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Supreme Court Conduct Committee Document on Richard Foley

Supreme Court Conduct Committee Document on Richard Foley

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Published by SMGNH
Supreme Court Conduct Committee Document on Richard Foley
Supreme Court Conduct Committee Document on Richard Foley

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Published by: SMGNH on Oct 22, 2013
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10/08/2014

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New
HampshireSupremeCourt
Professional
ConductCommittee
acommittee
of
theattorneydisciplinesystem
David
M.
Rothstein,
Chair
4
Chenell
Drive,
Suite
102
ElaineHolden*
BenettePizzimenti,ViceChairConcord,NewHampshire03301HeatherE.KransToniM.Gray,*ViceChair603-224-5828
Fax228-9511RichardD.Sager
Susan
R.
Chollet*
Martha
VanOot
ThomasP.ConnairMaryElizabethTenn
AlanJ.Cronheim*nonattorneymember
RichardH.DarlingHollyB.Fazzino,Administrator
Foley,RichardN.advs.RobinSawyer
#
11-011
SIXMONTH
SUSPENSION
STAYED
FORONE
YEARWITH
CONDITIONS
OnAugust
20,2013,
theProfessionalConductCommitteedeliberatedtheabove-
captionedmatter.Thefollowingmemberswerepresent:DavidM.Rothstein,Chair,Benette
Pizzimenti,ViceChair,ToniM.Gray,ViceChair,SusanR.Chollet,
Alan
J.Cronheim,Richard
H.Darling,ElaineHolden,HeatherE.Krans,RichardD.Sager,MaryElizabethTenn.Martha
VanOotandThomasP.Connairwereabsent.ThepartiessubmittedanAssented-ToMotionto
PermitWaiver
of
FormalProceedingsandforFinalRuling.TheCommitteevotedtograntthe
Assented-ToMotiontoPermitWaiver
of
FormalProceedings.
TheCommitteemakesfactualfindingsandrulingsasdetailedbelow:
I.
FINDINGSOF
FACT
TheProfessionalConductCommitteevotedtoaccepttheStipulationastotheFacts,by
clear
and
convincingevidence:
1.RichardN.Foley,Esq.,isaNewHampshireattorneywhowasadmittedtothe
New
HampshireBaronOctober31,1994.Atalltimesmaterialtothis
proceeding,Mr.Foleyhasmaintainedalawofficeat55MarketStreet,
Portsmouth,
New
Hampshire.
2.Mr.FoleyhasalsobeenadmittedtopracticelawinMassachusetts.Hewas
admitted
to
theMassachusetts
BaronDecember
13,
1988.
 
3.Mr.
Foley's
practiceatthetime
of
theeventsgivingrisetothisdisciplinarymatter
wasalmostexclusivelydevotedtocriminaldefensemattersinwhichheaccepted
flatfees.Mr.Foleywasnotaccustomedtobillingforhistime.
4.TheComplainant,RobinSawyer,filedacomplaintwiththeAttorneyDiscipline
Office(ADO)byletter
of
October8,2010,followedbyadditional
correspondenceinOctober2010andinMay2011.Ms.SawyerclaimedthatMr.Foleyviolatedthe
New
HampshireRules
of
ProfessionalConductwhileserving
ashercounselinadomesticrelationsmatterpendinginPortsmouthFamily
Division(CaseNo.670-2009-DM-00246).
5.Atalltimesrelevanttothismatter,Mr.FoleyhadinplaceanIOLTAclienttrust
accountat
TD
Bank.
He
also
maintained
anaccountatOceanBankwhich
appearstobeapersonalaccountbuthasbeenutilizedasalawfirmoperating
account.Mr.Foleyalsomaintainedvariouspersonal
bank
accounts,includingat
leastoneatNortheastCreditUnion(accountnumberendingin6051),intowhichhedepositedfundsrelatingtoMs.Sawyer'srepresentation.
Robin
SawyerRepresentation
6.Ms.SawyerwasmarriedtoPatrickSawyeronDecember1,2007.ThedomesticrelationsproceedinginPortsmouthFamilyDivisionwasinitiatedbyMr.SawyeronJuly6,2009.ADecree
of
Divorcewasissuedon
May
21,2010,followingwhichMs.Sawyer,throughMr.Foley,filedanappealwiththe
New
HampshireSupremeCourt.TheappealwasdismissedonAugust12,2010.7.Priortohisappearanceinthesubjectdomesticrelationsmatter,Mr.FoleydefendedMs.SawyerinJune2009inanassaultchargearisingout
of
aconfrontationwithMr.Sawyer.
8.Mr.FoleyrepresentedMs.Sawyerinthecriminalassaultcaseonaflat
($2,500)feebasis.HedepositedthatfeeintohisOceanBankaccount.
9.Mr.FoleyhadnowrittenfeeagreementwithMs.Sawyerregardinghis
representationinthedomesticrelationsmatter.Mr.Foleyorallyagreedto
representMs.Sawyerfor$200perhour.Healsorequestedaretainer,payableat
suchtimeastheCourtauthorizedtherelease
of
joint
fundsinthemaritalestate.
10.Ms.Sawyer
had
verylittlefunds
of
her
own,
andotherthan
theinitialretainer,
anyreplenishment
of
theretainerwouldcomefromtherelease
of
jointfundsfrom
themarital
estate.
Page
2
of
18
 
