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New Hampshire Supreme Court

Professional Conduct Committee


Margaret H. Nelson, Chair
Benette Pizzimenti, Vice Chair
Toni M. Gray,' Vice Chair
David N. Cole
Thomas P. Connair
Alan J. Cronheim
Eleanor Wm. Dahar

4 Park Street, Suite 304


Concord, New Hampshire 0330 I
603-224-5828 Fax 228-9511

Gretchen Rule Hamel


James R. Martin
David N. Page*
Stephen B. Stepanek*

* non attorney member


Holly B. Fazzino, Admin. Coordinator

Edwards, Anne M advs. John P. Brown, Jr., Ph.D. # 02-120


DISMISSAL WITH A WARNING
On January 17, 2006, the Professional Conduct Committee, upon consideration, voted to dismiss
the above-entitled matter with a finding of no professional misconduct but with a Warning:
Ms. Edwards is warned, that she should be more careful to ensure
that each representation of fact made in her pleadings is accurate and
fully supported by the record.
Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 37(A) (ll)(b)(l)(B)(i), Ms. Edwards has the right to submit a
written response to the complaint which shall be maintained with the file relating to the
complaint. A record of this Warning, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 37(A) (II)(b)(l)(B)(iii)(a),
may be considered by the Complaint Screening Committee to determine whether diversion may
be appropriate in the event charges of minor misconduct are subsequently brought against Ms.
Edwards, or, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 37(A) (ll)(b)(l)(B)(iii)(b), by the Professional
Conduct Committee in the event findings of misconduct are subsequently found against Ms.
Edwards.
January 17,2006
By:

(f!;d ~"'iO*rh tJ0/--

Margt H. Ne son
Chair
Distribution:
James L. Kruse, Assistant Disciplinary Counsel
Michael Delaney, Esquire
File

NEW HAMPSHIRE SUPREME COURT


PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT COMMITTEE

Edwards, Anne M.
advs.
John P. Brown, Jr., Ph.D.
#02-120

REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL WITH A WARNING


NOW COMES James L. Kruse, Assistant Disciplinary Counsel, and
respectfully requests that the Professional Conduct Committee dismiss this
matter with a finding of no professional misconduct and with a warning.
In support, undersigned counsel states as follows:
1.

This Request For Dismissal With a Warning is filed pursuant to


New Hampshire Supreme Court Rule 37A(III)(b)(8). Undersigned
counsel has reviewed the file and spoken with the Complainant,
John P. Brown, Jr., Ph.D., and Respondent's counsel. Having
completed development of the evidence in this matter, undersigned
counsel finds there is no valid basis for proceeding to a hearing.

2.

In a sworn complaint dated October 21,2002, and in subsequent


correspondence, Dr. Brown has asserted numerous claims of

professional misconduct against the Respondent, Associate


Attorney General Anne Edwards. Dr. Brown has since died and
his live testimony has not been preserved.
3.

Before his death, Dr. Brown advised undersigned counsel that he


was not inclined to pursue some of his original claims. There are
others which Disciplinary Counsel has determined raise no
material issue. Remaining claims pertain to conduct associated
with disciplinary proceedings brought against Dr. Brown before the
Board of Mental Health Practice. Dr. Brown claims a) that
Respondent wrongfully advised and defended the Board in
connection with the disciplinary proceedings; and b) that
Respondent made misrepresentations of material fact in briefs filed
with the New Hampshire Supreme Court on behalf of the Board.

4.

What follows is a summary of the background facts, undersigned


counsel's analysis and conclusion, and a request for relief.

I. Background Facts
5.

Respondent is licensed to practice law in New Hampshire. She was


admitted to the New Hampshire Bar in 1989. At all times material
to this case, Respondent has served as an attorney in the Office of
the New Hampshire Attorney General.

6.

Dr. Brown was a clinical psychologist who practiced in Newport,


New Hampshire. He died in September 2005.

Board of Mental Health Practice Proceeding


7.

In1995, a disciplinary action against Dr. Brown was brought

before the Board of Mental Health Practice ("Board") by a former


patient, Eileen Barton.
8.

