On Wednesday, November 1, 2023, the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County in Massachusetts issued a judgment accepting the Affidavit of Resignation of David S. Chen as a disciplinary sanction for misconduct.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of David S. Chen,” with case no. BD-2023-096.
The charges cited Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct 7.1, 8.4(c), 8.4(h), 8.1, and 8.4(g)(h) which states:
A lawyer may not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer.
Conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
Any other conduct that adversely reflects on fitness to practice.
Do not fail to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension, or knowingly fail to respond to a lawful demand for information.
Do not fail without good cause to cooperate with bar counsel.
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
According to the judgment, Chen was charged with misrepresenting his professional background, experience, bar admissions, and certifications to Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, a potential employer. He did this by appropriating the credentials of a better-qualified lawyer with a similar name. After Sonesta confronted Chen, having checked his references and discovered irregularities, Chen withdrew his application. Sonesta reported him to bar counsel, whereupon he knowingly and intentionally lied and provided false and misleading information.
Chen’s actions toward Sonesta violated Massachusetts rules regarding false and misleading communications from lawyers, as well as conduct involving dishonesty or misrepresentation. His subsequent behavior during the bar counsel’s investigation also contravened rules requiring cooperation and prohibiting failure to disclose necessary facts.
While bar counsel asserted Chen’s misconduct would likely result in a suspension rather than disbarment, the Board of Bar Overseers nonetheless recommended accepting Chen’s resignation on October 10, 2023. The Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County in Massachusetts then formally accepted the resignation of David Chen. Chen will be removed from the roll of Massachusetts attorneys effective December 1, 2023.
The Disposition states:
“The Affidavit of Resignation of David S. Chen be, and hereby i s accepted as a disciplinary sanction and the lawyer’s name is stricken from the Roll of Attorneys. In accordance with S.J.C. Rule 4:01, § 17(3), the resignation as a disciplinary sanction shall be effective thirty days after the date of the entry of this Judgment.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Chen acquired his law license in Massachusetts in 2014.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.