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Bar News - April 20, 2016


Supreme Court Orders

To facilitate participation by as many lawyers and judges as possible in the New Hampshire Bar Association’s “A Lawyer and Judge In Every School” program in celebration of Law Day, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire, pursuant to RSA 490:4, directs that participation by a lawyer or a judge in the program on Friday, May 6, 2016, ordinarily should serve as sufficient grounds to continue any conflicting hearings scheduled on that date. A judge or master may decide, in his or her discretion, not to continue proceedings in a particular case if the judge or master believes that interests such as the efficient administration of the court or ensuring justice in the case compel that a proceeding remain scheduled for that day.

Issued: March 10, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


Pursuant to RSA 71-B:2, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire hereby reappoints Michele E. LeBrun, of Dunbarton, to the Board of Tax and Land Appeals for a term beginning May 6, 2016, and terminating on May 5, 2019. The court designates Ms. LeBrun as chair of the board.

Issued: March 10, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


LD-2016-0002
In the Matter of Brian F. McCaffrey, Esquire

On January 19, 2016, the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) filed a recommendation that Attorney Brian F. McCaffrey be disbarred. The PCC’s recommendation was based on a stipulation signed by Attorney McCaffrey and Disciplinary Counsel, in which Attorney McCaffrey admitted that he had violated numerous Rules of Professional Conduct and conceded that disbarment was the appropriate sanction for his misconduct.

After the PCC filed its recommendation, an order was issued, in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 37(16), notifying Attorney McCaffrey and Disciplinary Counsel of the PCC’s recommendation and advising them to notify the court of any legal or factual issues relating to the PCC’s recommendation that they wished the court to review. The order stated that if neither party identified an issue to be reviewed, no further hearing would be required, and the court could decide the matter based upon the record of the PCC proceedings. No response to the order has been filed.

In the “Stipulation to Disbarment” filed with the PCC, Attorney McCaffrey admitted that he violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct in the course of his representation of a particular client:

1. Rule 1.3, requiring a lawyer to act with reasonable diligence;

2. Rule 1.4, requiring a lawyer to keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the client matter and to comply with reasonable requests for information;

3. Rule 5.3(b)-(c), requiring a lawyer employing a non-lawyer assistant to make reasonable efforts to ensure that the non-lawyer assistant’s conduct is compatible with the lawyer’s professional obligations, and making the lawyer responsible for the conduct of a non-lawyer assistant when the lawyer orders or ratifies the conduct involved;

4. Rule 8.1(b), prohibiting a lawyer from knowingly failing to respond to a lawful demand for information from a disciplinary authority;

5. Rule 8.4(c), prohibiting a lawyer from engaging in conduct involving deceit, dishonesty, or misrepresentation; and

6. Rule 8.4(a), prohibiting a lawyer from violating the Rules of Professional Conduct.

An audit of Attorney McCaffrey’s client files and IOLTA account showed that Attorney McCaffrey had misappropriated client funds in his possession, had routinely paid himself fees before they were earned, and had operated his IOLTA account with a deficit balance. Attorney McCaffrey stipulated that the audit showed that he violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct:

1. Rule 1.1, requiring a lawyer to provide competent representation to a client;

2. Rule 1.3, requiring a lawyer to act with reasonable diligence;

3. Rule 1.4, requiring a lawyer to keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the client matter and comply with reasonable requests for information;

4. Rule 1.15, requiring a lawyer to safeguard the property of clients and third persons and to comply with court rules regarding client and third party funds;

5. Rule 5.3(b)-(c), requiring a lawyer employing a non-lawyer assistant to make reasonable efforts to ensure that the non-lawyer assistant’s conduct is compatible with the lawyer’s professional obligations, and making the lawyer responsible for conduct of a non-lawyer assistant when the lawyer orders or ratifies the conduct involved;

6. Rule 8.4(c), prohibiting a lawyer from engaging in conduct involving deceit, dishonesty, or misrepresentation; and

7. Rule 8.4(a), prohibiting a lawyer from violating the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Attorney McCaffrey also conceded that the audit showed that he violated Supreme Court Rules 50 and 50-A.

