Bozena Czeremcha, submitted a complaint on April 14, 2015, regarding William Y. Christie Jr., Esq. As a former paralegal for Christie Jr., Czeremcha alleges that the staff in the office essentially worked unsupervised, Christie Jr. misused his IOLTA funds, signed a release without his client’s consent, sent an inexperienced attorney to handle his matters in court, and had a substance abuse problem. Christie Jr. has allegedly violated Mass.R.Prof.C 1.4(a)&(b), 1.6(a), 1.15(b), 5.1, 5.2, 5.3(a)&(b), 8.4(a), and 8.4(c).
In Czeremcha’s complaint she points out various different issues that arose while working for Christie Jr. These are not necessarily “facts” but claims that require further investigation, as Czeremcha did not provide any concrete evidence of misconduct. Christie Jr.’s, office has had several employees over the years including paralegals and bookkeepers. Several other attorneys also worked in the office, although it is unclear if they were just sharing space or worked for Christie Jr.
The complainant alleges that Christie Jr., spent very little time in the office, and was extremely difficult to get in touch with, as he would turn of his cell and house phone. In April of 2014, Christie Jr. allegedly traveled to Nantucket and did not return home until November 2014. During this time Czeremcha asserts that “95% of the time” staff was not able to reach him and he would only occasionally call in. She also claims that although he returned home in November of 2014, he did come into the office until December 17, 2014. Shortly after this date, he left for Barbados and returned on January 2, 2015, he then once again traveled to Barbados on February 10, 2015 and returned on February 27, 2015.
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...money. Client A subsequently, changed his/her mind and asked that the entirety of the settlement was paid out to him/her rather than having any deductions sent to the client B. Client B demanded that the payment be made out of the settlement. Despite the fact the respondents said they would not get involved in a settlement dispute, they withheld the $17,000 from client A and put it in an interest-bearing account until an agreement could be reached.
Bar Counsel found that that the respondents had not authority to withhold the $17,000, from client A. Additionally, in doing so they were “protecting the claim of client B and taking a position adverse to client A.” At the time neither respondent had ever been disciplined by Bar Counsel. They agreed to “maintain malpractice insurance in amounts satisfactory to Bar Counsel and attend a continuing legal education program…”
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