The respondent received a six-month suspension from the practice of law for misrepresenting his qualifications during a job search, as described below.
The respondent received a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University in 1997 and a Juris Doctor degree from Washington and Lee University in 2002. In 2008, the respondent enrolled as a student in the Graduate Tax program at Boston University (LL.M. program). Although the respondent attended classes in the LL.M. program from September 2, 2008, to May 8, 2009 (as a full-time student), and from January 12, 2010, to May 7, 2010 (as a part-time student), he never graduated.
After leaving the LL.M program, the respondent began a job search and contacted a Minnesota law firm that was seeking to hire a tax and estate planning attorney. The respondent provided the firm with his resume, in which he intentionally made the following misrepresentations: (i) he received an LL.M. degree from Boston University School of Law in May of 2010; (ii) he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Tufts University in May of 1997; and (iii) while attending Tufts University, he was on the “Dean’s Honor List” on three separate occasions, was the recipient of a department scholarship and a prize for overall achievement, and was a six-time varsity letter winner in hockey and lacrosse. He also falsely claimed to have worked as an attorney at another law firm for two years; he had only worked there for less than a year.
The respondent also provided the Minnesota law firm with a purported copy of his grade report from the LL.M. program. The respondent had altered this report to show that he graduated from the LL.M. program by increasing his grades in several subjects and inflated his overall grade point average.
In the course of this job search, the respondent also knowingly made similar misrepresentations about his professional qualifications and employment record in a publicly available, online directory of lawyers. The respondent did not obtain employment at the Minnesota law firm. He has since removed all false information from his online profile and from his resume.
The respondent’s actions constituted dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(c), and constituted conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law in violation of Mass. R. Prof. C. 8.4(h).