Massachusetts Lawyer Gets 18 Month Suspended Sentence For Stealing Court File

Ilya Ablavsky, 33, has had his share of problems. As a student at Brandeis University, he was charged with making bomb threats after losing a primary race for mayor of Waltham. He also claims to suffer from bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorders as well as high anxiety. He can now add a suspended 18 month sentence to his woes after pleading guilty to stealing a court file in a murder case in an attempt to prevent the prosecution of an acquaintance. He had only had his license for a few months and will now likely lose it in a remarkably short legal career.

Ablavsky stole the file for the case of Jose Cabrera, a Lynn man charged in a gang-related shooting in Lynn. Cabrera’s lawyer, Jeff Karp, received a call from Ablavsky who told him that he shredded the file to prevent the prosecution from proceeding to trial. He was wrong of course. Cabrera was later convicted of second-degree murder.

While Ablavsky did not represent Cabrera, he reportedly tried to represent Cabrera’s brother, Miguel Cabrera, 19, just hours before his own arrest by appearing at an arraignment (despite the brother having counsel). Cabrera’s father says that Ablavsky begged him to hire him to represent his son and promised to do so at a lower cost than his current lawyer.

Salem Superior Court Judge David Lowy gave Ablavsky 18 months in jail with all but 64 days suspended — as well as a two year probation sentence.

Notably, Ablavsky implicated an unknown person by telling the court that he did not shred the file but gave it to another person who destroyed it. There is no information on who that other person is.

The bar has, and should, consider mental illness as a mitigating factor but this record is replete with disbarring criteria. It seems clear that this is a troubled person who needs help, but he will have to find it as a non-lawyer.

Source: Salem News as first seen on ABA Journal

4 thoughts on “Massachusetts Lawyer Gets 18 Month Suspended Sentence For Stealing Court File”

  1. His behavior should have preempted his ability to become a member of the bar but then I have dealt with way too many unethical lawyers, or incompetant, (the one I have now told me to write the last letter to opposing counsel then he would send it out on his letterhead – he is being fired this week and yes: not sooner because of problems with timing.)
    It is a shame it is not incumbent upon the bar to weed out this type of person, preferably before they do damage to potential clients as well as the reputation of the Bar. I do not know if part of his probation can require psychiatric care, if not it should. (I know you can lead a horse to water….but at least this guy should be in the mental health system as part of his sentence.

  2. I do think that the behavior while a student as well as after shows that he should have probably not been a part of the profession….But then again….Stealing a court file….is pretty brazen….I wonder if he was charged with Obstruction of Justice….which could be a lengthier time in most states….

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