11.Mr.
Foleyhad
nodiscussion
with
Ms.
Sawyerabout
periodicbilling,
theamount
of
retainerrequired,or
how
anyexhaustedretainerwouldbereplenishedin
connectionwiththedomestic
relationsmatter.
12.Mr.Foleydidnotkeepcontemporaneousrecords
of
timespentonMs.
Sawyer's
matter.Atnopointduringthependency
of
thedivorceproceedingsdidMr.FoleyprovideMs.Sawyerwithanyaccounting
of
histimespentonhermatter.Rather,attheconclusion
of
therepresentation,inJuly2010,heprovided
her
withagood
faithreconstruction
of
timespentonhermatterasafinalaccounting(hereinafter
"Summary
of
Activity").
13.OnJuly13,2009,Ms.SawyertenderedaretainercheckmadepayabletoMr.
Foleyintheamount
of
$2,500.Mr.Foleydepositedthecheckinhisoperating
account
at
Ocean
Bank,
butit
was
returned
for"notsufficient
funds."1
14.Ms.
Sawyer
replaced
the
returnedcheck
withanotherone
in
thesameamount,
datedJuly22,2009,whichMr.Foleysuccessfullycashedthroughhispersonal
account
atNortheast
CreditUnion.
15.Thoughhisfeeswerenotyetearned,neithercheckwasdepositedintoMr.
Foley's
clienttrustaccount.
16.Mr.
Foleyhad
nocontemporaneoustime
and
billingrecordsassociated
with
his
representation
of
Ms.Sawyeras
of
theJuly22,2009payment.17.AccordingtohisSummary
of
Activity,Mr.Foleyhad,as
of
July22,2009,earned
$1,560infees.Therefore,$940wasunearnedatthetimehepaidhimselfthefull
$2,500fromMs.Sawyer'sJuly22,2009check.
18.InitsTemporaryDecree
of
September15,2009,theCourtorderedthatall
of
theSawyers'jointlyheldfundsas
of
July16,2009,less$20,000,beplacedinan
interest-bearingescrowaccountsetupbyMr.FoleyatNortheastCreditUnion
(the
"escrow
account").Eachpartywastoreceiveanequalshare
of
the$20,000"tousetomaintainthemselvespendingafurtherOrder
of
thisCourt."
19.TheescrowaccountwasestablishedbyMr.FoleyonSeptember24,2009,andall
of
theparties'funds($66,811.18),except$20,000,weredepositedtherein.
20.Mr.FoleydistributedMr.Sawyer's$10,000sharetohim,butout
of
the$10,000
distributionintendedforMs.Sawyer,Mr.Foleyretained$5,000forlegalfees.
1Theinformationregardingspecificbankaccountsandwithdrawalsanddepositstherefromis
containedintheAuditReportdatedDecember14,2012andpreparedbyCraigCalaman,
CPA.ThatreportisherebyincorporatedbyreferenceandattachedasEx.A.
Page
3
of
18

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