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The Boston Globe

Editorial

Editorial

Dougan’s free legal services a conflict of interest

Boston Municipal Court Judge Raymond Dougan has been accused of bias against police and in favor of the defense in a formal complaint to the Commission on Judicial Conduct, so it’s not entirely surprising that a major Boston law firm, Foley Hoag, would take up his case, free of charge. But Dougan’s acceptance of attorney Michael Keating’s services, which are worth at least $85,000, appears to violate the state ban on judges receiving gifts from law firms whose members are likely to appear before them.

The state Commission on Judicial Conduct, which dismissed the initial complaint of anti-police bias, should now investigate Dougan’s acceptance of the free legal services. And even if the commission finds that Dougan did not violate ethical standards, he should make it clear that he will never agree to oversee a case involving Keating or Foley Hoag.

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