RULE 26. Reciprocal Discipline

(a)      Notification. Upon being disciplined or the equivalent in another jurisdiction, a lawyer admitted to practice in Maine shall promptly inform Bar Counsel of the action.

(b)      Certified Order. Upon notification from any source that a lawyer within the jurisdiction of the Board has been disciplined or its equivalent in another jurisdiction, Bar Counsel shall obtain a certified copy of the order and file it with the Executive Clerk of the Law Court.

(c)      Notice Served Upon Respondent. Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order demonstrating that a lawyer admitted to practice in Maine has been disciplined or its equivalent in another jurisdiction, the Chief Justice of the Court shall designate a Single Justice forthwith and issue a notice directed to the lawyer and to Bar Counsel containing:

(1)    a copy of the order from the other jurisdiction; and

(2)    an order directing that the lawyer or Bar Counsel inform the Court, within 30 days from service of the notice, of any claim by the lawyer or Bar Counsel predicated upon the grounds set forth in Rule 26(e), that the imposition of a substantially identical order in Maine would be unwarranted and the reasons for that claim.

(d)      Effect of Stay in Other Jurisdiction. In the event the order in the other jurisdiction has been stayed there, any reciprocal order in Maine shall be deferred until the stay expires.

(e)      Discipline to be Imposed. Upon the expiration of 30 days from service of the notice pursuant to the provisions of Rule 26(c), the Court shall impose a substantially identical order unless Bar Counsel or the lawyer demonstrates, or the Court finds that it clearly appears upon the face of the record from which the order is predicated, that

(1)    the procedure was so lacking in notice or opportunity to be heard as to constitute a deprivation of due process; or

(2)    there was such infirmity of proof establishing the misconduct as to give rise to the clear conviction that the Court could not, consistent with its duty, accept as final the conclusion on that subject; or

(3)    the discipline imposed would result in grave injustice or be offensive to Maine public policy; or

(4)    the reason for the original order no longer exists.

If the Court determines that any of those elements exists, it may enter such other order as it deems appropriate. The burden is on the party seeking different discipline in Maine to demonstrate that the imposition of the same discipline is not appropriate.

(f)      Conclusiveness of Adjudication in Other Jurisdictions. In all other aspects, a final adjudication in another jurisdiction that a lawyer, whether or not admitted in that jurisdiction, has been guilty of misconduct or determined to be incapacitated shall establish conclusively the misconduct or the incapacity for purposes of a disciplinary proceeding in Maine.


Reporter’s Notes – June 2015

Rule 26(a) is a modification of Model Rule 22(A) and is analogous to former Maine Bar Rule 7.3(h). Rule 26(A) requires the lawyer disciplined elsewhere to so inform Bar Counsel, but the similar duty for disability status changes included in Model Rule 22(A) was deleted by the committee.

Rule 26(b) is based upon a portion of Model Rule 22(A) and has no similar specific provision in former Maine Bar Rule 7.3(h).

Rule 26(c) is identical to Model Rule 22(B) and contains no significant change from former Maine Bar Rule 7.3(h)(1).

Rule 26(d) is identical to Model Rule 22(C). Its requirement for a mandatory deferral to occur if a stay is issued in the initial issuing jurisdiction is a variance from the discretion allowed in former Maine Bar Rule 7.3(h)(2).

Rule 26(e) is identical to Model Rule 22(D) concerning the discipline to be imposed. It is similar to former Maine Bar Rule 7.3(h)(3) but clarifies the process for reciprocal discipline, burden of proof and time frames to be followed by the lawyer in attempting to demonstrate that the imposition of reciprocal discipline is inappropriate.

Rule 26(f) is substantively similar to Model Rule 22, and is in accord with former Maine Bar Rule 7.3(h).