Ms. Barton's complaint against Dr. Brown included allegations


that Dr. Brown's professional relationship with her included
discussion of matters that crossed appropriate professional
boundaries.

9.

Following full evidentiary hearings concluding in November 1995,


the Board found that Dr. Brown had engaged in professional
misconduct. His license was suspended for five years.

10.

Dr. Brown subsequently filed a Motion for Reconsideration. In


December 1996, the Board amended the period of suspension to
three years. It also placed certain conditions on reinstatement.
Conditions included personal psychotherapy for Dr. Brown, and
graduate study in professional ethics and treatment of borderline
personality disorders.

11.

Dr. Brown appealed the Board's decision to the New Hampshire


Supreme Court in 1997. The appeal was dismissed.
Second Board Proceeding

12.

In June 1999, Dr. Brown asked the Board to reopen the


disciplinary case on grounds that evidence relied upon in the 1995
proceedings was unreliable. The Board agreed, struck the subject

testimony, and convened the parties for further hearings in


October and November 1999. The State proceeded absent the
complaining witness who had declined to honor a subpoena to
appear and testify. Dr. Brown presented four witnesses.
13.

On February 22,2000, the Board issued an order finding


professional misconduct. However, it reinstated Dr. Brown's
license, subject to a one-year period of supervision.

14.

In response to the Board's decision, Dr. Brown filed a Motion for


Reconsideration dated March 22, 2000. Among other things, Dr.
Brown complained that the Board had been engaged in a vendetta
against him; it did not act ethically or in compliance with its own
rules; it abused its discretion; its findings were made contrary to or
in the absence of credible evidence; it did not act upon Dr. Brown's
requests for findings and rulings; it denied Dr. Brown due process
of law by not producing witnesses at the rehearing; and its final
order was misdated and otherwise defective.

15.

On April 24, 2000, the Board denied Dr. Brown's Motion for
Reconsideration. On the following day, the Board found that Dr.
Brown had failed to comply with the supervision restriction.
Accordingly, his license was suspended again, pending satisfactory
compliance with conditions of the February 22, 2000, order.

New Hampshire Supreme Court Appeal

16.

On May 18, 2000, Dr. Brown filed a Notice of Appeal with the New
Hampshire Supreme Court, challenging the Board's orders of
February 22, April 24, and April 25, 2000.

17.

In connection with these various proceedings, the Board was


represented at first by Douglas N. Jones and later by Jennifer B.
Gavilondo, both attorneys in the Civil Bureau of the New
Hampshire Attorney General's office. The complaints were
prosecuted by an attorney in a separate unit-the Attorney
General's Administrative Prosecution Unit attached to the
Consumer Protection Bureau.

18.

Respondent Edwards, from the Civil Bureau, was assigned to serve


as counsel to the Board on or about March 1,2000, replacing Ms.
Gavilondo. Respondent assumed an active role as the Board's
counsel in May 2000, shortly before Dr. Brown filed his second
New Hampshire Supreme Court appeal.

19.

Dr. Brown claims that "even a cursory review of my appeal with


appended documents would reveal that [Respondent] had no good
faith reason whatsoever to believe that justice would be served by
defending the Board's decision."

20.

Dr. Brown filed his initial brief on August 20,2001. Over Dr.
Brown's objection, Respondent Edwards obtained an extension of
the briefing deadline, and filed her brief on behalf of the Board on

November 1,2001. Reply and supplemental briefs were also filed


by the parties. Karen Schlitzer, a recent law school graduate newly
hired by the Attorney General, did substantial work on these briefs
filed on behalf of the Board. She worked under Respondent's
direct supervision.
21.

