‘Crockefeller’ Lawyer Suspended for Allowing Paralegal to Practice Law
A high-profile Boston lawyer has had his license suspended for assisting a paralegal in the unauthorized practice of law.
The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts suspended lawyer Stephen Hrones for a year and a day, the National Law Journal reports. Hrones was in the news for his representation of a man who called himself Carl Rockefeller. The client, dubbed “Crockefeller” by the news media, was convicted in 2009 of abducting his daughter.
Hrones hired paralegal Lionel Porter, an unlicensed law graduate, in 2001 with the intention that he would “operate a virtually independent discrimination law practice, without substantial supervision by [Hrones] or any other attorney at the firm,” according to the Sept. 10 opinion. “No one in the office was assigned to, or did, supervise Porter’s work.”
Hrones’ firm paid Porter two-thirds of the contingency fees collected in employment cases he worked on, the opinion says.
Hrones has said he was unaware Porter was practicing law. “I was too trusting of this individual, and now I’m paying the price,’’ Hrones told the Boston Globe last March. “I was done in by this guy, and I should have supervised him better. … But I didn’t hold him out as a lawyer.’’ He had sought a three-month suspension.