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Bar News - April 19, 2013


Supreme Court Orders

LD-2013-0004
In the Matter of William T. Whittenberg, Jr.

On March 6, 2013, the Attorney Discipline Office filed a petition for interim suspension from the practice of law of Attorney William T. Whittenberg, Jr. In the petition, the ADO states that it docketed a complaint against Attorney Whittenberg alleging that he violated Rules 1.15, 8.4(c) and 8.4(a) of the Rules of Professional Conduct, as well as Supreme Court Rule 50. The complaint was based on information provided to the ADO by Attorney Whittenberg’s former law firm, which appears to show that Attorney Whittenberg failed to safeguard client property, deceived his former law firm about the existence of clients and client funds, and failed to complete a trust accounting compliance certificate disclosing IOLTA and other client accounts under his control. The ADO states that it notified Attorney Whittenberg of the charges against him and directed him to file an answer to the charges by February 15, 2013. It states that, when Attorney Whittenberg failed to file an answer, it sent a second notice requiring Attorney Whittenberg to file an answer by February 20, 2013. The ADO alleges that Attorney Whittenberg failed to file an answer or otherwise respond to the charges. In its petition, the ADO argues that, under these circumstances, Attorney Whittenberg’s continued practice of law and continued handling of client funds poses an ongoing risk to the public. It requests that Attorney Whittenberg be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire on an interim basis pending resolution of the charges against him, and that an attorney be appointed to protect the interests of his clients and to take possession of his client files and bank accounts.

After the petition was filed, the court issued an order requiring Attorney Whittenberg to show cause by March 18, 2013, why he should not be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire pending resolution of disciplinary charges against him. The order advised Attorney Whittenberg that the allegations of the petition would be deemed admitted and no further hearing required if he failed to file an answer to the petition. The order was sent to Attorney Whittenberg by first class and certified mail, and the certified mailing was delivered to Attorney Whittenberg’s law office on March 9, 2013. Attorney Whittenberg has not filed a response to the court’s order.

In light of the serious nature of the allegations against Attorney Whittenberg and his failure to file a response to the petition, the court finds that Attorney Whittenberg’s immediate suspension is necessary to protect the public and to preserve the integrity of the legal profession. See Rule 37(16)(f); Reiner’s Case, 152 N.H. 163 (2005). Accordingly, it is hereby ordered:

(1) In accordance with Rule 37(16)(f), Attorney William T. Whittenberg, Jr. is immediately suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire pending resolution of the disciplinary charges against him and further order of this court.

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

Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 37(17), Attorney Michael G. Gfroerer is appointed to protect the interests of Attorney Whittenberg’s clients, to take immediate possession of Attorney Whittenberg’s client files and trust and other fiduciary accounts, and to make an inventory of such files and accounts. Attorney Gfroerer is directed to take the following actions:

a. Attorney Gfroerer shall notify all employees of Attorney Whittenberg of Attorney Whittenberg’s suspension from the practice of law and of Attorney Gfroerer’s appointment by the court.

b. Attorney Gfroerer shall notify all banks and other entities where any trust or fiduciary accounts and operating accounts of Attorney Whittenberg are held of Attorney Whittenberg’s suspension and of Attorney Gfroerer’s appointment by the court.

c. Attorney Gfroerer shall review Attorney Whittenberg’s client files and shall take such actions as he deems necessary to protect the interests of the clients.

d. Attorney Gfroerer shall notify Attorney Whittenberg’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.

e. Attorney Gfroerer shall make an inventory of Attorney Whittenberg’s client files and trust and other fiduciary accounts, and file a copy of the inventory with the court on or before May 20, 2013, 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 Whittenberg’s clients.

Attorney Whittenberg is ordered to cooperate with Attorney Gfroerer in performing these tasks.

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

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks and Conboy, JJ., concurred.
DATE: March 20, 2013
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


LD-2011-0011
 In the Matter of Patrick B. Shanley

Attorney Patrick B. Shanley was suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire effective December 1, 2012, for a period of six months, with three months of the suspension stayed for one year. On March 4, 2013, Attorney Shanley filed a motion for reinstatement in which he states that he has fully complied with the requirements of the suspension order, and has satisfactorily completed the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination as required by Rule 37(14)(e). The Professional Conduct Committee has not objected to Attorney Shanley’s motion for reinstatement. Accordingly, Attorney Shanley’s motion for reinstatement to the practice of law in New Hampshire is granted.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn, and Bassett, JJ., concurred.
DATE: March 29, 2013
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2013-0016
In the Matter of Susan Slack, Esquire

On February 7, 2013, this court issued an order for Attorney Susan Slack to file her 2012 trust accounting certificate and pay the $300 in fines assessed for late filing of her certificate by February 27, 2013, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Slack has neither responded to the order, nor brought herself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 50-A.

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

Attorney Slack 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 Attorney Discipline Office by Monday, May 13, 2013, that she has completed this task. On or before Thursday, May 23, 2013, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Slack’s files and to take action to protect the interests of her clients.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn, and Bassett, JJ., concurred.
DATE: April 11, 2013
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2013-0004
In the Matter of B. Michael Cormier, Esquire

On January 31, 2013, this court issued an order, in accordance with Rule 50-A(2), for Attorney B. Michael Cormier to file his 2012 trust accounting certificate and pay $300 assessed for late filing of his certificate, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Cormier has paid the $300 late filing fee but has not filed his 2012 trust accounting certificate, and therefore is not in compliance with Supreme Court Rule 50-A.

Accordingly, Attorney B. Michael Cormier is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. The court hereby requires that Attorney Cormier’s trust accounts and other financial records be audited at his expense.

Attorney Cormier 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 Attorney Discipline Office by Monday, May 13, 2013, that he has completed this task. On or before Thursday, May 23, 2013, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Cormier’s files and to take action to protect the interests of his clients.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn, and Bassett, JJ., concurred.
DATE: April 11, 2013
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2013-0018
In the Matter of Adam M. Mackler, Esquire

On March 11, 2013, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Adam M. Mackler to file his certificate of compliance with the minimum legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2012, and pay the fees assessed for late filing by April 1, 2013, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Mackler has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought himself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(2).

Attorney Adam M. Mackler is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. This suspension is in addition to the suspension imposed on December 21, 2012, in ADM-2012-0097, In the Matter of Adam M. Mackler, Esquire, for failure to file his 2012 trust accounting certificate.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn, and Bassett, JJ., concurred.
DATE: April 11, 2013
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2013-0019,
In the Matter of Alysia M. Proko, Esquire

Attorney Alysia M. Proko was admitted to the New Hampshire bar on November 3, 2009. In accordance with Rule 42(7)(a) (now Rule 47, XII (a)), Attorney Proko was required to complete the Practical Skills course within two years of admission. The New Hampshire Bar Association has reported to the court that Attorney Proko did not take the Practical Skills course as required. On March 15, 2013, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Proko to show cause by April 1, 2013, why she should not be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire for failure to attend a Practical Skills course within two years of the date of her admission to the bar. Attorney Proko did not respond to the show cause order.

In accordance with Rule 42(7)(a) (now Rule 47, XII (a)), Attorney Alysia M. Proko is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Alysia M. Proko is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. This suspension is in addition to the suspension imposed on March 28, 2013, in ADM-2013-0017, In the Matter of Alysia M. Proko, Esquire, for failure to file her 2012 trust accounting certificate.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn and Bassett, JJ., concurred.
Date: April 11, 2013
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk

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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