RULE 16. Subpoena Power
(a) Investigatory Subpoenas. Before formal charges have been filed, Bar Counsel may compel by subpoena the attendance of witnesses or the respondent, and the production of pertinent books, papers, and documents, in accordance with Rule 45 of the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure.
(b) Subpoenas for Hearing. After formal charges are filed, Bar Counsel or respondent may, in accordance with Rule 45 of the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, compel by subpoena the attendance of witnesses or the respondent and the production of pertinent books, papers, and documents at a hearing under these Rules.
(c) Enforcement of Subpoenas. The Court may, upon proper application, enforce the attendance and testimony of any witnesses or the respondent and the production of any documents subpoenaed under this rule.
(d) Quashing Subpoena. Any person to whom a subpoena has been issued under this rule may object to the subpoena, or may move to quash or modify the subpoena, as set forth in Rule 45 of the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, and may appear through legal counsel for that purpose. Any objection to a subpoena so issued, or any motion to quash or modify such a subpoena, shall be heard and determined by the chair of the Commission panel before which the matter is pending or by the court wherein enforcement of the subpoena is being sought.
(e) Witnesses and Fees. Subpoena and witness fees and mileage shall be the same as those provided for proceedings in the Court.
(f) Subpoena Pursuant to Law of Another Jurisdiction. Whenever a subpoena is sought in Maine pursuant to the law of another jurisdiction for use in lawyer discipline proceedings, and where the issuance of the subpoena has been duly approved under the law of the other jurisdiction, the chair (or, in the Chair’s absence, the Vice Chair) of the Commission, upon good cause shown, may issue a subpoena in accordance with Rule 45 of the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure.
Reporter’s Notes – June 2015
Rule 16, governing subpoenas is a slight variation of Model Rule 14 and broader in scope than former Maine Bar Rule 7.3(m)(1). This Rule gives Bar Counsel more subpoena powers if a respondent or a third party does not cooperate with Bar Counsel’s investigation. In addition, the revised rule, unlike former Maine Bar Rule 7.3(m)(1), does not limit sanctions to situations where a subpoenaed witness fails to appear without reasonable excuse. The committee felt that this was a slight improvement on current practice, and adopted that language from Model Rule 14. The committee also concluded that eliminating the reference in the Maine Rule to subpoenas duces tecum, and replacing it instead with a specific description of subpoenas for “the production of pertinent books, papers, and documents” as set forth in the Model Rule, was clearer.