Attorney McCaffrey stipulated that the Public Protection Fund had paid $119,000 to his clients who sought reimbursement for fees paid to him. He also conceded that he owed more than $72,000 to clients who had not filed claims.

The court has reviewed the “Stipulation for Disbarment” and the PCC’s recommendation that Attorney McCaffrey be disbarred. After considering the nature, seriousness, and extent of Attorney McCaffrey’s misconduct, the court concludes that disbarment is the appropriate sanction in this case.

THEREFORE, the court orders that Brian F. McCaffrey be disbarred from the practice of law in New Hampshire. He is hereby assessed all expenses incurred by the Professional Conduct Committee in the investigation and prosecution of this matter.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn, and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

DATE: March 18, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2016-0016
In the Matter of Evan A. Greene, Esquire

On January 27, 2016, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Evan A. Greene to file his certificate of compliance with the minimum continuing legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2015, and to pay the late fees assessed for noncompliance, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Greene has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought himself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(2).

Attorney Evan A. Greene is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. This suspension is in addition to the suspension imposed on November 25, 2015, in LD-2015-0013, In the Matter of Evan A. Greene.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

ISSUED: March 15, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2015-0078
In the Matter of Thomas A. Hollo, Esquire

On December 22, 2015, Attorney Thomas A. Hollo was suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire for failing to file his 2015 annual trust accounting certificate and failing to pay late fees assessed for late filing of his certificate. Attorney Thomas A. Hollo has now filed his 2015 annual trust accounting certificate and paid the late fees assessed. He has requested that he be reinstated to the practice of law in New Hampshire.

Attorney Thomas A. Hollo’s request for reinstatement is granted. Attorney Thomas A. Hollo is reinstated to the practice of law in New Hampshire effective immediately.

Dalianis, C. J., Hicks, Conboy, Lynn, and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

DATE: March 23, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2016-0020
In the Matter of Robert W. Kuhl, Esquire

On February 10, 2016, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Robert W. Kuhl to file his certificate of compliance with the minimum continuing legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2015, and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Robert W. Kuhl has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought himself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(2).

Attorney Robert W. Kuhl is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. This suspension is in addition to the suspension imposed on January 14, 2016, in ADM-2015-0090, In the Matter of Robert W. Kuhl, for failure to file his 2015 annual trust accounting certificate of compliance.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

ISSUED: March 23, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2016-0021
In the Matter of Christopher S. Driscoll, Esquire

On February 10, 2016, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Christopher S. Driscoll to file his certificate of compliance with the minimum continuing legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2015, and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Driscoll has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought himself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(2).

Attorney Christopher S. Driscoll is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. This suspension is in addition to the suspension imposed on December 22, 2015, in ADM-2015-0083, In the Matter of Christopher S. Driscoll, for failure to file his 2015 annual trust accounting certificate of compliance.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

ISSUED: March 23, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2016-0022
In the Matter of Cathleen M. Collins, Esquire

On February 10, 2016, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Cathleen M. Collins to file her certificate of compliance with the minimum continuing legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2015, and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Collins has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought herself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(2).

Attorney Cathleen M. Collins is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. This suspension is in addition to the suspension imposed on January 14, 2016, in ADM-2015-0087, In the Matter of Cathleen M. Collins, for failure to file her 2015 annual trust accounting certificate of compliance.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

ISSUED: March 23, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2016-0023
In the Matter of Eric M. Schroeder, Esquire

On February 10, 2016, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Eric M. Schroeder to file his certificate of compliance with the minimum continuing legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2015, and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Schroeder has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought himself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(2).

Attorney Eric M. Schroeder is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. This suspension is in addition to the suspension imposed on December 22, 2015, in ADM-2015-0082, In the Matter of Eric M. Schroeder, for failure attend a practical skills course within two years of the date of his admission to the bar, and on December 22, 2015, in ADM-2015-0100, In the Matter of Eric M. Schroeder, for failure to file his 2015 annual trust accounting certificate of compliance.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

ISSUED: March 23, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2016-0028
In the Matter of Irina Rubinshtein, Esquire

On February 11, 2016, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Irina Rubinshtein to file her certificate of compliance with the minimum continuing legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2015, and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Irina Rubinshtein has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought herself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(2).

