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]
Board Submits Proposed Revised Maine Bar Rules to Court
The Board of Overseers of the Bar established the Committee to Review Maine's Disciplinary Enforcement Rules in October 2011. The Committee, comprised of Board members and staff, attorney and public members of the Grievance Commission, disciplinary defense counsel and respondent attorneys, held 18 meetings between October 2011 and June 2014 to compare the Maine Bar Rules and the ABA Model Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement, and to compare and make recommendations about different approaches. 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 worked diligently to meld the best practices from both the ABA Model Rules and from the way things have been successfully undertaken here in Maine. It has vetted the proposed rules through two public hearings and has received and responded to helpful feedback from members of the bar. The Committee concluded its work this past June with the submission of a comprehensive rewrite of the Maine Bar Rules for the Court's consideration. Click here to download the proposed 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]
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.
Upcoming CLE Presentations by Bar Counsel
|8/22/2014||9:00 AM||Richard L. Currier, Esq.||Kennebec County Superior Court - Courtroom #2|
|9/11/2014||9:00 AM||Pamela S. Holmes, Esq.||Cumberland County Superior Court - Courtroom #10|
|9/15/2014||9:00 AM||Jeremy A. Miller||TBD|
Recent Decisions & Orders
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|8/15/2014||Kimberly A. Shoen, Esq.||Grievance Commission||Reprimand||Conduct prejudicial to administration of justice; Respect for rights of third persons.|
|8/11/2014||Meredith M. Leary||Single Justice||Reinstatement||Reinstatement Approved|
|8/1/2014||Nancy J. Farrell||Single Justice||Reinstatement||Reinstatement Approved|
|7/17/2014||Jose L. Serpa, Esq.||Single Justice||Suspension||Reciprocal Discipline|
|6/23/2014||Gary M. Prolman||Single Justice||Suspension||Commit a criminal or unlawful act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects; engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; engage in conduct that is prejudicial|