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Bar News - December 17, 2010


NH Supreme Court Orders

LD-2010-0008
In the Matter of Mary Notaris

On May 27, 2010, the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) filed a petition for disbarment of Attorney Mary Notaris. The PCC alleged that Attorney Notaris violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct:

(1) Rule 1.4, by failing to promptly comply with reasonable requests for information from clients;

(2) Rule 8.1(a), by making false statements of material fact to the Attorney Discipline Office (ADO), including submitting an altered pleading, altering computer records, and making false assertions to the ADO;

(3) Rule 8.4(c), by engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, deceit and misrepresentation; and

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

Attorney Notaris filed an answer to the petition, through counsel, in which she stated that she did not contest the allegations of the petition and did not intend to contest the petition. She asked the court to impose the recommended sanction.

The court has reviewed the petition for disbarment and Attorney Notaris’ answer. In light of the nature and severity of Attorney Notaris’ misconduct, the court concludes that disbarment is the appropriate sanction in this case. Accordingly, the court grants the relief requested by the PCC in the petition for disbarment.

THEREFORE, the court orders that Mary Notaris be disbarred from the practice of law in New Hampshire. She is hereby assessed all expenses incurred by the Professional Conduct Committee in the investigation and prosecution of this matter. Mary Notaris may seek readmission to the bar no earlier than three years from the date of this order. She shall be required to pass the New Hampshire Bar Examination and successfully complete the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, as well as to satisfy the other requirements of Rule 37(14) prior to readmission.

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

DATE: November 10, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


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, February 4, 2011, to facilitate continuing judicial and legal education and to accommodate judges’ meetings being held in conjunction with the mid-year 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-year 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.

November 24, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


The Supreme Court of New Hampshire hereby reappoints the following members of the board of bar examiners to serve three-year terms commencing on November 1, 2010, and expiring on November 1, 2013:

R. Carl Anderson
William F. Ardinger
Bruce W. Felmly
Edmond J. Ford
Anu R. Mullikin
David M. Rothstein
Matthew R. Serge
Martha Van Oot

In addition, the court appoints Melinda Gehris to the board of bar examiners, to serve a three-year term commencing on November 1, 2010, and expiring on November 1, 2013.

November 24, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


LD-2010-0014
In the Matter of Brian F. McCaffrey

On December 2, 2010, the Attorney Discipline Office (ADO) filed a petition for immediate interim suspension of Attorney Brian F. McCaffrey from the practice of law. In the petition, the ADO states that its auditor is currently conducting an audit of Attorney McCaffrey’s financial records. It alleges that the auditor’s preliminary review indicates that Attorney McCaffrey’s client trust account is out of trust and, furthermore, that there appears to be a pattern of misuse of client funds. The ADO requests that Attorney McCaffrey immediately be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire on an interim basis pending completion of the audit and the disciplinary process. Based on the information submitted by the ADO, the court finds that Attorney McCaffrey’s immediate suspension from the practice of law in New Hampshire is necessary to protect the public and to preserve the integrity of the legal profession. See Rule 37(16)(d) and (f). Accordingly, it is hereby ordered:

1. Attorney Brian F. McCaffrey is immediately suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire on a temporary basis pending further order of this court. Attorney McCaffrey may show cause on or before ten days from the date of service why the temporary suspension should be lifted. See Reiner’s Case, 152 N.H. 163 (2005).

2. Attorney McCaffrey is enjoined from transferring, assigning, hypothecating, or in any manner disposing of or conveying any assets of clients, whether real, personal, beneficial or mixed; and

3. A copy of this order and of the Attorney Discipline Office’s filing shall be served on Attorney McCaffrey by first class mail and certified mail, return receipt requested. A copy of this order and of the Attorney

Discipline Office’s filing shall also be sent to Attorney Russell F. Hilliard by first class mail. A copy of this order shall also be sent to the ADO by first class mail.

Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 37(17), Attorney Philip L. Pettis is appointed to take immediate possession of the client files and trust and other fiduciary accounts of Attorney McCaffrey, to make an inventory of such files and accounts, and to take such action as is necessary to protect the interests of Attorney McCaffrey’s clients. Attorney Pettis is ordered to take the following actions:

a. notify all employees of Attorney McCaffrey of his appointment by the court and of Attorney McCaffrey’s suspension from the practice of law;

b. notify all banks and other entities where any trust or fiduciary accounts and operating accounts of Attorney McCaffrey are held of his appointment and of Attorney McCaffrey’s suspension;

c. review any client files that Attorney McCaffrey maintained, and take such actions as he deems necessary to protect the interests of the clients;

d. notify Attorney McCaffrey’s clients by certified mail, return receipt requested, of his suspension, informing them of any action which appears to be required in the immediate future in order to preserve their legal rights and advising them that they should obtain the services of other lawyers of their choice; and

e. make an inventory of Attorney McCaffrey’s client files and trust and other fiduciary accounts, and file a copy of the inventory with the court on or before February 1, 2011, together with a report of his actions taken under this order and a recommendation as to what further actions should be taken to protect the interests of Attorney McCaffrey’s clients.

The Committee on Professional Conduct shall pay the fees of Attorney Pettis, in the first instance, to be reimbursed by Attorney McCaffrey, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

This order is entered by a single justice (Dalianis, J.). See Rule 21(7).

DATE: December 3, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


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

On December 6, 2010, the Attorney Discipline Office (ADO) filed a petition for immediate interim suspension of Attorney Thomas P. Grodt from the practice of law. In the petition, the ADO alleges that Attorney Grodt has committed a material breach of the conditions of the stay of his three-year suspension, which was approved by the court on June 28, 2010. In accordance with Rule 37(16)(d) and (f), the ADO petitions the court to order an immediate interim suspension of Attorney Grodt on the ground that such a suspension is necessary to protect the public and to preserve the integrity of the legal profession.

Having reviewed the allegations in the petition, the court finds that an immediate interim suspension is necessary to protect the public and to preserve the integrity of the legal profession. See Rule 37(16)(d) and (f). Accordingly, it is hereby ordered:

1. Attorney Thomas P. Grodt is immediately suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire on a temporary basis pending further order of this court. Attorney Grodt may show cause on or before ten days from the date of service why the temporary suspension should be lifted. See Reiner’s Case, 152 N.H. 163 (2005);

2. Attorney Grodt is enjoined from transferring, assigning, hypothecating, or in any manner disposing of or conveying any assets of clients, whether real, personal, beneficial or mixed; and

3. A copy of this order and of the Attorney Discipline Office’s filing shall be served on Attorney Grodt by first class mail and certified mail, return receipt requested. A copy of this order and of the Attorney Discipline Office’s filing shall also be sent to Attorney John Liland and Cecile Hartigan by first class mail. A copy of this order shall also be sent to the ADO by first class mail.

The ADO shall advise the court on or before December 10, 2010, whether it recommends that an attorney be appointed to take immediate possession of the client files and trust and other fiduciary accounts of Attorney Grodt, to make an inventory of such files and accounts, and to take such action as is necessary to protect the interests of Attorney Grodt’s clients.

This order is entered by a single justice (Conboy, J.). See Rule 21(7).

DATE: December 6, 2010
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk

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