On Friday, January 13, 2023, the Professional Conduct Committee of the New Hampshire Supreme Court publicly censured attorney Michael H. Harrington, Esq., for incompetence.

The case is entitled “In the matter of Michael H. Harrington, Esq.,” with case no. LD-2022-0003

The charges cited Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.1(a), 1.3, 1.4(a)(b), 1.5(b), 1.16(d) and 1.15(b)(1).

The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

This discipline is rooted in the initial public reprimand sanctioned by Massachusetts against the respondent for failing to act with competence while handling a client in advancing 1-130 petitions and drafting a writ of mandamus in order to compel immigration authorities to act on an outstanding visa petition.

The filing states:

“Attorney Harrington requested a $500 retainer, against which he would bill at $250 an hour, but failed to prepare or transmit to the client a written detailing the scope of the representation or rate of his fee and expenses. In August 2019, Attorney Harrington sent two emails to the U.S. Embassy and attached a notice of appearance. The first email was undeliverable as it was sent to the wrong address, but the second email was delivered. At the end of August, the client contacted Attorney Harrington to find out the status of the writ and Attorney Harrington informed him that he was “almost there.”

The filing continues:

“On September 5, 2019, the client paid Attorney Harrington $200 for the filing fee for the writ. Also in September 2019, Attorney Harrington sent the client a draft of the writ of mandamus that was incomplete in that it did not include the name of the client’s wife and daughter, the date the client became a U.S. citizen, or the date the I-130 was filed. Thereafter, Attorney Harrington failed to perform any additional work on behalf of his client and never finished or filed the writ of mandamus. During the middle of September, the client attempted repeatedly to contact Attorney Harrington by telephone and text messages. On September 14, 2019, Attorney Harrington reprimanded the client for calling too often and told him to find another attorney. Attorney Harrington also told the client, “You will get the Complaint when I send it to you.” The client reminded Attorney Harrington that he had already paid the filing fee, but Attorney Harrington thereafter failed to pay or return the fee.”

Due to all of these instances, the client of the respondent continued to visas without any assistance from the respondent. Although the latter refunded all fees to the client, the Massachusetts court publicly reprimanded the respondent. In connection to this, the New Hampshire Supreme Court Professional Conduct Committee believed that reciprocal discipline should be imposed on the respondent in the State of New Hampshire as well.

The Disposition states:

“Accordingly, the Committee issues a Public Censure to Michael M.. Harrington, Esquire., as a reciprocal discipline based on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers’ order dated April 13, 2022.”

Mr. Harringston attended the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. He practices in Boston, Massachusetts. He is licensed in Massachusetts. His info can be found on Linkedin.com.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.