On Monday, December 11, 2023, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers of the Supreme Judicial Court recommended that attorney Ronald Bruce Kaplan be suspended for 18 months.

The case is entitled “Bar Counsel v. Ronald Bruce Kaplan,” with case no. C3-19-262446.

The charges cited Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct 3.1, 3.3, 3.4, and 8.4(c)(d)(h).

The issues stem from Kaplan’s divorce from his wife of 26 years, Lucretia A. Kaplan, which was finalized in November 2009. In June 2013, Lucretia filed for alimony, as none had been included in the original divorce judgment. This triggered a long-running legal battle over the discovery of Kaplan’s financial documents and his compliance with court orders.

As part of the dispute, Kaplan was accused of obstructing his ex-wife’s access to financial records regarding real estate investments and trusts controlled by Kaplan. A March 27, 2015 probate court order had directed Kaplan to produce documents pertaining to bank accounts and trusts linked to himself. However, Kaplan claimed he could not disclose certain trust documents without permission from his former real estate partner, Kevin Kane.

A disciplinary hearing committee rejected this argument, finding that Kane had no control over the trusts in question. The committee determined Kaplan’s discovery objections lacked merit and violated rules against frivolous claims. The probate court also found Kaplan testified falsely about his finances and real estate business.

Further, Kaplan failed to comply with multiple court orders from December 2015 onward requiring him to pay alimony and attorney fees to his ex-wife. He was held in contempt several times between 2016-2018 for non-payment.

Based on these events, the Board of Bar Overseers filed disciplinary charges against Kaplan in October 2021 for violations of professional conduct rules relating to dishonesty, obstruction, and disobeying court orders. After a hearing, the committee found Kaplan had committed the violations and recommended an 18-month license suspension.

The recommendation states:

“Based on the above, we agree with the hearing committee and recommend a license suspension of eighteen months. An information shall be filed in the County Court, recommending the respondent’s suspension from the practice of law for eighteen months.”

According to avvo.com, Mr. Kaplan is an attorney in Holbrook, Massachusetts. He acquired his law license in Massachusetts in 2002.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.