February 6, 2008
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I have written several times about the disciplinary proceedings against several attorneys who represented the losing party in the Demoulas cases. (see here, here and here). As I described in the first of these blog entries: The saga of how Gary Crossen (then of Foley, Hoag & Eliot and former ethics counsel to two Massachusetts Governors), Richard Donahue (a former President of the Massachusetts Bar Association, chair of its Commission on Professionalism and President of Nike, Inc.), and Kevin Curry, a former Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General, lured the judge’s former law clerk out-of-state in order to tape record his “confession,” attempted to bully him into signing an affidavit, conducted surveillance on him, and more, is described in agonizing detail in the 229 page decision. As a fan of hard boiled detective novels (including Boston’s current claim to fame, Dennis LeHane, author of Mystic River and other engrossing works), I can only say that in Boston, reality is stranger than fiction. After years of hearings and delays Bar Counsel issued her decision recommending the “ultimate sanction,” disbarment of all three attorneys. Her decision is now working its way through the Board of Bar Overseers and will ultimately be in the hands of a single Justice of the State Supreme Judicial Court. The consensus in the community appears to be that bar counsel’s decision will be followed. Bar Counsel’s recommendation of disbarment…
February 5, 2008
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Judges need to keep learning too, and a major source of education for them is the Federal Judicial Center, an organization dedicated to judicial education. In fact, the FJC site is pretty cool. For example, here is a page that provides the biography of every federal judge (all courts, from District Court to Supreme Court), since 1789. Here is the bio of Judge Andrew A. Caffrey (deceased), who made me sweat quite a bit during this 37 day trial back in the early 1980s. In any event, the FJC publishes various learning materials for judges, and last year they published a short work titled, Managing Discovery of Electronic Information: A Pocket Guide for Judges, authored by Judge Barbara J. Rothstein and former U.S. Magistrate Ronald J. Hedges. As I’ve noted in the past, electronically stored information (or ESI, as its known), presents enormous challenges to lawyers and judges, almost all of whom were educated long before the last decade’s explosion in ESI. This Pocket Guide is important reading for lawyers practicing in the federal courts since it’s reasonable to assume that (a) the federal judge before whom you’re appearing probably has a copy sitting on the corner of his or her desk, gratis from the FJC, and (b) it may constitute the entirety, or close to it, of what the judge knows about ESI.