On Tuesday, October 11, 2022, the Professional Conduct Committee of the New Hampshire Supreme Court recommended the disbarment of Portsmouth Attorney Steven A. Clark and payment of costs for misconduct.

The case is styled as Clark, Steven A. advs. Attorney Discipline Office, under case no. 21-018.

The charges alleged Mr. Clark to have violated the following rules of professional conduct:

Rule 1.1  – Competence

Rule 1.3 – Diligence

Rule 1.4 – Communication

Rule 1.16 – Declining or Terminating Representation

Rule 3.4(c) – Knowingly disobeying the tribunal

Rule 8.1(b) – Failure to cooperate with disciplinary process

The following are as alleged and summarized from the filing:

Respondent was hired to represent the Nelsons in August 2019 concerning a land dispute. Respondent allegedly engaged in misconduct by failing to inform his client of the ongoing developments in their case in the following 11 months, including deadlines for pretrial statements, as well as various status conferences. It was further alleged that Respondent did not appear at a scheduled trial management conference (TMC), as well as at the show cause hearing. Because of this, the Nelsons had to hire another attorney to litigate the quiet title action. Moreover, Respondent failed to file his Answer to the Notice of Charges despite proper service, which resulted in his default.

According to the filing:

“This matter was initiated upon a judicial referral from Hon. David Ruoff for Rockingham Superior Court dated August 3, 2021. Mr. Clark had failed to appear for several hearings scheduled in Scott M. Casper v. Michael B. Nelson and Cathy L. Nelson, 2018-2019-CV-013036, and failed to appear for a show cause hearing scheduled for July 29, 2021.”

The filing continues:

“On September 20, 2022, the Professional Conduct Committee deliberated the hearing Panel Report, as well as the Record in the above matter.”

The Committee approved the facts and findings of violations as found by the Hearing Panel.

With the foregoing facts and discussion, the Committee ruled against the Respondent.

The Order on Sanctions reads:

“After considering the arguments, pleadings, and evidence in the context of the four-part analysis recommended by the Standards, and the purposes of attorney discipline in New Hampshire, the Hearing Panel orders that Mr. Clark be disbarred. In addition to the sanction of disbarment, Mr. Clark is ordered to pay the costs incurred by the ADO in the investigation and enforcement of this disciplinary matter.

SO ORDERED.”

According to Avvo, Mr. Steven A. Clark practices in Portsmouth, New Hampshire where he maintains the Law Office of Steven A. Clark, PLLC. He attended the Franklin Pierce Law Center, graduating in 1995. He has been admitted to New Hampshire Bar and Maine State Bar.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.