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Bar News - July 20, 2016


Supreme Court Orders

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 2016-03
HOLIDAY SCHEDULE FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2017

Pursuant to its rule making authority and RSA 490:4, the Supreme Court promulgates the following holidays during calendar year 2017:

1. Observance of New Year’s Day
Civil Rights Day
Monday January 2, 2017
2. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday January 16, 2017
3. Washington’s Birthday Monday February 20, 2017
4. Memorial Day Monday May 29, 2017
5. Day Before Independence Day Monday July 3, 2017
6. Independence Day Tuesday July 4, 2017
7. Labor Day Monday September 4, 2017
8. Columbus Day Monday October 9, 2017
9. Observance of Veteran’s Day Friday November 10, 2017
10. Thanksgiving Day Thursday November 23, 2017
11. Day after Thanksgiving Friday November 24, 2017
12. Christmas Day Monday December 25, 2017

LD-2014-0011
In the Matter of Zachary A. Cross, Esquire

On July 21, 2015, the Attorney Discipline Office filed certified copies of court records showing that the respondent, Attorney Zachary A. Cross, had been convicted of the offenses of official oppression, a misdemeanor, and possession of a controlled drug, a felony. After receiving notification of the convictions, the court referred the matter to the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) for a recommendation as to the sanction that should be imposed for the respondent’s misconduct. After proceedings, the PCC recommended that the respondent be suspended for a period of three years conditioned upon his compliance with certain conditions, and that he be required to reimburse the PCC for all costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of this matter.

After the PCC filed its recommendation, an order was issued, in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 37(16), notifying the respondent and Disciplinary Counsel of the recommendation and advising them to notify the court of any legal or factual issues relating to the 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.

The PCC found that the respondent’s conduct violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct:

(1) Rule 8.4(b), which makes it professional misconduct for a lawyer to commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects; and

(2) Rule 8.4(a), which makes it professional misconduct for a lawyer to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct.

The PCC recommends that the respondent be suspended for a period of three years conditioned upon his compliance with three conditions: (1) that he comply with all the conditions set forth in the Monitoring Agreement that he entered into with the New Hampshire Lawyers Assistance Program; (2) that he not engage in any further professional misconduct; and (3) that he not engage in any further criminal conduct. It also recommends that the respondent be responsible for all costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of this matter.

We have reviewed the record of the PCC proceedings and we accept its findings and rulings as to the rule violations. We also accept its recommendation that the respondent be suspended for a period of three years, conditioned upon his compliance with the above conditions, and that he be assessed the cost of investigating and prosecuting this matter.

THEREFORE, Attorney Zachary A. Cross is hereby suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire for a period of three years, effective immediately. Attorney Cross is assessed all of the expenses incurred by the Professional Conduct Committee in the investigation and prosecution of this matter. See Rule 37(19).

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

DATE: June 13, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


LD-2016-0007
In the Matter of Peter A. Riley, Esquire

On April 5, 2016, the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) filed a recommendation that Attorney Peter A. Riley be disbarred. An order of notice was issued, in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 37(16), notifying Attorney Riley 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.

The PCC found by clear and convincing evidence that Attorney Riley violated the following Rules of Professional Conduct:

1. Rule 3.3 prohibits a lawyer from making false statements of fact or law to a tribunal and prohibits a lawyer from offering evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. The PCC found that Attorney Riley knowingly and intentionally failed to adequately disclose in financial affidavits, which he filed in a post-divorce matter, the existence of and/or the amounts of money that he had in three accounts. It also found that he knowingly and intentionally provided inaccurate financial affidavits to a family division court and offered evidence that he knew to be false;

2. Rule 3.4, among other things, prohibits a lawyer knowingly disobeying an obligation under the rules of a tribunal, and from failing to make a reasonably diligent effort to comply with a legally proper discovery request by an opposing party. The PCC found that Attorney Riley violated this rule when he knowingly disobeyed his obligation to be accurate and truthful in the financial affidavits that he filed in accordance with family division rules and when he failed to make a reasonably diligent effort to ascertain the balances in his bank accounts when submitting information to the family division court in post-divorce proceedings;

3. Rule 8.4(c) prohibits a lawyer from engaging in conduct involving deceit, dishonesty, or misrepresentation. The PCC found that Attorney Riley violated this rule by intentionally and knowingly filing false financial affidavits with the family division court; and

4. Rule 8.4(a) prohibits a lawyer from violating the Rules of Professional Conduct. The PCC found that Attorney Riley violated this rule by violating the above Rules of Professional Conduct.

The court has reviewed the PCC’s recommendation and the record of its proceedings, and it accepts the PCC’s finding and rulings. After considering the nature, seriousness, and extent of Attorney Riley’s misconduct, the court concludes that disbarment is the appropriate sanction in this case.

THEREFORE, the court orders that Peter A. Riley 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: June 14, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


In accordance with Supreme Court Rule 53.8, the Supreme Court appoints Attorney Scott Harris, incoming President-Elect of the New Hampshire Bar Association, to the NHMCLE Board.

In his discretion, Attorney Harris may designate another New Hampshire Bar Association officer to serve on the board in his place.

Issued: June 14, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire


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

On March 23, 2016, this court issued an order, in accordance with Rule 53.7(A)(2), suspending Attorney Irina Rubinshtein from the practice of law in New Hampshire for failing to file her certificate of compliance with the minimum continuing legal education requirements for the reporting year ending June 30, 2015, and for failing to pay the delinquency fees assessed.

The Minimum Continuing Legal Education Board has advised the court that Attorney Rubinshtein has now complied with the minimum continuing legal education requirements and paid the delinquency fees assessed. It has filed a motion requesting that Attorney Rubinshtein be reinstated to the practice of law in New Hampshire. The motion to reinstate Attorney Rubinshtein to the practice of law is granted. Attorney Rubinshtein is hereby reinstated to the practice of law in New Hampshire.

