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Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly quotes John Loughnane in “Bankruptcy lawyer sanctioned over file document”

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John G. Loughnane, a partner in the firm’s Business Department, was quoted by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in “Bankruptcy lawyer sanctioned over file document” on February 12. The article discusses the sanction imposed by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Henry Boroff against attorney Russell Chernin for filing a document in a Chapter 7 case that disclosed the debtor’s personal identifying information. Because Chernin filed the document in the Bankruptcy Court without redacting the information, he was in violation of the requirements of Bankruptcy Rule 9037(a), and the judge imposed a sanction of $1000 against the lawyer. Judge Boroff said in his ruling that the exception to the redaction requirement under Rule 9037(g) did not apply.

John, who serves as co-chair of the Bankruptcy Section of the Boston Bar Association, points out that the case stands for a couple of simple propositions. “If a lawyer finds himself in a hole, he should stop digging. And never underestimate the power of a mea culpa,” he said. John also acknowledged that while lawyers may have plausible arguments for claiming the redaction requirements don’t apply to particular filings, compliance is certainly the easier path. “The decision makes very clear that what you do once a mistake is discovered is incredibly relevant,” John said. “If you act quickly to remedy the situation, that will likely be looked upon more favorably than disputing it or arguing that the rule doesn’t apply.”

To view the article, click here.

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