Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Dale F. Thistle

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Docket No.: BAR#14-10

Issued by: Maine Supreme Judicial Court

Date: April 13, 2016

Respondent: Dale F. Thistle

Bar Number: 007483

Order: Receiver Discharge Order

Disposition/Conduct: Receiver Discharge Order


The Board of Overseers of the Bar ("the Board") has filed a petition to discharge Michael A. Wiers as Receiver for the law practice of Dale F. Thistle. The Board represents it provided copies of its petition and the final report of the Receiver to counsel for Dale F. Thistle. Mr. Thistle has not filed any opposition to the petition. Therefore the Court makes the following findings, and enters the following orders:

  1. Michael A. Wiers, Receiver of the law practice of Dale F. Thistle, has taken all reasonable steps to discharge the obligations as Receiver, to return all client files, and to marshal all funds in Thistle's operating and trust accounts.
  2. The Board is able to maintain in storage those client files that have not yet been retrieved by Thistle's former clients. All files may be securely destroyed April 14, 2022, or six years from the last activity in each individual file, whichever date is earlier.
  3. The Overseers shall maintain a record of the costs for storage and maintenance of the client files. All costs incurred by the Overseers in the retention, storage, maintenance and destruction of the files shall be borne by Dale F. Thistle.
  4. The Receiver shall deliver the contents of the safe deposit box to the Board. Thistle shall present any evidence of ownership of the coins and stamps to the Board on or before May 16, 2016. If Thistle claims that the coins and stamps are his property or the property of a client, the Board shall notify the Court, and the Court will schedule a hearing to determine the disposition of the coins and stamps. If Thistle does not claim that the coins and stamps are his property, and if no client claims that the coins and stamps are his or her property on or before April 14, 2022, the Board shall deliver the coins and stamps to the Treasurer of the State of Maine for disposition under the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, 33 M.R.S. § 1351 et seq.
  5. The Receiver shall deliver all funds, whether from IOLTA or general accounts, to the Board. The Board shall deliver the funds to the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection. The Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection, pursuant to the rules which govern it, may pay claims or apply the funds towards the amounts owed by Thistle to the Fund. The Court acknowledges the valuable service Michael Wiers has performed thanks him for his generous efforts and extends its sincere appreciation for agreeing to serve.

Accordingly, it is further ORDERED:

  1. Michael A. Wiers, Esq., is discharged as Receiver of the law practice of Dale F. Thistle, effective immediately.
  2. The Receiver is authorized to retain the office computers and servers currently in his possession. Should he not wish to retain and use those computers, they shall be delivered to the Board, which may retain or dispose of the computers at its discretion.
  3. Mr. Thistle is personally responsible for repayment of any outstanding debts in his name, and is personally responsible for reimbursing the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection for all sums it has paid or does pay to his former clients. Further, Dale F. Thistle must reimburse the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection for expenses it has incurred in connection with claims of his former clients.

The Clerk is directed to incorporate this Order by reference upon the docket.

Dated: April 13, 2016

Ellen A. Gorman
Associate Justice
Maine Supreme Judicial Court