In his appeal, Dr. Brown addressed issues raised in his Motion for
Reconsideration before the Board. In Respondent's brief, she
included a series of representations of fact, for which she cited
supporting references to the transcript below. Among those
representations were the following:
Dr. Brown admitted that during his sessions
with Ms. B., he discussed his own personal
matters including his marital discord, his
divorce (Tr. 11/6/95, p. 113), his need for sex,
and other patients (Tr. 11/6/95, p. 105).
Following his divorce, he stated on the record
that he requested to date various friends of Ms.
B.'s and asked her to give his name to her single
friends. Tr. 11/27/95, pp. 34-35; Tr. 11/6/95,
p. Ill. Dr. Brown acknowledged giving Ms. B.
flowers. Tr. 11/6/95, p. 215. Ms. B. gave Dr.
Brown numerous gifts. Tr. 11/6/95, pp. 92-93.
In addition, Ms. B. performed personal services
for Dr. Brown, such as laundry, ironing,
bringing him meals (Tr. 11/6/95, pp. 89-90),
and driving him and his son to various places.
Tr. 11/6/95, pp. 91-92. On one occasion, Ms.
B. hemmed Dr. Brown's pants. Tr. 11/6/95, p.
90.
Brief for the State of New Hampshire, In re: Appeal of
John P. Brown, Jr., Ph.D., No. 2000-322, November 1,
2001, p. 5-6.

22.

In his Reply Brief of November 14, 2001, Dr. Brown claimed that
Respondent's brief misrepresented facts in the record. For
example, he asserted that the 1995 transcript contained no
admissions regarding his alleged comment about needing sex and
no evidence Dr. Brown accepted ironing and laundry services from
his client. See Reply Brief of the Appellant, November 14, 2001, p.
2-3.

23.

Respondent reviewed Dr. Brown's Reply Brief and assigned Ms.


Schlitzer the task of double-checking the record and the citations
in the brief. Respondent, indeed, had failed to include a specific
citation in support of the statement that Dr. Brown had admitted
telling his client he needed sex. However, based upon the state of
the record, Respondent determined that she had not made a
misrepresentation of material fact to the Court.

24.

The record on appeal contained Ms. Barton's original letter of


complaint filed with the Board in March 1994, in which she alleged
that Dr. Brown told his client he needed sex, and that he accepted
her help with some laundry and ironing. In his letter of response
to the complaint to the Board (also part of the record), Dr. Brown
specifically denied various allegations, including that he had asked
his client to do any laundry or ironing. He did not respond
specifically to the allegation regarding the reference to needing sex,
but issued a general denial as follows: "At no time did I cross or

even hint of crossing sexual boundaries, use her for financial gain,
or demonstrate psychopathological behavior."
25.

The hearing transcript revealed that Dr. Brown had not taken
advantage of other opportunities to contest Ms. Barton's testimony
regarding his alleged inappropriate comment about "needing sex."

26.

Another exhibit marked in the disciplinary proceeding was a


Report of Investigation. The investigator reported on Ms Barton's
allegations and Dr. Brown's response. According to the
investigator, Ms. Barton claimed that Dr. Brown "shared personal
information about himself concerning his unhappy marriage, the
fact he needed sex and the fact he needed to 'fuck his brains' out."
(See Report of Investigation, attached as Exhibit A).

27.

According to the investigator, "[t]he Certificate Holder [(Dr. Brown)]


admitted he committed boundary violations in the classical sense,
however, he did not do so in bad faith." The investigator further
wrote that, "[a]fter responding to the complaints, Dr. Brown stated
he does not feel the Board should discipline him, as there is a
conspiracy against him and the boundary violations are only in a
classical sense and not done in bad faith." It is not clear from the
report whether the investigator was summarizing an in-person
interview of Dr. Brown or merely summarizing Dr. Brown's written
responses available elsewhere in the record.

28.

Confirmation of the foregoing record evidence apparently satisfied


Respondent that there was no need to seek leave to file a correction
with the Supreme Court.

29.

In addition to the apparent, albeit general, admission contained in


the Report of Investigation, Respondent determined that Dr.
Brown's failure to more specifically deny the key allegation served
as an admission of that allegation. Indeed, in defense of her
alleged misconduct in this attorney discipline matter, Respondent
maintains essentially that Dr. Brown's denial (i.e., "At no time did I
cross or even hint at crossing sexual boundaries .... ") was not
"specific" enough and therefore constituted an "admission."
Board Order Vacated and Remanded for Findings and Rulings

30.

On February 5, 2002, the Supreme Court vacated the order below


and remanded the case to the Board. The Board was instructed to
articulate the standards that it applied in its decision and to rule
upon each of the parties' proposed findings of fact. Dr. Brown had
succeeded in convincing the Court that the Board was obliged to
make such rulings, yet he then complained in a Motion for
Clarification that it was too late for the Board to supplement its
order. He further suggested that the Board might willfully have
delayed issuing rulings so as to further harm Dr. Brown.

