On Monday, December 4, 2023, the Rhode Island Supreme Court formally disbarred Warwick attorney James S. Lawrence after accepting his consent to disbarment.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of James S. Lawrence,” with case no. 2023-344-M.P.

On April 20, 2023, the Rhode Island Supreme Court entered an order indefinitely suspending Lawrence. According to court documents, Lawrence failed to appropriately respond to a disciplinary complaint filed against him by the state Disciplinary Counsel. Specifically, Lawrence submitted a response on February 27, 2023, that did not address the substantive allegations and falsely claimed he had delivered a case file to successor counsel, when in fact he had not.

As a result, the Supreme Court suspended Lawrence and appointed a special master, Matthew Callaghan, to take possession of Lawrence’s client files and accounts. Callaghan was granted full access to Lawrence’s law offices, files, and accounts and given control over his banking accounts to protect clients’ interests during the suspension. Lawrence was also prohibited from withdrawing or transferring any funds.

On October 20, 2023, Lawrence filed an affidavit with the Disciplinary Board consenting to disbarment. Lawrence stated he was aware he was under investigation for additional misconduct allegations. On November 14, 2023, Disciplinary Counsel filed Lawrence’s affidavit with the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court issued an order on December 4, 2023, officially disbarring Lawrence from practicing law in Rhode Island. In its order, the Court deemed disbarment an appropriate outcome given Lawrence’s consent. Lawrence is required to surrender electronic copies of all client files to Disciplinary Counsel within 10 days.

The Disposition states:

“Accordingly, pursuant to Article III, Rule 13, it is hereby ordered, adjudged and decreed that the respondent, James S. Lawrence, be and is hereby disbarred on consent from engaging in the practice of law.”

According to avvo.com, Mr. Lawrence was a litigation attorney in Warwick, Rhode Island. He acquired his law license in Rhode Island in 1988. 

A copy of the original filing can be found here.