Board of Overseers of the Bar v. James W. Campbell, Esq.

Download Download Decision (PDF)

Docket No.: GCF# 11-352

Issued by: Grievance Commission

Date: October 30, 2012

Respondent: James W. Campbell, Esq.

Bar Number: 002567

Order: Reprimand

Disposition/Conduct: Criminal Conduct in violation of M. R. Prof. Coduct 8.4(b)


On October 30, 2012, with due notice, Panel C of the Grievance Commission conducted a public disciplinary hearing pursuant to Maine Bar Rule 7. 1 (e)(2)(E), concerning misconduct by the Respondent, James W. Campbell, Esq. This disciplinary proceeding had been commenced by the filing of a Disciplinary Petition by the Board of Overseers of the Bar (the Board) on July 30, 2012.

At the hearing, Attorney Campbell appeared with his counsel, Attorney Michael K. Martin. The Board was represented by Bar Counsel J. Scott Davis. Prior to the disciplinary proceeding, the parties had submitted a stipulated proposed sanction Report for the Grievance Commission Panel's review and consideration.

Having reviewed the agreed, proposed findings as presented by counsel, the Panel makes the following disposition:


Respondent James W. Campbell, Esq. of Hingham, Massachusetts has been at all relevant times an attorney duly admitted to and authorized to engage in the practice of law in the State of Maine, and subject to the Maine Bar Rules and the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct. Attorney Campbell was admitted to the Maine Bar in 1973. He is currently registered as a non-resident active attorney in Maine, with his primary law office and practice being located in Massachusetts. He has no law office or clients in Maine.

On November 2, 2011, Campbell "self-reported" his misconduct to Bar Counsel. By that self-report, Campbell disclosed and admitted that on October 4, 2011 he had entered a plea of nolo contendre in the Salem New Hampshire District Court concerning the misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure and lewdness. As a result, he was fined $750.00 for that criminal conduct and conviction.

Based upon an agreed upon stipulation between Campbell and the Massachusetts Office of the Bar Counsel, on March 12, 2012 the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers voted to sanction Campbell by a public reprimand in that jurisdiction for that same criminal conviction.


The Maine Rules of Professional Conduct specifically require attorneys to uphold their responsibilities to clients and the courts. In addition, under M. Bar R. 2(a) and M. R. Prof. Conduct 8.4(a), Maine's professional conduct rules are applicable to Maine attorneys notwithstanding the absence of any attorney / client relationship. Attorney Campbell agrees his criminal conviction violated M. R. Prof. Conduct 8.4(b)(criminal conduct that reflects adversely on a lawyer's fitness to practice). The panel notes that Attorney Campbell has taken responsibility for his misconduct. At the disciplinary hearing, Attorney Campbell expressed his remorse for his violation of the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct.

The purpose of bar disciplinary proceedings is not punishment, but rather the protection of the public from attorneys who, by their conduct, have demonstrated that they are unable to properly discharge their professional duties. See M. Bar. R. 2(a). Attorney Campbell has no prior disciplinary or sanction record in Maine. Since the evidence supports a finding and Attorney Campbell agrees that he did in fact violate the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct, the Panel finds that a public reprimand serves those purposes.

Therefore, the Panel accepts the agreement of the parties, including Attorney Campbell's separately executed waiver of the right to file a Petition for Review, and concludes that the appropriate disposition of this case is a Public Reprimand to James W. Campbell, Esq. which is now hereby issued and imposed upon him/her pursuant to M. Bar R. 7.1(e)(3)(C), (4).

For the Grievance Commission

Martha C. Gaythwaite, Esq., Chair

Peter C. Fessenden, Esq.

Kenneth L. Roberts (layperson)