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

ISSUED: June 13, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2016-0043
In the Matter of Linda A. Jenkins, Esq.

On May 16, 2016, Attorney Linda A. Jenkins was suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire by this court after having been suspended by the New Hampshire Bar Association for more than six months for failing to pay her 2015/2016 bar dues. The court has been advised by the New Hampshire Bar Association that Attorney Jenkins has now paid all outstanding bar dues and fees, and Attorney Jenkins has filed a motion requesting, among other things, that she be reinstated to the practice of law. Attorney Jenkins’ request for reinstatement to the practice of law in New Hampshire is granted. Attorney Jenkins’ requests for a refund of her bar dues and for other relief are denied.

Attorney Jenkins is reinstated to the practice of law in New Hampshire effective immediately.

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

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


ADM-2016-0042
In the Matter of Miriam L. Hogan, Esq.

On May 16, 2016, Attorney Miriam L. Hogan was suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire by this court after having been suspended by the New Hampshire Bar Association for more than six months for failing to pay her 2015/2016 bar dues. The court has been advised by the New Hampshire Bar Association that Attorney Hogan has now paid all outstanding bar dues and fees.

Attorney Hogan has filed a motion for reinstatement to the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Hogan’s motion for reinstatement is granted. Attorney Hogan is reinstated to the practice of law in New Hampshire effective immediately.

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

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


LD-2016-0013
In the Matter of Brandon D. Ross, Esquire

On June 30, 2016, the Attorney Discipline Office (ADO) filed a “Stipulation to Disbarment” entered into by Attorney Brandon D. Ross and the ADO disciplinary counsel. In the stipulation, Attorney Ross agreed that he had violated several Rules of Professional Conduct in his handling of a special needs trust. Specifically, Attorney Ross conceded that he had misappropriated a significant sum of money that he was holding in a special needs trust. In the stipulation, Attorney Ross also conceded that disbarment is the appropriate sanction for his misconduct.

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

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

Based on the information contained in the stipulation, the court finds that Attorney Ross’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(16)(d) and (f), Attorney Brandon D. Ross is immediately suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire pending resolution of this disciplinary matter and further order of this court.

(2) Copies of the Stipulation for Disbarment and of this order shall be served on Attorney Ross by first class mail and certified mail at the latest address that Attorney Ross provided to the New Hampshire Bar Association.

(3) Within 15 days from the date of this order, Attorney Ross 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 Ross is enjoined from transferring, assigning, hypothecating, or in any manner disposing of or conveying any assets of clients, whether real, personal, beneficial or mixed.

In accordance with Supreme Court Rule 16(b), the “professional conduct committee shall initiate disciplinary proceedings requesting a discipline of greater than six (6) months in this court by filing the professional conduct committee’s recommendation and the record of the proceedings with this court.” It appears that the “Stipulation for Disbarment” has not been reviewed by the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC). On or before August 1, 2016, the PCC shall review the “Stipulation to Disbarment” and submit its recommendation for discipline to the court.

Conboy, Lynn, and Bassett, JJ., concurred.

DATE: June 30, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


LD-2016-0011
In the Matter of Gary J. Wood, Esquire

On May 17, 2016, the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) filed a recommendation that Attorney Gary J. Wood be disbarred. The PCC’s recommendation was based on a “Stipulation to Disbarment” signed by Attorney Wood and Disciplinary Counsel, in which Attorney Wood admitted that the material facts set forth in the notices of charges filed by the Attorney Discipline Office (ADO) were true, and that the material facts found by the ADO’s auditor were true. The audit demonstrated that Attorney Wood misappropriated client funds in his possession, routinely paid himself fees before they were earned, commingled client funds with his own funds, and operated his IOLTA account with a deficit or “out of trust.”

In the stipulation, Attorney Wood admitted that violations of the following Rules of Professional Conduct could be proven by clear and convincing evidence:

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

2. Rule 1.3, which requires a lawyer to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client;

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

4. Rule 1.15, which requires a lawyer to safeguard the property of clients or third persons in his possession and Supreme Court Rules 50 and 50-A, which establish requirements for lawyer trust accounts;

5. Rule 3.3, which prohibits a lawyer from making false statements of fact or law to a tribunal;

6. Rule 3.4(c), which prohibits a lawyer from knowingly disobeying an obligation under the rules of a tribunal;

7. Rule 4.4, which prohibits a lawyer from taking any action with the primary purpose of embarrassing, delaying or burdening a third person;

8. Rule 8.1(b), which prohibits a lawyer from failing to respond to a lawful demand for information from a disciplinary authority;

9. Rule 8.4(b), which makes it professional misconduct for a lawyer to commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer;

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

11. Rule 8.4(a), which prohibits a lawyer from violating the Rules of Professional Conduct.

After the PCC filed its recommendation for disbarment, an order was issued, in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 37(16), notifying Attorney Wood 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 was filed.

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

THEREFORE, the court orders that Gary J. Wood 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: July 11, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk


ADM-2016-0039
In the Matter of Leonard T. Evers, Esquire

On May 16, 2016, Attorney Leonard T. Evers was suspended from the practice of law in New Hampshire by this court after having been suspended by the New Hampshire Bar Association for more than six months for failing to pay his 2015/2016 bar dues. The court has been advised by the New Hampshire Bar Association that Attorney Evers has now paid all outstanding bar dues and fees.

Attorney Evers has filed a petition for reinstatement to the practice of law in New Hampshire. Attorney Evers’ petition for reinstatement is granted. Attorney Evers is reinstated to the practice of law in New Hampshire effective immediately.

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

DATE: July 11, 2016
ATTEST: Eileen Fox, Clerk

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