On December 15, 2023, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County issued a judgment of disbarment against attorney H. Paul Carroll. This decision came after the bar counsel filed an information recommending Carroll’s disbarment with the court on September 28, 2023.

The case is entitled “In Re: H. Paul Carroll,” with case no. BD-2023-011.

The judgment, authored by Associate Justice Dalila Argaez Wendlandt, outlines misconduct by Carroll involving three separate clients between July 2020 and January 2023. Carroll was retained by Christopher Dighton in July 2020 but intentionally misrepresented to Dighton that he had filed a lawsuit on his behalf, in violation of Rules 1.1 (failure to provide competent representation), 1.4(a) (failure to keep client reasonably informed), and 8.4(c) (engaging in dishonest conduct). Carroll made similar false claims of hospitalization to Dighton and failed to respond to his repeated requests for case information, violating Rules 1.4(a) and 1.4(b) (failure to explain matters to client sufficiently)

In May 2022, Lucia Rodriguez hired Carroll to represent her in a child support case. Carroll failed to appear on Rodriguez’s behalf at two scheduled hearings despite being paid advanced legal fees, violating Rules 1.1, 1.3 (failure to act with reasonable diligence), and 1.4(a). Carroll also falsely claimed hospitalization to Rodriguez and did not return any unearned fees, violating Rules 1.15(d)(1) (failure to render accounting), 1.16(d) (failure to protect client interests on termination), and 8.4(c).

John Kane hired Carroll in October 2022, but Carroll did not file an appearance, communicate a settlement offer, or file promised motions, violating Rules 1.1, 1.2(a), 1.3, and 1.4(a). Further, Carroll charged Kane a non-refundable fee and falsely claimed hospitalization, in violation of Rules 1.5(a) (charging excessive fees), 8.4(c), and 8.4(h) (conduct reflecting adversely on fitness to practice).

The judgment found Carroll violated numerous Rules of Professional Conduct in his representations and intentionally misused client funds. It also found Carroll intentionally failed to cooperate with bar counsel’s investigation, which began in April 2022 over issues with his client trust account, and subsequently violated an administrative suspension order from January 2023.

Considering Carroll’s prior discipline, harm caused to clients, failure to cooperate or make restitution, and aggregate misconduct, the court agreed with bar counsel and the Board of Bar Overseers that disbarment was the presumptively correct sanction. While Carroll argued a lesser sanction was warranted, the court found the cases he cited unpersuasive and issued a judgment disbarring Carroll from practicing law in Massachusetts.

According to avvo.com, Mr. H. Paul Carroll was a real estate attorney at Newburyport, MA. He had been licensed in Massachusetts in 2012.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.