In The News

News - 2017

Feb. 2017

Howard Cooper quoted in article on due process concerns in attorney disciplinary matters

Howard M. Cooper was quoted in a Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article on continuing due process concerns in Massachusetts attorney disciplinary matters.

The article highlights a concern that the current burden of proof in Massachusetts to determine if an attorney has violated an ethics rule – preponderance of the evidence – should be changed to the higher burden of "clear and convincing evidence" used in the vast majority of states around the country.

Mr. Cooper said he favors the clear-and-convincing standard "given the stakes. Keep in mind we live in an era of global communication.  Any disciplinary mark on an attorney's record that is not a private reprimand is indelible and, frankly, ruinous," he told the publication.

Speeding up the attorney-discipline process is another concern raised in the article.

The article reports that the average time for processing professional responsibility matters has lessened in recent years.

Nonetheless, improvements are still needed, according to Mr. Cooper.

"I've seen lawyers worn down by the process, financially and emotionally," he said in the article. "We have to do better."