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In re Curry

880 N.E.2d 388 (2008)

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In re Curry

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

880 N.E.2d 388 (2008)

Facts

Telemachus Demoulas was involved in litigation with his brother, George Demoulas, over control of the family’s $1 billion supermarket business. Superior Court Judge Maria Lopez presided over the case. Several years into the litigation, Judge Lopez issued a key decision and opinion in George’s favor. As the litigation continued, attorney Kevin Curry (defendant) and private investigator Ernest Reid approached Telemachus. Without any basis, Curry and Reid attacked Lopez’s character, including claiming that Lopez took a bribe from George, and said that they could find evidence proving that Lopez was biased against Telemachus. Telemachus hired Curry. Curry then learned that the law clerk who had helped Lopez write the key opinion was looking for private employment. Curry and Reid created an elaborate, fake dream job with a fake interview process, complete with travel to multiple locations, in order to trick the former law clerk into saying things about Lopez. Believing that the dream job depended on having written the key opinion by himself, the clerk said that Lopez had decided in advance that George should win and had told the clerk to write the entire opinion. The clerk likely also said some damaging things about Lopez’s work habits and involvement in the decision process in order to impress the fake interviewers. Eventually, Telemachus had another attorney take over Curry’s role in the deception, and Curry stepped out. A few years later, the Office of Bar Counsel (plaintiff) charged Curry with violating multiple rules of professional conduct during his investigation of Lopez and his deception of the former law clerk. After an extensive evidentiary hearing, the hearing officer recommended disbarring Curry, and the Board of Bar Overseers (board) adopted the recommendation. Curry appealed the ruling to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Greaney, J.)

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