Lawyer Discipline

In case of 'textbook contempt,' suspended lawyer who refused to comply with ethics orders is fined $100 a day

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A Boston-area lawyer has been fined $100 a day and subjected to a lengthier suspension after she was held in contempt for falsely holding herself out as eligible to practice law on her website and voice mail.

“Perhaps most significant of all” is that the lawyer, Maude Laroche-St. Fleur, stated in open court that she would not take the steps needed to comply with court orders in her ethics case, according to an April 11 opinion imposing sanctions.

“This blatant defiance of the clear and unequivocal commands of the court constitutes textbook contempt,” wrote Justice David A. Lowy of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Laroche-St. Fleur will have to continue paying the $100 daily fine until she is no longer in contempt. Lowy also tacked extra time onto Laroche-St. Fleur’s initial 18-month suspension, making her ineligible to apply for reinstatement for five years after whatever date she substantially complies with orders in the ethics case. And Lowy said he would appoint a commissioner to “take appropriate action.” has coverage of the opinion while the Legal Profession Blog has opinion highlights.

Laroche-St. Fleur was initially suspended in March 2022 for ignoring court orders and filing false financial statements in her own divorce case, according to prior coverage of the October 2022 opinion upholding the 2022 suspension by

In the new opinion, Lowy said there is no evidence that Laroche-St. Fleur was actively practicing law during the 18-month suspension.

But there appears to be no reference to Laroche-St. Fleur’s suspension on her law office website, her law firm’s voicemail message, her LinkedIn pages and her law office “contact us” form, Lowy said.

In addition, Laroche-St. Fleur did not comply with an order for her to supply documents showing the extent to which she complied with the suspension order.

“By continuing to hold herself out as a practicing attorney or as entitled to practice law while she has been suspended,” Lowy said, Laroche-St. Fleur “has engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.”

Laroche-St. Fleur has the right to appeal to the full Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, according to this discipline summary.

Laroche-St. Fleur told the ABA Journal she has filed a cert petition with the U.S. supreme Court but could not comment further. “I’m politely saying that I cannot say anything,” she said.

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