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By Patriot Ledger Staff
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Nov 04, 2008 @ 06:17 AM


A board set up to reimburse the victims of unscrupulous lawyers paid more than $2,654,000 to 68 people this year, including close to $1.2 million to 13 clients of former Marshfield lawyer Gerard E. Battista.
Battista, 60, was disbarred in 2006 and convicted in 2007 of stealing money from clients. He was sentenced to serve at least six years in prison for stealing the money and using it to buy a Jaguar, go to strip clubs and pay credit-card bills.
Battista was an estate-planning lawyer who practiced in Marshfield and lived in Norwell.
The Massachusetts Clients' Security Board, which reimburses clients whose lawyers have stolen from them, paid out $2,654,000 during the fiscal year that ended July 1. Battista was responsible for the largest share of the payouts.

Other South Shore lawyers whose clients were reimbursed:

Stephen C. Maloney of Canton - $21,308.

William E. Gately of Braintree - $8,655.

Paul Joseph Healy of Rockland - $6,667.

Ronald Gary Pinson of Quincy - $800.

The state supreme court created the clients' security board in 1974 to reimburse people whose money was stolen by lawyers. The money paid to clients comes from a share of the annual registration fees paid by Massachusetts lawyers. No taxpayer money is used.
During the past five years, the board has paid $10,882,493 to reimburse legal clients.
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