, Salem, MA

October 9, 2013

Former attorney found in contempt


---- — MARBLEHEAD — A former prominent defense attorney, disbarred eight years ago, has been told by the state’s highest court not to come looking for his law license back for at least another eight years.

John C. McBride, 65, who once lived in Marblehead and had a home on Martha’s Vineyard, was disbarred in 2005 over his mishandling of three cases. Typically, disbarred lawyers can apply for reinstatement of their law license after eight years.

But earlier this year, the state’s Office of Bar Counsel moved to have McBride held in contempt of his disbarment order after he was charged with practicing law in Edgartown. Officials asked the Supreme Judicial Court to bar McBride from reapplying for his law license for another eight years.

Last week, a single justice of the SJC agreed, finding McBride in contempt and barring him from seeking reinstatement as an attorney until 2021, according to the case docket.

In an unrelated development, McBride was arrested in July on federal tax and bank fraud charges after he allegedly filed forged releases of tax liens on his homes in Marblehead and Edgartown. That case is still pending, according to the federal court docket.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.