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In re Crossen

880 N.E.2d 352 (2008)

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In re Crossen

Massachusetts Supreme Court

880 N.E.2d 352 (2008)

Facts

Attorney Gary Crossen worked as a prosecutor before representing a member of the Demoulas family in a shareholder derivative suit seeking control of the Demoulas supermarket chain. Crossen sought to recuse a judge on grounds of bias against Crossen’s clients. Crossen set up an elaborate plan to surveil and record sham interviews of the judge’s former law clerk, involving multiple attorneys using fake identities, businesses, and business cards and traveling to New York to avoid Massachusetts law that prohibited surreptitious recording. The interviewers asked the law clerk about the judge’s determinative process and bias toward the Demoulas family. During one interview, the law clerk admitted submitting a recommendation from someone he did not know with his state bar application. Crossen threatened to expose the law clerk’s statements unless he testified that the judge held bias against the Demoulas family in the shareholder derivative suit by a certain deadline, and Crossen falsely told the law clerk that an earlier meeting had been tape-recorded. The disciplinary board concluded that Crossen had violated multiple ethical rules and recommended disbarment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, C.J.)

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