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Bruce Sachar, 75, of Lynn, agreed to give up his law license last month, after the Office of Bar Counsel said it planned to recommend he be disbarred. Sachar did not contest the disbarment. The Supreme Judicial Court made it official on Feb. 17.

The action effectively ends Sachar's 48-year legal career.

According to a summary of the case, Sachar was hired by four members of a family to handle a claim against an estate in 2006.

The clients paid Sachar about $9,000 in fees. In October, 2007, Sachar, with the approval of the clients, settled the case for $100,000.

But when Sachar got the settlement check the following April, according to the case summary, he failed to tell the clients.

Within a little over a month, the money was gone. In July, Sachar sent the clients a bill for the final amount owed in fees, and told them he would deduct the bill from the settlement, leaving them to expect a $96,788 balance to be sent to them.

The money never arrived. In August, Sachar met with the family and acknowledged that he'd spent their money, "because of a pathological gambling problem."

The Board of Bar Overseers found that Sachar had violated five of the state's rules of professional conduct for lawyers.

Sachar, who lives in Lynn, was president of the Essex County Bar Association for two years and prior to that was president of the Greater Lynn Bar Association. In both roles, he was frequently quoted as an expert on legal issues.

He was a 1960 graduate of Boston College Law School, according to his law firm's Web site, and worked in private practice for most of his career, with a stint in the Essex County District Attorney's Office in the early 1970s.

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