Originally Published 01/22/01 on tommyduggan.com and Rumbo newspaper
Lawrence Lawyer and Windham, New Hampshire State Representative, Anthony R. DiFruscia, took out an ad profiling his law firm in the Andover Townsman. The advertisement listed the names and expertise of three lawyers, Paula Porten, Michelle Barret, and Dolores Campbell as his employees. Attorneys often tote the names and experience of lawyers working for them to attract business from potential clients who are familiar with those attorneys and their reputations.
The problem for DiFruscia, (who is known for his frequent misrepresentations) is that the three lawyers he advertised to lure in business all quit his firm last year. As of the time DiFruscia called the Andover Townsman, Attorneys Dolores Campbell, Paula Porten, and Michelle Barrett did not work for him.
The Townsman said that DiFruscia himself placed the call to purchase the ad for his firm making revisions to add the names of one lawyer who was hired after the other attorneys had left this firm. This eliminates any excuses that the inclusion of those names were a mistake or that they were the work of a misguided secretary. The false claims by DiFruscia are a clear violation of the code of ethics for attorneys and at least one lawyer mentioned in the ad say she may be filing a complaint.
Attorney Dolores Campbell says she has spoken with the BBO (Board of Bar Overseers) and is contemplating a complaint against Attorney DiFruscia. “He is misleading the public for his own benefit because people think that we are sitting in his office ready to do work on these cases. That’s simply not true. He owes an apology to the public and to the three attorneys involved. He should have taken it upon himself to place a retraction in the paper saying that we don’t work for him any more and that the ad was inaccurate. The original ad was published more than two weeks ago yet, to date he has not done anything about it.”
For the record, Attorney Dolores Campbell has her own independent law office at 89 Main Street in North Andover, where she is in general practice handling family law, criminal law, collections and bankruptcy cases. Since November of last year, Atty. Paula Porten has worked for the Law Offices of Michael Tarshi in Lawrence, specializing in workers compensation and personal injury cases. Attorney Michelle Barrett is a prosecutor in the Manchester, New Hampshire City Solicitors office where it is mandated that she not be employed by another law firm. All three attorneys stated that they wanted a retraction in the Townsman which is expected to run this week.
Attorney DiFruscia could not be reached for comment. Rumbo will be following this story carefully and update the readers as developments occur.
Editors Note, No apology or retraction was every printed in the Townsman and DiFruscia has never apologizes for his deception.