New Hampshire Bar Association
About the Bar
For Members
For the Public
Legal Links
Publications
Newsroom
Online Store
Vendor Directory
NH Bar Foundation
Judicial Branch
NHMCLE

Keep your contact information up-to-date.

Order with big business buying power.
New Hampshire Bar Association
Lawyer Referral Service Law Related Education NHBA CLE NHBA Insurance Agency
MyNHBar
Member Login
Member Portal
Casemaker

Bar News - October 15, 2010


NH Supreme Court Professional Conduct Committee

Colella, Stephen P. advs. Attorney Discipline Office # 09-055

PUBLIC CENSURE SUMMARY

On July 20, 2010, the Professional Conduct Committee deliberated the above-captioned matter, and issued a Public Censure to Stephen P. Colella, Esquire, for violation of NH. Rule Prof. Conduct 3.4(c): Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel and 8.4(a): Misconduct.

Mr. Colella is an attorney licensed to practice law in Massachusetts. He filed several motions for admission Pro Hac Vice in New Hampshire. Mr. Colella received a reprimand from the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers on January 5, 2006. On at least eight occasions between January 5, 2006 and July 23, 2008, Mr. Colella had not disclosed to the N.H. courts in his motions that he had been reprimanded in Massachusetts.

On September 25, 2009, Mr. Colella filed a Motion for Admission Pro Hac Vice in Merrimack County Superior Court, Docket No. 09-E-0317. The Motion did not disclose that Mr. Colella had been reprimanded in Massachusetts in 2006. The motion was denied in April 2009, without prejudice to re-file and without explanation. Upon learning of the omissions, the Merrimack County Superior Court denied the September 25, 2009 Motion.

Mr. Colella takes full responsibility for the omissions in his motions, and acknowledges the violation of Superior Court Rule 15(b) and N.H. Rule Prof. Conduct 3.4(c) and 8.4(a). The Committee accepted the Stipulation as to the facts and violations by clear and convincing evidence, and accepted the Stipulation as to the sanction and agreement to pay all costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of this matter. The file is available for inspection at the Attorney Discipline Office at the above address; the Public Censure is posted on our website, at www.nhattyreg.org.

September 30, 2010



Bownes, David H. advs. Roland Paul Fleury # 09-026


PUBLIC CENSURE SUMMARY

On July 20, 2010, the Professional Conduct Committee deliberated the above captioned matter and issued a Public Censure to David H. Bownes, Esquire, for violation of N.H. Rule Prof. Conduct 1.3: Diligence; 1.4: Client Communication, and 8.4(a): Misconduct.

Mr. Bownes has been a member of the New Hampshire Bar since 1982. He represented Mr. Fleury in connection with injuries sustained on January 10, 2005, while traveling in a van operated by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department. In November, 2007, Mr. Bownes closed the case after determining that there was not sufficient evidence that Mr. Fleury sustained injuries caused by the January 10, 2005, accident for which he could recover, and that pursuit of the matter on a contingency fee basis would not be in the best interests of his office. Mr. Bownes did not advise Mr. Fleury of his assessment of the case or his decision to close the file.

Mr. Fleury inquired about the status of his case in a letter dated December 5, 2007 and a second letter dated March 8, 2009. He expressed concern about the expiration of the statute of limitations on his claim.

By letter dated June 15, 2009, Mr. Bownes informed Mr. Fleury that he had made the decision to close the matter, and that the three-year statute of limitations applicable to Mr. Fleury’s claim expired in January 2008.
  • Mr. Bownes had a duty to act with reasonable promptness and diligence in representing Mr. Fleury.
     
  • Mr. Bownes had a duty to keep his client reasonably informed and promptly comply with his client’s requests for information.

The Committee accepted a Stipulation of the facts and rule violations by clear and convincing evidence, and accepted the Stipulation to the sanction and agreement to pay all costs of the investigation and prosecution of this matter. The file is available for inspection at the Attorney Discipline Office at the above address; the Public Censure is posted on our website, at www.nhattyreg.org.

September 30, 2010



Maggiotto, Paul A. advs. Kevin Joseph McCaffrey # 09-039


PUBLIC CENSURE SUMMARY

On May 18, 2010, the Professional Conduct Committee deliberated the above captioned matter and issued a Public Censure to Paul A. Maggiotto, Esquire, for the violation of N.H. Rule Prof. Conduct 1.8(j): Sexual Relationship with Client and Rule 8.4(a): Misconduct. The parties stipulated to the Facts and Rule violations. The Committee accepted those facts and rules by clear and convincing evidence.

Mr. Maggiotto has been a member of the New Hampshire Bar since 1990. He met with a prospective client in October 2005 about the possibility of that client filing for divorce. The prospective client retained Mr. Maggiotto in November 2007, and filed for divorce on November 15, 2007. Shortly after the representation began, a consensual sexual relationship began, and continued through Mr. Maggiotto’s representation of his client. Rule 1.8(j) became effective on January 1, 2008. The divorce became final on April 30, 2008. The relationship continued until July 2009.

Mr. Maggiotto’s relationship began after the client-lawyer relationship commenced in violation of N.H. Rule Prof. Conduct 1.8(j). He failed to consider the potential harm to his client if the relationship had become known during the course of the divorce, and had a duty to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

Pursuant to the parties’ Stipulation, Mr. Maggiotto is assessed all costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of this matter. The file is available for inspection at the Attorney Discipline Office at the above address; the Public Censure is posted on at www.nhattyreg.org.

September 30, 2010

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

Home | About the Bar | For Members | For the Public | Legal Links | Publications | Online Store
Lawyer Referral Service | Law-Related Education | NHBA•CLE | NHBA Insurance Agency | NHMCLE
Search | Calendar

New Hampshire Bar Association
2 Pillsbury Street, Suite 300, Concord NH 03301
phone: (603) 224-6942 fax: (603) 224-2910
email: NHBAinfo@nhbar.org
© NH Bar Association Disclaimer