State Supreme Court suspends license of anti-mask mandate lawyer

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  • Justin Fojo

Dec. 30—CONCORD — A Bedford attorney, known for his legal challenges of school mask mandates, had his law license temporarily suspended last week for mishandling nearly $100,000 in client funds.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court approved the emergency suspension of the license of Robert M. Fojo on Dec. 22.

But it also granted Fojo's request for an immediate hearing on the matter. The high court appointed Superior Court Judge Larry Smukler to hear Fojo's case and scheduled a three-hour hearing for Jan. 4. Fojo has been practicing law for about 11 years in New Hampshire and is also a member of the Massachusetts bar.

Allegations involve Fojo not having enough money in his trust account to pay settlements he received on behalf of three clients.

The Attorney Discipline Office has frozen that trust account, said Mark Cornell, deputy general counsel for the Discipline Office. Any client who believes he or she is due funds from the account should contact the Attorney Discipline Office, he said.

"To the extent there's money in it, we need to ensure it gets to the right person," Cornell said.

Fojo did not immediately reply to a message from a reporter.

But in filings, his lawyer acknowledged bookkeeping errors while stressing that no public emergency exists that necessitates a license suspension.

At best, Fojo's actions warrant a reprimand, wrote William Saturley.

"While unfortunate, errors that occur in (Interest on Lawyer Trust) accounts are not as rare as comets," Saturley wrote.

In its filings, the Discipline Office highlights three cases:

A settlement on a slip-and-fall case of $50,000, where the client is still owed $14,600. The client filed a complaint against Fojo that prompted an investigation.

An employment dispute that led to a $500,000 settlement. The client is still owed $50,000.

An injury that resulted in two separate insurance payments of $50,000. The client received proper payment from one check but is owed $33,000 from the other.

In its filings, the Discipline Office faulted Fojo for not making prompt payments, not communicating properly with clients, not safeguarding his client's funds, not being open with the investigation and deceit.

As part of his filings, Saturley provided Fojo's calendar, which includes work challenging mask mandates in 18 Massachusetts school districts and helping at least 10 people request religious exemptions for vaccine mandates.

According to previous articles, Fojo has challenged mask mandates in several school districts in Rockingham County, including Exeter, Londonderry, Stratham and Timberlane.

He has filed similar suits representing parents in Bedford and Hollis as well.

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