby requires that Attorney Gardner’s trust accounts and other financial records be audited at his expense.

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

ISSUED: June 4, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2010- 0038
In the Matter of Angela M. Russo, Esq.

On April 28, 2010, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Russo to file her certificate of compliance with the minimum legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2009, and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Russo has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought herself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(3).

Attorney Russo is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Russo 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 Monday, July 5, 2010, that she has completed this task. On or before Thursday, June 24, 2010, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Russo’s files and to take action to protect the interests of Attorney Russo’s clients. The court hereby requires that Attorney Russo’s trust accounts and other financial records be audited at her expense.

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

ISSUED: June 4, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2010-0039
In the Matter of Laura O’Connor Shepard, Esq.

On April 28, 2010, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Laura O’Connor Shepard to file her certificate of compliance with the minimum legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2009, and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Laura O’Connor Shepard has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought herself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(3).

Attorney Laura O’Connor Shepard is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

This suspension is in addition to the suspension imposed on March 17, 2009, in ADM-2009-00016, In the Matter of Laura O’Connor Shepard, Esq., for failure to file her 2009 trust accounting certificate and pay the fee of $300 for late filing of her certificate and on April 11, 2009, in ADM-2009-0084, In the Matter of Laura O’Connor Shepard, Esq., for nonpayment of her 2008/2009 bar dues.

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

ISSUED: June 4, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


LD-2010-0002
In the Matter of Paula Philbrook

On February 2, 2010, the Attorney Discipline Office filed a certified copy of Attorney Paula L. Philbrook’s conviction for wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343. In accordance with Rule 37(9)(d), the court issued an order requiring Attorney Philbrook to show cause why she should not be disbarred as a result of the conviction. On March 12, 2010, Attorney Philbrook filed a response in which she requested that she be permitted to resign from the bar. Attorney Philbrook then submitted an affidavit of resignation in accordance with Rule 42(11). The Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) reviewed Attorney Philbrook’s request to resign and recommended that it be denied due to the gravity of her conduct. The PCC’s recommendation is accepted. Attorney Philbrook’s request to resign from the bar is denied.

After reviewing Attorney Philbrook’s response to the court’s order to show cause why she should not be disbarred, the court finds and rules that Attorney Philbrook has failed to show cause why she should not be disbarred.

THEREFORE, in accordance with Rule 37(9)(d), the court orders that Paula L. Philbrook be disbarred from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Philbrook is hereby assessed all expenses incurred by the Professional Conduct Committee in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.

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

DATE: June 24, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


Pursuant to Part II, Article 73-a of the New Hampshire Constitution and Supreme Court Rule 51(A)(7), the Supreme Court of New Hampshire adopts the following amendments to court rules.

Supreme Court Rules – Mediator Fees

1. Amend Supreme Court Rule 48-B, regarding mediator fees in family cases, on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix A.

District Court Rules –
Technical Amendments

(These amendments update word usage in one rule to conform to statutory amendments and correct a grammatical error in another rule.)

1. Amend District Court Rule 5.3(A), regarding entry of landlord and tenant writs, as set forth in Appendix B.

2. Amend District Court Rule 4.29(E)(3), regarding payment to mediators for defaulted or dismissed cases, as set forth in Appendix C.

The amendments in Appendix A shall take effect October 1, 2010, and are referred to the Advisory Committee on Rules for its recommendation as to whether they should be adopted on a permanent basis. The amendments in Appendices B and C shall take effect immediately.

Date: June 14, 2010

ATTEST: Eileen Fox , Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


LD-2010-0005,
In the Matter of Thomas P. Grodt

On March 31, 2010, the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) filed an assented-to petition for conditional stay of a three-year suspension from the practice of law of the respondent, Thomas P. Grodt. An order of notice was issued which required that the petition be served upon the respondent and that the respondent file an answer to the petition within 30 days of service. On May 19, 2010, the respondent filed an answer to the petition in which he admitted the allegations of the petition and assented to the relief requested. He also conditionally waived briefing and oral argument on the petition.

In the petition, the PCC alleged that the respondent violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct:

(1) Rule 1.3, by failing to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing his clients;

(2) Rule 1.4(a)-(c), by failing to forward important documents to his clients, including important pleadings, motions and orders, and by failing to explain to them the legal and practical aspects of their cases;

(3) Rule 8.1(a), by making a false statement of material fact to the Attorney Discipline Office during its investigation of his conduct;

(4) Rule 8.4(c), by making false statements to his clients about the mishandling of their cases; and

(5) Rule 8.4(a), by violating the Rules of Professional Conduct.

The court accepts the PCC’s findings and rulings as to the rules violations.

The PCC recommended that the respondent be suspended for a period of three years, and that the suspension be stayed for three years. The PCC recommended that the respondent be subject to stringent conditions on his practice of law during the stay. The conditions of the stay were agreed to by the respondent and Disciplinary Counsel and are set forth in the PCC’s recommendation attached to the petition. The PCC’s recommendation also sets forth the procedure to be followed if it is alleged that the respondent has violated the conditions of the stay. The court accepts the PCC’s recommendation that the respondent be suspended for a period of three years, and that the suspension be stayed for three years on the condition that the respondent comply with the terms of the stay as set forth in the PCC’s recommendation and the parties’ agreement.

THEREFORE, the court orders that Attorney Thomas P. Grodt be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire for a period of three years; imposition of this suspension is stayed, however, for a period of three years subject to Attorney Grodt’s compliance with the conditions set forth in the PCC’s recommendation.

If the PCC should impose any portion of Attorney Grodt’s three-year suspension in the future, it shall notify the court.

Attorney Grodt 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, Hicks and Conboy, JJ., concurred.