31.

In her response to Dr. Brown's Motion for Clarification,


Respondent represented that the Board's rulings, in fact, were

made at a meeting of the Board on February 15, 2002. The


quorum present comprised four current members of the Board who
were present for the evidence in the 1999 hearings. The Board's
order with findings and rulings was dated March 15,2002, and
filed with the Supreme Court shortly thereafter.

Supreme Court's Final Decision


32.

On August 22,2002, the Supreme Court issued its final decision


in this matter. The Court was satisfied that the Board had, as
directed, properly responded to and acted upon the parties'
requests for findings and rulings. However, the Court also found
that, for most part, the Board could not reasonably have based its
findings on competent evidence. Certain findings relating to
alleged failure to establish and maintain professional boundaries,
for example, occurred after Dr. Brown discontinued treating the
client. The Board had based its decision, in part, on irrelevant and
nonexistent evidence. Accordingly, the Court reversed the Board's
decision.

33.

While clearly unimpressed with the quality of the Board's


adjudication, the Supreme Court did not find or suggest that the
Board or its counsel had, at any time, acted unethically in issuing
the order dated March 15, 2002, or otherwise in connection with
this proceeding.

10

34.

The Supreme Court decided not to remand the case for any further
proceedings before the Board. According to the Court, itwould
serve no purpose to have the Board consider this matter for a third
time. By the time of its order, Dr. Brown had satisfied all
sanctions and his certificate to practice had been restored.

Dr. Brown's Right-To-Know Requests; Superior Court Proceedings;


Supreme Court Appeal
35.

Prior to the Supreme Court's August 22,2002, decision, Dr. Brown


demanded that the Board disclose certain information under the
provisions of RSA 91-A.

36.

Among numerous other requests, Dr. Brown sought to confirm


Respondent's representations regarding the Board's process in
rendering its findings and rulings in the disciplinary proceeding.
By letter dated February 28, 2002, he asked for all documentation
relative to each member's decision and vote in his case. Dr.
Brown's request was denied upon advice of Board Counsel.

37.

Subsequently, Dr. Brown filed a petition for declaratory relief in


Merrimack County Superior Court, seeking a broad range of
Board-related information to which Dr. Brown thought he was
entitled under RSA 91-A. Respondent opposed the action on
behalf of the Board. The petition was denied on May 21, 2002.

38.

On November 19, 2002, Dr. Brown made another request for


records. He reiterated his request of February 28, 2002, adding
the minutes of the non-public portions of the Board's February 15
11

and March 15, 2002, meetings, with particular reference to this


disciplinary case. Dr. Brown also asked for records pertaining to
the handling of a complaint against another practitioner and
pertaining to the Board's response to this particular request.
39.

In October 2003, Dr. Brown filed a declaratory judgment action in


Sullivan County Superior Court, again seeking access to records
under RSA 91-A. He reiterated his various complaints about the
Board's disciplinary proceedings against him. Among many other
requests, he wanted records listed in his February 28 and
November 19, 2002, letters to the Board. Respondent opposed the
action on behalf of the Board.

40.

The Sullivan County Superior Court was persuaded that the issues
before it were the same or similar to those raised in the earlier
Merrimack County Superior Court proceeding brought by Dr.
Brown, which was dismissed. Accordingly, by order of January 16,
2004, the Sullivan County Superior Court action was dismissed.

41.

Dr. Brown appealed the Sullivan County Superior Court ruling,


arguing, among other things, that his demand for the Board's nonpublic meeting minutes of February 15 and March 15, 2002,
pertaining to the disciplinary case was not included in the
Merrimack County action and that dismissal of that case was not
dispositive. He also challenged the legal and factual basis for the
Board's position that these records were subject to the attorney-

12

client privilege and claimed that Respondent falsely represented


that counsel was present.
42.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.


Moreover, Board minutes confirm that, in fact, the Board's findings
and rulings were made at the February 15, 2002, meeting and in
the presence of counsel. Accordingly, there was no
misrepresentation.

