Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Jay H. Otis

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Docket No.: BAR-13-7

Issued by: Supreme Judicial Court

Date: August 5, 2013

Respondent: Jay H. Otis

Bar Number: 002941

Order: Receiver Appointment

Disposition/Conduct: Amended Order for Appointment of Receiver


Amended Order for Appointment of Receiver M. Bar R. 7.3(f)(1)


Upon the July 24, 2013 Motion to Amend Order of Receiver filed by the Board of Overseers of the Bar, pursuant to M. Bar R. 7.3(f), this Court Orders the following:

As of this date, Attorney Roberta Winchell (Winchell Law & Associates, LLC) is re-appointed as the Receiver of (suspended) Attorney Jay R. Otis’s law practice. Attorney Winchell shall:

  1. Secure the professional files, client property and client data of Mr. Otis.

  2. Obtain access to Mr. Otis’s post office boxes to secure any law office or legal mail.

  3. Inventory the open and closed client files.

  4. Give priority attention to client matters which are open and time sensitive.

  5. Notify clients or former clients that the law practice has concluded and provide opportunity for clients to retrieve their property.

  6. Attorney Winchell shall also prudently access and utilize Mr. Otis’s operating and IOLTA accounts to effect a formal wind down of the practice, including the temporary retention of office staff or other personnel as necessary and appropriate.

As a service to the bar, Attorney Winchell acknowledges that she shall serve as Receiver on a pro bono basis, although if there are sufficient assets from the Otis law practice, Winchell Law & Associates, LLC may be reimbursed from those assets. The Receivers shall submit a quarterly written report to the Court and the Board of Overseers of the Bar containing a record of time worked.

Likewise, the Receiver shall submit an itemized list of any disbursements made to effect the terms of this Order. Mr. Otis and his law practice shall be the first choice for source of payment for those disbursements. If insufficient assets are available from Mr. Otis, the Board of Overseers of the Bar may be an alternate payment source for those disbursements.

Attorney Winchell shall act as Receiver until discharged by the Court either by Motion or in accordance with M. Bar R 7.3(f).

Winchell Law & Associates, LLC so appointed shall not disclose any information contained in any file listed in the inventory without the consent of the client to whom such file relates except as may be necessary to carry out an order of court including any order under M. Bar R 7.3(f).

Furthermore, Attorney Winchell may be engaged by any former client of Mr. Otis’s provided that the Receiver informs such client in writing that the client is free to choose to employ any attorney, and that the Court's appointment order does not mandate or recommend the Receivers’ employment by the client.

The Receiver is subject to all Maine Rules of Professional Conduct, including M. R. Prof Conduct 1.7; 1.8 and 1.9 regarding conflicts of interest. A client’s retention of the Receiver as successor counsel is not a per se conflict of interest solely by reason of Attorneys Winchell’s appointment by this Order.

Attorney Winchell and Winchell Law & Associates, LLC shall be protected from liability for professional services rendered in accordance with this Order to the extent permitted by law.

Finally, within thirty (30) days of this Order, the Receiver shall file a status report with the Court, with a copy to the Board of Overseers of the Bar, c/o Assistant Bar Counsel Aria Eee, Esq.


Jon D. Levy

Associate Justice

Maine Supreme Judicial Court