Board of Overseers of the Bar

The Board and its Mission

The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar was created by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in 1978 to govern the conduct of lawyers as officers of the Court. The Board is an independent agency under the jurisdiction of the Court.

The mission of the Board of Overseers of the Bar is to encourage and promote competent and ethical practice by members of the Maine Bar, and to make these standards known to members of the public, so that they have confidence in the legal profession in Maine. The Board accomplishes its mission on several fronts including attorney registration, continuing legal education requirements, ethical guidance, and attorney regulation. [Read more]

Supreme Judicial Court Adopts Revised Maine Bar Rules

In October 2011, the Board of Overseers of the Bar established the Committee to Review Maine’s Disciplinary Enforcement Rules. The committee, comprising Board members and staff, attorney and public members of the Grievance Commission, disciplinary defense counsel, and respondent attorneys, compared the Maine Bar Rules and the ABA Model Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement. Generally, the Model Rules are a “one size fits all” approach, whereas the Maine Rules were designed to work in a state with a smaller bar.

The committee created and revised drafts of proposed Maine Bar Rules after several presentations to the Maine State Bar Association and to the Board. In June 2014, the committee submitted the proposed rules to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which, in November 2014, held a public hearing on the rules and adopted them largely as presented by the committee.

The revised Maine Bar Rules, effective July 1, 2015, incorporate many aspects of the previous edition of the Maine Bar Rules, while incorporating many practices of the ABA Model Rules in an effort to improve and modernize Maine’s rules. [Maine Bar Rules]

Task Force to Study Bar Demographics Issues Report

In June 2014, the Board of Overseers of the Bar Task Force to Study Maine's Bar Demographics issued its Report and Recommendations to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. In August of 2013, Task Force members were asked to examine the challenges facing the Maine bar with respect to the dearth of new lawyers working and residing in rural counties and the tsunami of retiring lawyers predicted within the next decade. Recognizing that the challenges are not unique to Maine, Task Force members were also asked to explore how other jurisdictions were responding to these concerns (click here to view articles and resources). The Task Force acknowledges that there is no “one-size fits all” solution to address the all of the issues and concerns addressed in its report. However, Task Force members identified several challenges and opportunities that will require action by legal organizations, the Court and the Legislature. Detailed information regarding the recommendations may be reviewed in Task Force's report.

Ethics Helpline for Registered Maine Attorneys

The Board of Overseers of the Bar provides assistance to Maine attorneys through its "Ethics Helpline" on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays - 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. To speak with one of the Board's staff attorneys, call the Board's office at 207-623-1122. [Read more]

In Memoriam

The In Memoriam page is dedicated to honoring those members of the Maine Bar who have passed away in recent years. When available, links to full obituaries and news articles are also accessible. Click here to view the In Memoriam page.

Court News

Announcements and News Releases for the Maine Supreme Judicial Court

Upcoming CLE Presentations by Bar Counsel

Date Session Title Organization Location Speaker
3/4/2016 Ethics Waterville Bar Association Joseph's Steakhouse, Waterville Aria Eee
4/1/2016 Ethics in Protective Custody Matters Administrative Office of the Courts So. Portland Sable Oaks Marriott Aria Eee

Upcoming Hearings

Date Time Respondent Location

View complete hearing schedule

Recent Decisions & Orders

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Date Respondent Issued By Order Disposition/Conduct
2/2/2016 Cynthia J. Dresden, Esq. Single Justice Receiver Appointment Receiver Appointment
1/29/2016 Seth T. Carey, Esq. Grievance Commission Reprimand Probation Competence
1/15/2016 David Levesque, Esq. Grievance Commission Admonition Candor toward the Tribunal
1/5/2016 Alan D. Graves, Esq. Single Justice Receiver Appointment Receiver Appointment
1/5/2016 Robert M. Neault, Esq. Single Justice Receiver Appointment Receiver Appointment

View all decisions