Bar News - July 13, 2012
Supreme Court Professional Conduct Committee
Pasquina, Edward F. Jr. advs.
Attorney Discipline Office
AMENDED SIX MONTH SUSPENSION STAYED FOR ONE YEAR
Edward F. Pasquina, Jr., a Massachusetts attorney, was charged with a series of violations that arose from his filing a writ of summons at Hampton District Court on April 29, 2009, under a New Hampshire attorney’s name, and Mr. Pasquina’s subsequent conduct before the Attorney Discipline Office ("ADO"). Mr. Pasquina had completed the writ of summons within a court employee’s line of sight. Both the writ and the "complaint" contained a signature for a New Hampshire attorney, William J. Kobuszewski. Mr. Pasquina did not contemporaneously file a pro hac vice motion. After seeking the advice of the Clerk of the Hampton District Court, the court docketed the matter.
On May 27, 2009, Mr. Kobuszewski and Mr. Pasquina appeared at the Hampton District Court in an unrelated matter. Mr. Pasquina’s motion for pro hac vice admission in which Mr. Kobuszewski was to serve as local counsel was then pending. Mr. Pasquina admitted to Judge Weaver that he signed Mr. Kobuszewski’s name to the pleadings. The court then dismissed the matter filed on April 29, 2009, on the basis that it was improperly filed because no valid attorney of record had signed the writ of summons.
The Professional Conduct Committee ("PCC") found that Mr. Pasquina’s assertion he did not need to respond to the ADO’s lawful demand for information because he was not clear as to its jurisdiction over him indicates that his failure to respond to the lawful demand for information was knowing; a violation of Rule 3.4(c). The record also establishes that Mr. Pasquina’s attempt to shortcut the rules governing pro hac vice admission in New Hampshire caused his client actual harm because the client’s case was dismissed as untimely filed.
On May 22, 2012, the PCC issued a six month suspension with conditions, stayed for one year, for violations of NH Prof. Conduct Rules 3.4(c), 8.1(b), and 8.4(a). The parties voluntarily stipulated that, among other conditions, for a period of one year Mr. Pasquina shall not practice law or assist anyone else in the practice of law in connection with any case involving New Hampshire parties or claims and shall not appear in any such capacity before any court in New Hampshire. The matter is public record and available for inspection at the New Hampshire Supreme Court Attorney Discipline Office, 4 Chenell Drive, Suite 102, Concord, New Hampshire 03301. The complete order is posted at www.nhattyreg.org.
June 25, 2012