II: Analysis
(AI

Wrongful advice to and defense of the Board in disciplinary


proceeding

43.

There is no basis for finding that Respondent's representation of


the Board in the disciplinary appeal violated the New Hampshire
Rules of Professional Conduct.

44.

Dr. Brown made clear in his Motion for Reconsideration of March


22, 2000, and in his Supreme Court appeal, the fun extent to
which he thought his rights were violated by the Board in this
disciplinary proceeding. Understandably, he was concerned that
his practice and reputation were at risk; as a pro se litigant, he
probably felt he was at a disadvantage. However, while the
Supreme Court agreed that the Board made errors in the course of
the proceeding, Dr. Brown has supplied no basis for finding that
such errors were the product of professional misconduct on the
part of Board Counsel. Significantly, Dr. Brown has asserted no

13

claim against Respondent's predecessor counsel in connection with


any aspect of the challenged adjudicative proceedings.
45.

Dr. Brown cannot articulate any reason to find that, once


Respondent was assigned as Board counsel, her efforts to
represent the Board in the appeal were in any way improper. The
Attorney General's office is charged by statute with the
responsibility of representing state agencies and boards in all such
proceedings. Once assigned to serve as Board coullsel,
Respondent had a responsibility to represent the Board diligently,
competently, and in compliance with the New Hampshire Rules of
Professional Conduct. This responsibility would attach even if
Respondent believed that the Board's rulings would not be
sustained on appeal. See Rule 3.1, ABA Model Code Comments.
While Dr. Brown insists that the Board's order, on its face, was
legally flawed, none of Respondent's arguments or positions in
defense of the Board appears frivolous or made in bad faith.

46.

Dr. Brown complains about the succession of lawyers from the


Attorney General's office that he has had to confront in connection
with this proceeding. However, he has not shown any
commingling of investigative, accusatory, or adjudicative functions
affecting Respondent's performance or involving any other
personnel assigned to this case. Appeal of Trotzer, 143 N.H. 64
(1998).

14

47.

There is no basis for finding that Respondent's representation of


the Board in connection with Dr. Brown's various RSA 91-A
requests violated Rule 3.1 or any other provision of the New
Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct.

48.

All issues raised by Dr. Brown under RSA 91-A have been fully
pled, litigated, and disposed of in the referenced Merrimack County
and Sullivan County equity actions. There is no indication in
either case that Respondent did anything but properly represent
the Board. Dr. Brown establishes no cognizable basis for finding
misconduct.

(B)

Misrepresentations of Fact by Respondent in


Supreme Court Brief

49.

Respondent asserted in her New Hampshire Supreme Court brief


that Dr. Brown admitted discussing with a client his need for sex.
She included the assertion in a litany of other alleged admissions
for which there were specific citations to the transcript.

50.

The underlying administrative proceeding involved a complaint


against Dr. Brown for breach of appropriate personal boundaries
with his client. Accordingly, the alleged admission about telling
his client he needed sex was highly material, if not inflammatory.

51.

Respondent acknowledges she is responsible for the work of her


associate and for the brief filed with the Supreme Court. She also
acknowledges her failure to include any citation in support of this
particular alleged admission.
15

52.

With respect to the substance of her statement, Respondent points


to record evidence that (a) Dr. Brown's client alleged on more than
one occasion in the proceeding that Dr. Brown had discussed his
need for sex, and that (b) Dr. Brown failed to answer the allegation
with a direct and specific denial.

53.

Respondent's apparent reliance on the distinction between a


specific and a general denial is misplaced. Ms. Barton's allegations
of Dr. Brown's inappropriate discussion of a "need for sex" was
central to her complaint of breach of professional boundaries
involving sex. In this context, Respondent's interpretation of Dr.
Brown's response as an admission rather than a denial is, at best,
strained.

54.

In spite of the foregoing and the consequent failure to file a


correction, the New Hampshire Supreme Court apparently was not
misled by Respondent's brief. In its order and decision of August
22, 2002, the Court found that, "contrary to the State's contention,
the record does not contain any evidence that the respondent ever
discussed 'his need for sex' with the complainant." Order, p. 6.

55.

