Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Peter T. Dawson, Esq.

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Docket No.: BAR-13-1

Issued by: Maine Supreme Judicial Court

Date: December 1, 2016

Respondent: Peter T. Dawson, Esq.

Bar Number: 000294

Order: Receiver Discharge Order

Disposition/Conduct: Receiver Discharge Order


ORDER FOR DISCHARGE OF RECEIVER
Me. Bar Rule 32(c)

Before the Court is a Petition for Discharge of the Receiver appointed by this Court to oversee the concluding of the law practice of Peter T. Dawson, Esq. The Petition is joined by Special Bar Counsel Paul Chaiken on behalf of the Overseers of the Bar. After consideration of the Court's Order Appointing Receiver, the Receiver's Report of Services Rendered, and the Petition for Discharge, the Court finds:

  1. Upon motion of then Assistant Bar Counsel Aria Eee, the Court appointed Donald J. Gasink, Esq., as Receiver of the law practice of Donald J. Gasink, Esq. for the purpose of obtaining possession of files belonging to Peter T. Dawson, Esq.'s clients, securing funds held in Peter T. Dawson, Esq.'s operating and trust accounts, obtaining Peter T. Dawson, Esq.'s trust account records, and protecting the interests of the clients and/ or former clients of Peter T. Dawson, Esq.
  2. Donald Gasink, Esq., Receiver of the law practice of Peter T. Dawson, Esq., has taken necessary and reasonable steps to fulfill his obligations as Receiver of the law practice of Peter T. Dawson, Esq. He has returned or attempted to return all client files to their rightful owners. He has secured funds held in Peter T. Dawson, Esq.'s operating and trust accounts and has identified the persons to whom those funds belong.
  3. Donald J. Gasink, Esq. has reviewed Peter T. Dawson, Esq.’s clients' files. He has generated an inventory of the client files and has provided that inventory to Special Bar Counsel.
  4. Donald J. Gasink, Esq. has distributed files to a significant number of clients and/or former clients of Peter T. Dawson, Esq. There were no active client files. A list of the files that have been returned to Peter T. Dawson, Esq.'s clients has been given to Special Bar Counsel.
  5. A number of Peter T. Dawson, Esq.'s clients, have not picked up their files, despite Receiver's reasonable efforts to provide them notice that they should do so.
  6. Some disposition needs to be made of the remaining files of Peter T. Dawson, Esq.'s former clients. The Board of Overseers of the Bar is best suited to arrange for secure retention and then secure destruction of these files.
  7. The Receiver has disbursed all funds from any trust accounts held by Peter T. Dawson, Esq. to the appropriate persons, as is set forth in the Receiver's Report. An accounting of said disbursements has been provided to Special Bar Counsel.
  8. Donald J. Gasink, Esq. served basically without compensation, but he has been compensated for the time his staff devoted to Receiver du ties.
  9. Donald J. Gasink, Esq. has recovered costs for performing Receiver duties and delivering files to clients, those costs being publication, postage and shredding of client files.

Based upon the foregoing, the Court makes the following findings and reaches the following conclusions:

  1. Donald J. Gasink, Esq., Receiver of the law practice of Peter T. Dawson, Esq., has taken all reasonable steps to discharge his obligations as Receiver of the law practice of Peter T. Dawson, Esq., to return all client files, to arrange for the secure retention and eventual destruction of those client files, and to disburse all funds in Peter T. Dawson, Esq.'s operating and trust accounts.
  2. Donald J. Gasink. Esq., is authorized to deliver the remaining files to the Board of Overseers of the Bar, which entity shall arrange for the secure retention of the files and eventual secure destruction of the files in December 2020.

THEREFORE it is hereby ORDERED:

  1. The actions of Donald J. Gasink, as Receiver of the law practice of Peter T. Dawson, as taken or proposed in the Report of the Receiver, are approved, inter alia, the disposition of the client files, disposition of IOLTA funds and disposition of general operating account funds, and the disposition of office equipment.
  2. Donald J. Gasink, Esq. is discharged as Receiver of the law practice of Peter T. Dawson Esq.
  3. The Court extends its gratitude to Mr. Gasink for his considerable efforts in protecting the clients of and closing the law office of Peter T. Dawson, Esq.

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

Dated: December 1, 2016


Thomas E. Humphrey
Associate Justice
Maine Supreme Judicial Court