RULE 22. Reimbursement of Costs

(a)     Costs. Upon order of a Single Justice, the Court, or a Grievance Commission panel, or upon stipulation, the following costs may be imposed on the respondent:

(1)    assessment of the costs of the proceedings, including, but not limited to, the costs of investigations, service of process, witness fees, and court reporter services, in any case where discipline is imposed; and

(2)    disgorgement of all or part of the lawyer's or law firm’s fee, and reimbursement to the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection.

(b)     Failure to Pay. Any lawyer who fails to pay costs and expenses when ordered to do so or who fails to comply with the terms of an agreed upon periodic payment plan may be served pursuant to Rule 15 with a notice of delinquency and imminent suspension from the practice of law. Any attorney who fails to comply with this notice within 30 days of service shall be administratively suspended by the Board. The Board shall provide notice of any administrative suspensions to the suspended attorney in accordance with the requirements of Rule 15. This notice shall not be effective until 30 days after the date of mailing. A lawyer suspended pursuant to this rule shall comply with the notice requirements in Rule 30. Upon receipt of all outstanding costs and expenses, the suspension may be cancelled by the Board.

(c)     Waiver. In any case in which costs and expenses are sought pursuant to this rule, the assessment of any or all such costs and expenses may be waived by the Board or the Court when it serves the interest of justice to do so.


Reporter’s Notes – June 2015

Rule 22(a), which provides for the reimbursement of costs by the respondent upon order of the Court or a Grievance Commission panel, is based on Model Rule 10(A)(6)(7). It is in accord with former Maine Bar Rule 7.2(b)(8) concerning reimbursements ordered by the Court, but Rule 22(a) now adds such authority to the Grievance Commission which is absent from the former Maine Bar Rules. Costs do not include Bar Counsel legal fees.

Rule 22(b) has no Model Rule equivalent and finds its closest equivalent in former Maine Bar Rule 7.3(i)(1)(F) concerning the consequences for a lawyer’s failure to pay costs and expenses as ordered by the tribunal. Rule 22(b) allows suspension to be ordered for such misconduct.

Rule 22(c) has no specific Model Rule or former Maine Bar Rules equivalent. It allows the Board or the Court to waive the lawyer’s reimbursement of costs and expenses. The committee felt such a waiver should be allowed for the tribunal to so find and order in specific circumstances where good cause is shown.