Respondent also suggests through counsel that, having filed his


answer to the complaint under RSA 330-A:28, VII, Dr. Brown's
failure clearly to deny the allegation necessarily constituted an
admission. However, the statute does not support Respondent's
position. With respect to complaints brought by third parties, the

16

statute provides in pertinent part that "the board may dismiss


complaints when the undisputed allegations do not warrant
disciplinary actions .... " See RSA 330-A: 28, VIII. Further
guidance appears in the preceding section which requires that a
licensee subject to a complaint brought on motion of the Board
shall "provide a detailed and good faith written response to the
allegations identified by the board." See RSA 330-A:28, VII.
56.

Perhaps the more important inquiry is whether Respondent and


her associate were careful enough in reviewing the brief and record
in response to Dr. Brown's challenge. Did they distinguish
evidence in the record that supported an allegation that Dr. Brown
engaged in the claimed misconduct, from record evidence that Dr.
Brown admitted he engaged in such transgression? The answer
appears to be, "no."

57.

Respondent's position is better understood with reference to the


Report of Investigation that counsel represents was part of the
appellate record. There, Dr. Brown reportedly admitted "boundary
violations," albeit "only in the classical sense and not done in bad
faith." The admission is significant if, as it appears from the text of
the report, that Dr. Brown may have been confronted in a personal
interview with Ms. Barton's inflammatory allegations and
acknowledged crossing the line.

17

58.

Undersigned counsel has concluded that a hearing panel would


likely consider thereport exculpatory on the Rule 3.3 question.
This is particularly true considering the voluminous record in Dr.
Brown's case and Respondent's necessary reliance on an associate
to comb the record for purposes of filing a responsive brief.

59.

Respondent should have taken a closer and more discerning look


at the record evidence and determined that the Supreme Court
brief contained an inaccuracy.

60.

Assuming leave of the Court, Respondent might easily have


submitted a correction, thereby avoiding any risk of misleading the
Court and assuring strict compliance with her obligation to "take
reasonable remedial measures" with regard to any false
statements, once alerted to the error. N.H. R. Prof. Conduct
3.3(a)(3).

61.

It appears that Respondent failed to take such action, not because

she knowingly undertook to misrepresent material facts, but rather


because she and her associate simply did not recognize the
material significance of their mistake. Respondent's neglect under
the circumstances does not rise to the level of a "knowing"
misrepresentation. It is unlikely that a hearing panel would find
clear and convincing evidence that Respondent committed
professional misconduct under N.H. R. Prof. Conduct 3.3.

18

62.

For all of these reasons, undersigned counsel has concluded that a


hearing panel would not find clear and convincing evidence that
Anne M. Edwards committed professional misconduct.

III: Request for Relief


63.

Supreme Court Rule 37A(III)(b)(8) states, in pertinent part, that


when Disciplinary Counsel "concludes that the development of
evidence establishes that there is no valid basis for proceeding to a
hearing, he shall submit a written report to the professional
conduct committee requesting that the matter be dismissed either
with a finding of no professional misconduct or on some other
basis."

64.

After reviewing this matter, undersigned counsel has concluded


that the Professional Conduct Committee most likely would not
make a finding by clear and convincing evidence that Ms. Edwards
committed professional misconduct in this case. As such,
undersigned counsel has concluded that there is no valid basis for
proceeding to a hearing.

65.

Accordingly, and for the reasons stated above, undersigned


counsel requests that this matter be dismissed with a finding of no
professional misconduct. However, undersigned counsel has
concluded that a warning under Rule 3.3(a) is in order.

66.

Undersigned counsel proposes that such a warning could contain


the following language:

19

Respondent should be more careful to ensure


that each representation of fact made in her
pleadings is accurate and fully supported by the
record.
67.

Undersigned counsel understands that Respondent may wish to


file a response to this Request. Undersigned counsel has no
objection to her doing so within 20 days.

WHEREFORE, undersigned counsel requests that the Professional


Conduct Committee:
(A)

Dismiss this matter with a finding of no professional misconduct


with a warning; and

(B)

Grant such other relief as is fair and in the public interest.