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

Attorney Rubinshtein 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, April 25, 2016, that she has completed this task. On or before Thursday, May 5, 2016, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Rubinshtein’s files and to take action to protect the interests of her clients.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

ISSUED: March 23, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2016-0030
In the Matter of Michael M. Harrington, Esquire

On March 8, 2016, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Michael M. Harrington to file his certificate of compliance with the minimum continuing legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2015, and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Michael M. Harrington has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought himself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(2).

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

Attorney Michael M. Harrington 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 Friday, April 29, 2016, that he has completed this task. On or before Monday, May 11, 2016, the Attorney Discipline Office shall advise the court if it believes that an attorney should be appointed to make an inventory of Attorney Michael M. Harrington’s files and to take action to protect the interests of his clients.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

ISSUED: March 29, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2016-0031
In the Matter of Joseph K. Goodwin, Esquire

On March 8, 2016, this court issued an order requiring Attorney Joseph K. Goodwin to file his certificate of compliance with the minimum continuing legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2015, and to pay the late fees assessed, or be suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Joseph K. Goodwin has neither responded to the show cause order, nor brought himself into compliance with Supreme Court Rule 53.7(A)(2).

Attorney Joseph K. Goodwin is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire. This suspension is in addition to the suspension imposed on December 22, 2015, in ADM-2015-0079, In the Matter of Joseph K. Goodwin, for failure to file his 2015 annual trust accounting certificate of compliance.

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

ISSUED: March 29, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 51(d)(1)(A)(v), the Supreme Court of New Hampshire appoints Ari Richter to the Advisory Committee on Rules, to serve the remainder of a term expiring on December 31, 2016. Mr. Richter is appointed to replace Ralph Gault, who resigned from the committee due to other commitments.

Issued: March 30, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


In accordance with Rule 58.2(A) and (C), the Supreme Court appoints Circuit Court Judge James Carroll to the Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP) Commission. Judge Carroll is appointed to replace Marital Master Deborah Kane Rein and shall serve the remainder of a three-year term expiring on March 1, 2018.

In accordance with Rule 58.2(A) and (C), the Supreme Court appoints Attorney David Tencza to the Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP) Commission. Attorney Tencza is appointed to replace Attorney Shelley M. Randall and shall serve the remainder of a three-year term expiring on March 1, 2018.

In accordance with Rule 58.2(A) and (C), the Supreme Court appoints Attorney Christopher Nicolopoulos to the Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP) Commission. Attorney Nicolopoulos is appointed to replace Attorney John E. Tobin, Jr., whose term has expired and who is not eligible for reappointment. Attorney Nicolopoulos is appointed to serve a three-year term expiring on March 1, 2019.

The court designates Attorney Russell Hilliard to serve as chair of the LAP commission and Attorney Andrea Daly to serve as vice-chair.

Issued: March 30, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


LD-2016-0006
In the Matter of Richard C. Mooney, Esquire

On April 1, 2016, the Attorney Discipline Office (ADO) filed a petition for immediate interim suspension of Attorney Richard C. Mooney from the practice of law in New Hampshire. The ADO alleges, inter alia, that Attorney Mooney:

(1) Settled a client’s case without authority, forged his client’s name on a settlement agreement and settlement check, and fabricated documents to substantiate misrepresentations that he made to the client about the case;

(2) Filed false accounting in an estate matter in which he represented the executor, and failed to turn over the case file and funds of an estate after being discharged by the executor;

(3) Misappropriated client funds;

(4) Failed to comply with court rules relating to trust accounts and the safeguarding of client funds; and

(5) Filed false trust accounting certificates with the Supreme Court.

