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BOSTON � The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial ordered that two attorneys be disbarred for a plot to trick a judge’s former law clerk while investigating the possible bias of a former state judge in a civil case. The state’s Board of Bar Overseers recommended disbarment for Kevin Curry and Gary Crossen, who helped set up fake job interviews to pump the former clerk for information. The interviews were also secretly taped. In the Matter of Kevin P. Curry, No. SJC-09904 (Mass.), In the Matter of Gary C. Crossen, No. SJC-09905 (Mass.) Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall wrote that Curry “engaged in egregious, multiple, and prolonged violations of the disciplinary rules” and convinced discontented litigants that the judge had “fixed” a shareholder derivative case brought by one branch of a family that owned a chain of supermarkets against another. “[He] caused needless embarrassment to a judge, an attorney, and their respective families; mocked the foundations of good-faith dealings and respect for the orderly administration of justice on which the legal profession stands; and damaged the public’s perception of our legal system,” wrote Marshall. In the Crossen decision, Marshall wrote that he was “a willing participant, and at times a driving force, in a web of false, deceptive, and threatening behavior designed to impugn the integrity of sitting judge.” She also noted that Crossen’s behavior was “not conduct on the uncertain border between zealous advocacy and dishonorable tactics.” “It struck at the heart of the lawyer’s professional obligations of good faith and honesty,” Marshall wrote. “Crossen’s conduct was so egregious and extensive that no reasonable attorney could have believed it comported with the solemn ethical obligations of attorneys.” A third lawyer implicated in the scheme, Richard K. Donahue Sr., was suspended for three years on Dec. 7, 2006. It’s a “sad day” for the legal profession when a “40-year attorney with no prior disciplinary record can be disbarred for zealous advocacy which uncovered judicial impropriety,” said Curry’s attorney Terry Philip Segal, special counsel in the Boston office of Philadelphia’s Duane Morris. Segal also noted that the FBI determined that Curry’s actions were “not illegal.” Crossen’s attorney Thomas R. Kiley of Quincy, Mass-based Cosgrove, Eisenberg & Kiley could not immediately be reached for comment. Most lawyers wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the conduct in this case violated the rules of professional misconduct, said first assistant bar counsel Nancy E. Kaufman, who prosecuted the case. “The conduct in these cases was well within the areas lawyers know are problem areas,” Kaufman said.

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