New Hampshire Supreme Court
Attorney Discipline Office
4 Park Street, Suite 304
Concord, New Hampshire 03301
(603) 224-5828

Dated: December 8, 2005

B~~~
L,~
J
es L. Kruse
:stant Disciplinary Counsel
CERTIFICATION

I, James L. Kruse, Assistant Disciplinary Counsel of the New Hampshire


Supreme Court Attorney Discipline Office, certifY that this "Request for
Dismissal With a Warning" is being sent on this 8 th day of December 2005, to
Michael A. Delaney, Esquire, Attorney General's Office, 33 Capitol Street,
Concord, New Hampshire 03301-6397 by regular mail postage prepaid.

~~~-~
~- ~.
.

~~

~ames

L. Kruse

Assistant Disciplinary Counsel

20

PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL

EXHIBIT
certificate Holder: John P. Brown, Jr.
certificate Number:
378
APU File No.: U-94-00l7
DOR: 11/3/94

REPORT OF INVESTIGATION
I.

SUMMARY OF COMPLAINTS:

Th'ere were five complaints received by the New Hampshire


Board of Examiners and Mental Health Practice. Kimberly Howe,
Eileen Barton, Dorothy Eckert, Terry Hathaway and Marcia Bewley
are ("the Complainants"). The Complainants alleged various
boundary violations by Dr. John Brown (lithe Certificate Holder")~
These complaints included but were not limited to violation of the
doctor/patient privilege, improper conduct on the part of the
Certificate Holder, accepting of gifts, trading his services for
cleaning services of his client and other violations of ethics.
II.

SUMMARY OF INVESTIGATION:

As a result of the above complaints, an investigation was


conducted and the following is a summary of the Complainants'
statements.
Kimberly Howe, now known as Kimberly Small, was an intern in
the office ,of Dr. Jo~m Brown from January 1990 until August 1991
when she graduated from Antioch College. - Ms. Howe maintained a
friendship with the Certificate Holder until June 1, 1993. June
1, 1993 was the date she discovered that the Certificate Holder
had disclosed personal information about her, which she had shared
with the Certificate Holder in confidence, with Eileen Barton who
was one of his patients. The personal information he shared
included traumatic ,issues of her past, the fact she was in a
personal crisis, the fact she was in therapy with Sue Hagerman and
the fact she was unable to 'work with clients due to her personal
problems.
Eileen Barton indicated that she was a patient of Dr. Brown
from December 1988 until July 3, 1991. After therapy, a friendly
relationship continued.
During the above relationship, the
Certificate Holder would share information with her concerning
clients, ask her about. the background of various individuals and
would call her on the phone and talk with her approximately 15
hours a week.
The Certificate Holder shared personal information
about himself concerning his unhappy marriage, the fact he needed
sex and the fact he needed to "fuck his brains out". The
Complainant provided n~mes of individuals he could dat~ upon his
request.
The Certificate Holder accepted gifts and visited her
home on numerous occasions, as well as provide her with gifts of
flowers for her garden on one occasion.

- 3 -

Tne following is a summary of the statement of the


certificate Holder:
The certificate Holder admitted he committed boundary
violations in the classical sense, however, did not do so in ba-d
faith. He indicated the model for therapy is changing and he is
on the leading edge of these changes. Dr. Brown alleged there ws
a conspiracy against him by the Newport Counseling Center, Eileen
Barton and others.
After responding to the complaints, Dr. BroWn stated he does
not feel the Board- should discipline him, as there is a conspiracy
against him and the boundary violations are only in a classical
sense and not,done in bad-faith. In addition to reiterating this
information~the licensee feels his method of treating patients is
the direct approach and he is progressive in the treatment of his
patients.
-III. ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF THE PRACTICE ACT
Based on the above investigation, it is reasonable to
commence a disciplinary hearing pursuant to RSA 330-A:l5-b, to
determine whet-her the Certificate Holder has engaged in
unprofessional conduct within the meaning of RSA 330-A:l4, II, for
which disciplinary sanctions should be imposed.
IV.

RECOMMENDATION OF THE REVIEWER

It is the opinion of the reviewer that. a notice of hearing be


issued pursuant to RSA 330-A:14, RSA 330-A:15-b, RSA 541-A:31, and
Psy 501.04 for the purpose of resolving the issues.