A lawyer is being punished for a lie she’s been telling for 26 years.
Last week, the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County in Massachusetts issued a two-year suspension from practice to Susan Friery, a former partner at New York plaintiffs law firm Kreindler & Kreindler, for misrepresenting herself as an Ivy League-trained physician for more than two decades.
In the 1980s, Friery took four semesters of courses in a Ph.D. program at State University of New York Buffalo School of Medicine, where she was studying to become a morgue technician. She left the program without a degree in 1985. But in 1986, when she started working as a part-time legal assistant and medical consultant at Kreindler & Kreindler, she told her colleagues that she graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University.
The firm’s leaders urged Friery to go to law school and paid for 75 percent of her tuition. Friery graduated from New York Law School in 1993 and eventually became a partner at the firm in 2009. While at the firm, she frequently made presentations at events, stating that she was a doctor.
Friery resigned from Kreindler & Kreindler last January. She waited until August 2011 to tell her former colleagues that she didn’t really have a medical degree.
“We were unaware of this inexplicable behavior, which came to light after her departure,” Kreindler & Kreindler Partner Anthony Tarricone said in a statement. “Ms. Friery is a talented and intelligent woman who did not need to exaggerate her resume in order to succeed. We are, nonetheless, disappointed in her actions.”
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