A prominent Boston criminal defense lawyer, Stephen B. Hrones represented the man who called himself Clark Rockefeller has had his law license suspended by the state’s highest court. On 9th September, 2010 a Boston has suspended from practicing law for one year and one day for “forming a business arrangement with a nonlawyer” due to convicted of a shocking murder. As per the SJC, Hrones sought to reduce the penalty to a three-month suspension. “I don’t have any comment on it, except to say I will be back,” Hrones said in a telephone interview this afternoon.
Porter who is law school graduate and had not passed the bar examination, made a relationship with Hrones. Lionel Porter is knowledgeable person in discrimination law. He had appeared before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination on behalf of the NAACP. With Hrones getting 1/3 of the fees, the court said Hrones decided to allow Porter share office space to help develop a practice in employment discrimination. Hrones said he hadn’t read the decision and had no comment. The Supreme Judicial Court unanimously backed the disciplinary action taken against Hrones by the Board of Bar Overseers.
Justice Francis X. Spina wrote for the court said, “We conclude that the total effect of his conduct was to assist Porter in the unauthorized practice of law”.”Lawyers who employ nonattorneys are required to supervise the delegated work and retain responsibility for the nonattorney’s work.” Hrones “engaged in misconduct that spanned three years, involved at least forty clients, and resulted in prejudice to the claims of numerous clients.” His conduct “warrants the suspension of (Hrones) for the recommended sanction of one year and one day,” the court said.
Rockefeller whose real name was Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter and Donnell Johnson, who was convicted of the 1996 murder of 9-year-old Jermaine Goffigan. Both of them have included in the clients of Hrones but later Suffolk prosecutors dropped him. Hrones started serving the suspension today and will have to apply for reinstatement before he can resume practicing law again. In the year 1972, he passed the bar.
“Lawyers who employ non-attorneys are required to supervise the delegated work and retain responsibility for the nonattorney’s work,” the justices wrote. “The Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct indicate that failure to do so could result in a charge of assistance in the unauthorized practice of law.”