RULE 24. Interim Suspension

(a)      Transmittal of Evidence. Upon receipt of evidence demonstrating that a lawyer subject to the disciplinary jurisdiction of the Court (1) has committed a violation of the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct or is incapacitated; and (2) by reason of that violation or incapacity threatens imminent injury to a client, to the public, or to the administration of justice, Bar Counsel, with the approval of the Board, shall:

(1)     transmit the evidence to the Court together with a petition and proposed order for interim suspension;

(2)     certify to the Court in accordance with M.R. Civ. P. 65(a) that Bar Counsel has contemporaneously made a reasonable attempt to provide the lawyer with notice pursuant to Rule 15 that a proposed order for immediate interim suspension has been transmitted to the Court; and

In exigent circumstances, Bar Counsel may apply for the Interim Suspension on an ex parte basis.

(b)      Immediate Interim Suspension. Upon examination of the evidence transmitted to the Court by Bar Counsel and of rebuttal evidence, if any, which the lawyer has transmitted to the Court prior to the Court's ruling, the Court may enter an order immediately suspending the lawyer, pending final disposition of a disciplinary proceeding predicated upon the conduct causing the harm, or may order such other action as it deems appropriate. In the event the order is entered, the Court may appoint a receiver pursuant to Rule 32 to protect clients' interests.

(c)      Notice to Clients. A lawyer suspended pursuant to Rule 24(b) shall comply with the notice requirements in Rule 31.

(d)      Motion for Dissolution of Interim Suspension. On two days' notice to Bar Counsel, a lawyer suspended pursuant to Rule 24(b) may appear and move for dissolution or modification of the order of suspension, and in that event the motion shall be heard and determined as expeditiously as the ends of justice require.


Reporter’s Notes – June 2015

Rule 24(a) is identical to Model Rule 20(A), and allows Bar Counsel to seek Board approval to request the Court’s immediate suspension of attorneys that threaten imminent injury to others. It is analogous to former Maine Bar Rule 7.2(c).

Rule 24(b) is identical to Model Rule 20(B). It improves on former Maine Bar Rule 7.2(c) by specifically referring to the Court’s authority to appoint a receiver under Rule 32 to address clients’ files and related issues.

Rule 24(c) is identical to Model Rule 20(B) and is an improvement of former Maine Bar Rule 7.2(c) by making it clear that the notification requirements of Rule 31 are applicable.

Rule 24(d) is identical to Model Rule 20(D) and has no direct equivalent in the former Maine Bar Rules.