Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Glen Niemy

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Docket No.: GCF# 18-061

Issued by: Grievance Commission

Date: November 27, 2018

Respondent: Glen Niemy

Bar Number: 000829

Order: Admonition

Disposition/Conduct: Registration, Violate or attempt to violate any provision of the MBR or the MRPC


STIPULATED REPORT OF FINDINGS AND ORDER OF PANEL C OF THE GRIEVANCE COMMISSION
M. Bar R. 13(e)(7)(D)

On November 27, 2018, with due notice, Panel C of the Grievance Commission conducted a public disciplinary hearing pursuant to Maine Bar Rule 13(e)(7)(D) concerning misconduct by the Respondent, Glen Niemy. The disciplinary proceeding had been commenced by the filing of a Disciplinary Petition by the Board of Overseers of the Bar (the Board) on August 20, 2018.

At the stipulated hearing, the Board was represented by Assistant Bar Counsel Alan P. Kelley and Glen Niemy appeared without counsel. Prior to the hearing, the parties had submitted a stipulated proposed sanction Report for the Grievance Commission Panelā€™s review and consideration.

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

FINDINGS

  1. Respondent Glen Niemy of Salem, Massachusetts was, until the imposition of an administrative suspension, at all times relevant hereto an attorney duly admitted to and authorized to engage in the practice of law in the State of Maine and/or a suspended Maine Attorney, in all events and respects subject to the Maine Bar Rules and the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct.
  2. Mr. Niemy was admitted to the Maine bar in 1977 and he is currently subject to an administrative non-disciplinary suspension.
  3. On October 17, 2017 Mr. Niemy was administratively suspended by the Board for his failure to report CLE credit and his failure to register and pay the fees required by Maine Bar Rules.

  4. Mr. Niemy did not file the affidavit certifying his compliance with Maine Bar Rule 4(k) as required within 30 days after that suspension date.

  5. On February 16, 2018, Bar Counsel docketed a sua sponte grievance complaint against Mr. Niemy for to his failure to comply with the affidavit requirements.
  6. The Board sent a letter on February 21, 2018 to Mr. Niemy’s address as provided by him in his most recent registration with the Board, notifying him of the consequence of his failure to file that required affidavit.
  7. The Board sent a letter on April 26, 2018 which requested a response from Mr. Niemy to Bar Counsel’s investigation of the sua sponte grievance complaint.
  8. Mr. Niemy failed to notify the Board of his change of address within 30 days as required by Maine Bar Rule 4(b), and as a consequence, Mr. Niemy did not respond to the investigation of this grievance matter.
  9. On July 19, 2018, a panel of the Grievance Commission reviewed Mr. Niemy’s actions and, based upon that review, found probable cause to believe that he had engaged in misconduct subject to sanction under the Maine Bar Rules.
  10. On August 16, 2018, Mr. Niemy contacted Bar Counsel regarding his administrative suspension, and the pending disciplinary matter.
  11. On October 1, 2018 Mr. Niemy executed and filed an affidavit indicating that he had not been practicing law, and that he had no actual clients at the time of his administrative suspension in October of 2017.

CONCLUSION AND SANCTION

Mr. Niemy violated Maine Bar Rule 4(k)(8) and Maine Rules of Professional Conduct 8.4(a). As a consequence of his administrative suspension, he is not currently a licensed member of the Maine Bar.

Among the factors to be considered in imposing sanctions are: the duty violated, the lawyer’s mental state, the actual or potential injury caused by the lawyer’s misconduct and the existence of any aggravating or mitigating circumstances. See ABA Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions, 1991 (ABA Standards). See also M. Bar R. 21(c).

The first factor to be considered for sanctions under the ABA Standards is to determine what duty has been breached. The Maine Rules of professional conduct and the Maine Bar Rules require attorneys to uphold their responsibilities to clients and the courts. Mr. Niemy violated his duties to the legal system by failing to complete the annual registration requirements in 2017 and by failing to file the required notification affidavit once he was administratively suspended. Ultimately, Mr. Niemy did file the affidavit as contemplated by M. Bar R. 4(K), indicating that he had not been practicing law, and that he had no actual clients at the time of his administrative suspension. As a result, it appears that there was no actual injury to any client, or the public resulting from Mr. Niemy’s delay in filing his affidavit.

In sum, the evidence of misconduct supports the reviewing Panel’s findings, and Glen Niemy agrees that he did in fact violate the Maine Bar Rules and the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct. However, the Panel agrees that Mr. Niemy’s misconduct was minor; that there was little or no injury to a client, the public, the legal system, or the profession; and that there is little likelihood of repetition by Mr. Niemy. Accordingly, the Panel concludes that an admonition is a proper sanction to impose upon Niemy.

Therefore, the Panel accepts the agreement of the parties and concludes that the appropriate disposition of this case is the issuance of an admonition, which is now hereby issued and imposed upon Glen Niemy pursuant to M. Bar R. 13(e)(10)(B).

Date: November 27, 2018



Robert S. Hark, Esq., Panel Chair
Justin D. LeBlanc, Esq., Panel Member
Marjorie M. Medd, Public Member