On Wednesday, November 1, 2023, the Supreme Judicial Court in Maine issued an Order of Reciprocal Discipline against Attorney Daniel Goldsmith Ruggiero after his previous suspension in Massachusetts.
The case is titled ‘Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Daniel Goldsmith Ruggiero, Esq. of Newton, MA’.
On March 15, 2023, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court suspended Attorney Ruggiero for one year and one day, effective April 14, 2023. This suspension stemmed from Ruggiero’s violation of Massachusetts’ Rules of Professional Conduct regarding competency, diligence, fees, responsibilities of non-lawyer assistants, professional independence of lawyers, truth in advertising, and firm names.
The disciplinary matter relates to Attorney Ruggiero’s involvement in an illegal fee scheme between March 2013 and June 2015. He was found to have participated with non-lawyers to charge homeowners in Massachusetts and Rhode Island excessive and unlawful fees for mortgage assistance relief work and to have improperly delegated legal work, shared legal fees with non-attorneys, failed to supervise non-lawyer employees, used a misleading law firm name, and inadequately represented his clients’ interests.
The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar was notified of Attorney Ruggiero’s Massachusetts discipline on March 23, 2023. Finding that Ruggiero’s conduct would also violate Maine’s analogous rules, the Board requested the Maine Supreme Judicial Court impose reciprocal discipline.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court noted these violations would constitute comparable violations of Maine’s Rules of Professional Conduct as well. Therefore, the Court determined reciprocal discipline was warranted in this case. As such, the Order suspended Attorney Ruggiero from practicing law in Maine for one year and one day, retroactive to April 14, 2023. Attorney Ruggiero will not be able to return to practicing law in Maine until his Petition for Reinstatement is granted.
In a related event, on June 14, 2023, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania likewise suspended Attorney Ruggiero from practicing law after he failed to respond to a notice regarding reciprocal discipline from Massachusetts. By failing to reply to the notice as directed, Attorney Ruggiero failed to provide Pennsylvania authorities a reason to not enforce the same sanction imposed by Massachusetts.
According to Avvo, Attorney Daniel Goldsmith Ruggiero is a litigation attorney from Newton, Massachusettes. He attended the New England School of Law and acquired his license to practice in Maine in 2008. He was admitted to the Bar in several other states, namely, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.