DATE: June 28, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


LD-2010-0008
In the Matter of Mary Notaris

On May 27, 2010, the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) filed a petition for disbarment of the respondent, Mary Notaris. In the petition, the PCC alleged that the respondent made false statements to disciplinary authorities and altered evidence to support her false statements. Upon receipt of the petition, an order was issued requiring the respondent to show cause why she should not be suspended from the practice of law on an interim basis pending final disposition of this matter. The respondent filed a response in which she stated that she did not intend to contest the allegations of the petition and that she would accept the sanction recommended by the PCC. She requested that she be given 90 days to complete imminently scheduled work and to wind down her affairs. The PCC filed a response to the respondent’s request and recommended that the respondent be given until August 18, 2010 to close her practice and that she be required to take certain actions to notify clients of the pending disbarment petition prior to this date. On June 18, 2010, the respondent notified the court in writing that she did not object to the PCC’s recommendation.

The court accepts the recommendation of the PCC as to the imposition of an interim suspension. Accordingly, it is hereby ordered that:

(1) In accordance with Rule 37(16)(d) and (f), Attorney Mary Notaris shall close her practice on or before August 18, 2010. Attorney Notaris shall be suspended from the practice of law on an interim basis pending further order of this court, effective August 19, 2010.

(2) Upon receipt of this order, Attorney Notaris shall not take on any new matters for new or existing clients and shall not provide any legal services to existing clients except as may be required in connection with the scheduled appearances referenced in her response to the show cause order.

(3) Within seven days of receipt of this order, Attorney Notaris shall provide written notice of this order and of the pending petition for disbarment to every client. In the written notice, Attorney Notaris shall advise the client that the client should obtain the services of another lawyer of the client’s choice and should request that the client notify her of the client’s instructions for the transfer of the client file.

(4) On or before August 2, 2010, Attorney Notaris shall withdraw from all litigated matters in which no hearing or trial has been scheduled prior to August 18, 2010.

(5) On or before August 13, 2010, Attorney Notaris shall: (a) provide the Attorney Discipline Office (ADO) with copies of all notice letters issued to clients pursuant to paragraph 3; (b) provide the ADO with a list of all open case files still in her possession with a status report on each matter; (c) promptly return all funds held in trust and other client property to which her clients are entitled; and (d) surrender all case files and records in her possession to an attorney to be appointed by the court to make an inventory of her remaining client files and trust accounts.

(6) On or before September 20, 2010, Attorney Notaris shall file with the court an affidavit of compliance with this order.

(7) Attorney Notaris is hereby assessed all expenses incurred by the PCC in the investigation and prosecution of this matter, as well as all expenses related to the appointment of counsel to take possession and make an inventory of her client files and trust accounts.

Copies of this order shall be sent to Attorney Notaris by first class and certified mail. A copy of this order shall be sent to Attorney Notaris’ counsel.

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

DATE: June 28, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


Pursuant to Part II, Article 73-a of the New Hampshire Constitution and Supreme Court Rule 51(A)(7), the Supreme Court of New Hampshire adopts the following technical amendments to court rules.

Judicial Conduct Committee –
Terms of Office

(These amendments delete out-of-date language that listed the names of the members of the Judicial Conduct Committee who were serving on July 1, 2005. No substantive change to the rule is intended.)

1. Amend Supreme Court Rule 39(3), regarding terms of office for members of the Judicial Conduct Committee, as set forth in Appendix A.

Effective Date

These amendments shall take effect immediately.

Date: June 22, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox , Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire

APPENDIX A

Amend Supreme Court Rule 39(3) as follows (deletions are in strike-thru format):

(3) Terms of Office

(a) The terms of the current members serving on July 1, 2005, shall continue until, and expire at the end of, the dates set forth below. The appointing authority who shall fill any vacancy for each current member is also set forth below.

Current Member Expiration Date Appointing Authority

Alfred Catalfo, July 1, 2005 Bar President (public

III, Esquire member position)

Harland W. Eaton July 1, 2005 Governor

Elizabeth Lown July 1, 2005 House Speaker

Jay Rosenfield July 1, 2005 Senate President

Hon. Raymond July 1, 2006 Supreme Court

A. Cloutier (probate court judge

position)

Hon. Douglas S. July 1, 2006 Supreme Court (district Hatfield court judge position)

Wilfred L. July 1, 2006 Bar President (attorney Sanders, Esq. member position)

Dr. Robert O. July 1, 2006 Governor

Wilson

Hon. Patricia C. July 1, 2007 Supreme Court (superior Coffey court justice position)

Lawrence W. July 1, 2007 Supreme Court (public O’Connell member position)

Dana Zucker July 1, 2007 Supreme Court (clerk of court position)

Each member serving on July 1, 2005, shall continue to serve as a member until his or her successor is appointed. The initial term of the first eleven members appointed after July 1, 2005, which may include appointments of members who were serving on July 1, 2005, shall be for a three-year term.

The initial term of all alternate members appointed shall be for three years.

(b) All terms after the initial appointments set forth in subparagraph (a) shall be for three years.

(c) A member may serve a maximum of three successive terms, all of which commenced after July 1, 2005. After the expiration of the member’s third successive term, the member may not again be appointed to the committee, either as a member or as an alternate member, until three years after the date of the member’s last day as a member of the committee. An alternate member may serve an unlimited number of terms as an alternate.

(d) If any appointing authority other than the supreme court fails to appoint a member or an alternate member to fill a vacancy for a period of three months following the date upon which notice is sent to the appointing authority informing the appointing authority of the vacancy, the supreme court may appoint a member or alternate member to fill the vacancy. The person appointed shall have the same qualifications as would have been required had the appointing authority filled the vacancy.

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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