The ADO further alleges that an audit of Attorney Mooney’s law firm accounts demonstrates that Attorney Mooney’s trust accounts are currently “out of trust.” The ADO contends that Attorney Mooney’s immediate interim suspension from the practice of law is necessary for the protection of the public and the preservation of the integrity of the legal profession.

Supreme Court Rule 37(16)(f) provides:

The court may suspend attorneys . . . upon such terms and conditions as the court deem necessary for the protection of the public and the preservation of the integrity of the legal profession.

Based on the information submitted by the ADO in its petition, the court finds that Attorney Mooney’s immediate suspension from the practice of law 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) In accordance with Rule 37(9)(i) and (16)(f), Attorney Richard C. Mooney is immediately suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire pending resolution of four pending disciplinary matters and further order of this court.

(2) Copies of the petition for immediate interim suspension and of this order shall be served on Attorney Mooney by first class mail and certified mail at the latest address that Attorney Mooney provided to the New Hampshire Bar Association.

(3) Within 15 days from the date of this order, Attorney Mooney may request a hearing on the issue of whether the interim suspension should be lifted, which will be promptly scheduled. See Reiner’s Case, 152 N.H. 163 (2005).

(4) Attorney Mooney 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 Daniel C. Proctor is appointed to take immediate possession of the client files and trust and other fiduciary accounts of Attorney Mooney, to make an inventory of such files and accounts, and to take such action as he deems necessary to protect the interests of Attorney Mooney’s clients. Attorney Proctor is directed to take the following actions:

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

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

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

d. Attorney Proctor shall notify Attorney Mooney’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 Proctor shall make an inventory of Attorney Mooney’s client files and trust and other fiduciary accounts, and file a copy of the inventory with the court on or before July 5, 2016, 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 Mooney’s clients.

Attorney Mooney is ordered to cooperate with Attorney Proctor in performing these tasks.

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

Dalianis, C.J., and Hicks, Conboy, Lynn, and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

DATE: April 4, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


R-2016-002, In Re Suggested Amendments to Court Rules

The court has determined, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 51(f), that exceptional circumstances justify expedited consideration of a number of suggested rule amendments. On or before Friday, April 22, 2016, members of the bench, bar, legislature, executive branch or public may file with the clerk of the supreme court comments on any of the suggested rule amendments. An original and seven copies of all comments shall be filed. Comments may also be emailed to the court at: rulescomment@courts.state.nh.us.

The current rules of the New Hampshire state courts are available on the internet at www.courts.state.nh.us. A summary of the suggested rule changes follows, and the language of each of the suggested rule changes is set forth in the appendices attached to this order.

I. Strafford, Cheshire, and Belknap County Rules of Criminal Procedure

These suggested amendments would make changes to court rules to implement RSA ch. 592-B. The legislation, effective January 1, 2016 in Cheshire and Strafford Counties, becomes effective July 1, 2016 in Belknap County. It changes the procedure in Belknap County for felony complaints and misdemeanors and violation-level charges directly related to those felonies for offenses alleged to have occurred on or after July 1, 2016. See Appendices A through J.

II. Bar Admissions – Testing Accommodations

This suggested amendment to Supreme Court Rule 42(IX) would allow the Chair of the Board of Bar Examiners to designate someone to rule on requests for testing accommodations. The Board of Bar Examiners is recommending this change. As the rule is currently written, the Chair is the only person authorized to make the initial decision. The Board of Bar Examiners is concerned that the Chair may have a conflict, or that there may be another reason the application should be considered by someone else in the first instance. See Appendix K.

III. Bar Membership Renewal

These suggested amendments would implement changes in bar membership renewal. The Supreme Court and the Bar Association have been working together for more than six months to simplify the process for lawyers to renew their bar membership and comply with trust accounting and CLE requirements. The plan developed by the Court and the Bar Association will enable lawyers to file their certificates of compliance with trust accounting and CLE requirements electronically and will synchronize the dates for compliance with all requirements. In order to implement the plan, Supreme Court Rules 42A, 49, 50, 50-A and 53.1 through 53.8 will need to be amended, as set forth in Appendices L through W.

April 7, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk
Supreme Court of New Hampshire

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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