SALISBURY — The state suspended a local attorney's law license for a year after she failed to file retrial motions for two clients in criminal cases.
Michelle Lee Brennan, who has listed a post office box at 6 Elm St. as her address, was suspended Jan. 22 from practicing law for a year and a day because she failed to return an unearned fee to one of her clients; made misrepresentations to another; failed to cooperate with the state Board of Bar Overseers' attorneys; and continued to practice law while under administrative suspension, according to the board.
Brennan was negligent in three criminal cases, according to the state. The first case involved a criminal defense client whom Brennan was representing in post-conviction matters.
State records say Brennan told her client she would file a motion for a new trial but never did, while also telling the client she had filed it.
Brennan also told the board she filed the motion for a new trial but never turned over her files to either the state or the client's next lawyer after she was terminated.
The board also said Brennan told a second client she would file a motion for a new trial after accepting a $20,000 flat fee that included a $5,000 retainer.
The client's cousin eventually paid Brennan $6,500, which was not returned after the attorney was terminated from the case because she never filed a motion for a new trial, according to the state.
Brennan also represented a third criminal defendant who was convicted of multiple felonies and sent to prison for 12 to 15 years.
Brennan never communicated with the client's next lawyers and did not release the client's file for several months, according to the state.
The board said Brennan continued to practice law and appeared in several courts after being administratively suspended by the Supreme Judicial Court on Jan. 5, 2018. She had her license reinstated in February 2018 but was placed under administrative suspension again after not cooperating with an investigation of her conduct in November 2019.
The board then suspended Brennan's license for one year and a day on Jan. 22, 2021. She must make restitution to her clients before being reinstated.
Brennan could not be reached for comment Monday.
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.