SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

June 14, 2014

Marblehead lawyer surrenders license amid probe

MARBLEHEAD — A Marblehead lawyer under investigation for allegedly failing to account for more than $50,000 in client trust funds has surrendered her law license.

Elaine Clark, who has been a licensed attorney in Massachusetts since 1982, submitted her resignation to the state Board of Bar Overseers, which had begun investigating complaints about the unaccounted-for money.

According to Supreme Judicial Court records, Clark has been on “inactive” status as an attorney since last year, due to an unspecified disability. Her resignation, which took effect May 14, will be considered to be her punishment for the alleged violations of ethical rules.

It does not preclude potential civil or criminal charges brought by prosecutors or others.

Because Clark resigned before a formal complaint was issued, few details about the alleged missing money were available. The summary simply says Clark failed to account for “at least $50,000 in funds that she was supposed to hold in trust and distribute for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries.”

In February, Clark asked the Supreme Judicial Court to order a delay in the investigation, citing an unspecified mental incapacity.

The bar counsel, which acts in a role similar to that of a prosecutor in lawyer discipline cases, objected on the grounds that Clark had not provided any evidence to back up her claim. Following a hearing, SJC Justice Robert Cordy sided with the bar counsel and denied the request to delay the investigation.

Clark submitted her resignation the following month.

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

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