RULE 3. Central Intake
(a) Functions. There is hereby established a Central Intake Office, staffed by the Board Clerk, which shall:
(1) receive information and complaints regarding the conduct of lawyers over whom the Court has jurisdiction, provided this rule shall not be construed to limit the authority of any authorized agency to institute proceedings;
(2) provide assistance to complainants in stating their complaints;
(3) provide information to complainants about the status of their complaints;
(4) determine whether the facts stated in a complaint or other information regarding the conduct of a lawyer provide grounds for further action by Bar Counsel or referral to another agency, and:
(A) dismiss the complaint; or
(B) forward it to Bar Counsel, or to an appropriate agency or agencies;
(5) provide to the complainant, if a complaint is dismissed:
(A) a copy of the written guidelines for dismissal;
(B) in the event of dismissal, a notice of complainant’s right of review pursuant to Rule 9(e); and
(6) record disposition of all complaints.
(b) Powers and Duties. The Board Clerk shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) to notify the complainant and the respondent of the disposition of matters;
(2) to forward a certified copy of the judgment of a lawyer’s criminal conviction to the disciplinary agency in each jurisdiction in which that lawyer is admitted when the lawyer is convicted of a serious crime (as hereinafter defined) in Maine;
(3) to maintain disciplinary records, subject to the file retention requirements of Rule 18(g), and to compile statistics to aid in the administration of the system, including but not limited to a single log of all complaints received, investigative files, statistical summaries of docket processing and case dispositions, and other records as the Board or the Court may require to be maintained. Statistical summaries shall contain, at a minimum:
(A) the number of pending cases at each stage in the disciplinary process for each counsel and for the agency;
(B) the number of new cases assigned to each counsel during the year and the total for the agency;
(C) the number of cases carried over from the prior year for each counsel and the total for the agency; and
(D) the number of cases closed by each counsel during the year and the total for the agency.
(4) to provide legal and administrative support to the Fee Arbitration Commission and Grievance Commission;
(5) to appoint alternate members to the Fee Arbitration Commission and Grievance Commission panels as necessary to meet the requirements of Rules 7(d)(8)(A) and 9(a);
(6) to provide notice of public discipline, suspension, disbarment, and reinstatement to general media outlets throughout Maine, and throughout other jurisdictions in which the Board has reason to believe the attorney has been admitted to practice; and
(7) to perform any other functions authorized by these Rules.
Reporter’s Notes – June 2015
Rule 3(a) is based on Model Rule 1(B) and has no equivalent in the former Maine Bar Rules. This rule establishes a Central Intake Office staffed by a Board Clerk. The committee believes that the Central Intake Office will serve a valuable function by processing inquiries from the public and potential complainants, handling complaints and communicating with component agencies of the Board. The Central Intake Office and the Board Clerk serve an important screening function, freeing Bar Counsel to investigate only potentially meritorious complaints, and they provide important assistance to complainants and members of the public.
Rule 3(b) is based on Model Rule 1(B) and has no equivalent in the former Maine Bar Rules. This rule further details the powers and duties of the Board Clerk. Important duties of the Board Clerk detailed in revised rule 3(b) include the dissemination of disciplinary information, recordkeeping, and lending legal and administrative support to Grievance and Fee Arbitration Commission panels.