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Lawyer disbarred for the misuse of funds; More than $50K missing from clients.

Byline: Brad Petrishen

WORCESTER -- A former Worcester lawyer has been disbarred after admitting that the state bar association could prove he misused more than $50,000 belonging to several clients.

Ross A. Annenberg of Hopkinton was disbarred April 18, court records show.

"(Mr. Annenberg) acknowledged that bar counsel could prove by a preponderance of evidence that while in the employ of a law firm, he intentionally misused $50,780 in funds belonging to five clients,'' a summary of the disbarment filed in U.S. District Court reads.

The summary does not specifically cite the circumstances surrounding the alleged misuse, but says that Mr. Annenberg has acknowledged he has not repaid the clients.

Under the judgment of disbarment, Mr. Annenberg will be required to notify clients of his disbarment and "properly disburse or otherwise transfer all client and fiduciary funds in his possession, custody or control.''

Mr. Annenberg -- who was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1992 -- will also be required to submit to the state a list of other states or courts in which he is licensed to practice law. He has been a licensed attorney in Connecticut since 1994, records from that state show. His license there is listed as active, with one reprimand on record in Connecticut from 2007.

In that case, Mr. Ross admitted to failing to disclose to clients disciplinary actions taken against his then-partner, records show.

Rhode Island's online records show that Mr. Annenberg's name has been removed from its roll of attorneys. The state did not list any disciplinary actions against Mr. Annenberg or say when or why his name had been removed.

Reached by telephone, Mr. Annenberg said his lawyer advised him against speaking publicly at this time.

Mr. Annenberg practiced law at Worcester-based Abigail Williams & Associates from 2007 to 2013. Abigail Williams said Tuesday that Mr. Annenberg was terminated after the firm had suspicions of improper handling of funds. She said she notified the Board of Bar Overseers of her concerns at that time.

Ms. Williams said the firm has committed to reimbursing clients whose money has been identified as missing.

"My name is on the door, and even though I didn't know about it or participate in it, I feel terrible,'' she said.

In Worcester since 1997, Ms. Williams' firm at 446 Main St. specializes in medical malpractice, nursing home litigation and personal injury.

Contact Brad Petrishen at brad.petrishen@telegram.com.

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Title Annotation:Local
Author:Petrishen, Brad
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Apr 22, 2015
Words:401
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