I have to admit that I was a little mystified when I read about the recent Massachusetts Discipline committee’s decision to disbar three prominent Boston attorneys, whose resumes included high government posts and stints at biglaw) biglaws. Among other things, the attorneys had duped and tormented a judge’s law clerk in hopes of gaining an admission that the judge he’d clerked for had been predisposed against those lawyers’ clients from the outset of the case. (To learn more about the decision and the hideous treatment of the clerk, visit links at Bob Ambrogi’s Legal Line blog that first picked up on the story, as well as additional discussion at Legal Ethics Forum and David Giacalone )
Still, it’s not every day that the bars discipline well connected attorneys. But then I read this article Boston Legal Community Abuzz Over Disbarment
(5/14/05) and it all made sense. Seems that the Ellen Carpenter, the
hearing officer who painstakingly drafted the 229 page decision is a shingler with her own practice – in fact, one who we blogged about here several years ago. Could including more solo and small firm lawyers on discipline panels be what it takes to ensure that complaints against prominent attorneys are treated as seriously as those against solo and small firm lawyers? Or is this just all a coincidence?