Bar News - December 21, 2016
Professional Conduct Committee
Coravos, Anastasia advs. Attorney
Discipline Office - #09-015
SUMMARY OF PUBLIC CENSURE AND ORDER ON COSTS
On March 11, 2007, Ms. Coravos became the sole attorney employee of Noble Trust Company (“Noble”). Ms. Coravos was employed by Noble for less than one year, from approximately March 11, 2007, to February 2008. This was Ms. Coravos’s first job as an attorney. Noble was a non-depository financial institution chartered under the laws of the State of New Hampshire in September 2003. Noble maintained its operational headquarters at 900 Elm Street, Suite 701, Manchester. It provided investment advice and executed investment decisions on behalf of its customers. In early 2008, the New Hampshire Banking Department conducted an examination of Noble and discovered irregularities in Noble’s operations. On February 11, 2008, the Banking Commissioner commenced a liquidation proceeding in the Merrimack County Superior Court. (In the Matter of the Liquidation of Noble Trust Company, Docket No. 08-E-0053.)
The parties stipulated that Ms. Coravos knowingly violated New Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1 and 8.4(a). Ms. Coravos had a duty as legal counsel to Noble to develop specific knowledge about the area of law in which she practiced; to perform her practice with technique and skill; to identify those areas beyond her competence; and to bring those areas to the client’s attention. Ms. Coravos breached her duties of competence. Ms. Coravos, an inexperienced lawyer, became concerned enough with Mr. Marino’s referrals that she developed a spreadsheet which set forth the total value that had been submitted to the insurance companies as equating to over 162% of the 450 4th Trust. She also brought the issue to the attention of Mr. Lindsey, her direct supervisor, who was also the President of Noble and the Chairman of the Board. See Rule 1.13. However, having heard Mr. Lindsey’s explanation, Ms. Coravos took no further steps to verify it. Ms. Coravos failed to reach out to more experienced counsel, who might have helped her understand whether Mr. Lindsey’s explanation was plausible. She also failed to recommend to Mr. Lindsey that he seek further advice. Instead, Ms. Coravos continued to process Marino applicants.
The Professional Conduct Committee concluded that there was clear and convincing evidence that Ms. Coravos has violated Rules 1.1 and 8.4(a) of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The Committee issued a Pubic Censure, and reimbursement of all costs associated with the investigation and prosecution. An Order is available at www.nhattyreg.org and at the Attorney Discipline Office at 4 Chenell Drive, Suite 102, Concord, NH 03301.
December 6, 2016