Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Rebecca St. Laurent

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Docket No.: GCF# 09-018

Issued by: Grievance Commission

Date: March 9, 2010

Respondent: Rebecca St. Laurent

Bar Number: 004123

Order: Reprimand

Disposition/Conduct: Failure to comply with affidavit requirements


Stipulated Report of Findings and Order of Panel C of the Grievance Commission


On February 8, 2010, with due notice, Panel C of the Grievance Commission conducted a disciplinary hearing concerning misconduct by the Respondent, Rebecca St. Laurent. This disciplinary proceeding had commenced on October 30, 2009 through the Board of Overseers of the Bar’s filing of a Disciplinary Petition. The February 8, 2010 hearing was open to the public pursuant to Maine Bar Rule 7.1(e)(2)(E).

At the hearing, the Board of Overseers of the Bar (the Board) was represented by Assistant Bar Counsel Aria Eee and Ms. St. Laurent appeared telephonically, pro se. Prior to the hearing date, the parties submitted a stipulated, proposed sanction Report for the Grievance Commission Panel’s review and consideration.

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

FINDINGS

Respondent Rebecca St. Laurent (St. Laurent) of Washington, DC had been at all times relevant hereto an attorney duly admitted to the practice of law in the State of Maine. As such, Ms. St. Laurent, a 2006 admittee to the Maine Bar, has been subject to the Maine Bar Rules. She is currently a suspended Maine attorney (see below) and she does not plan to seek reinstatement to practice law.

On October 16, 2008 Ms. St. Laurent was administratively suspended by the Board due to her CLE deficiencies and her failure to register and pay the necessary fees as required by the Maine Bar Rules. On February 2, 2009, Bar Counsel docketed a sua sponte grievance complaint against St. Laurent related to her failure to comply with the affidavit requirements of Maine Bar Rules 3.2(f)(1) and 7.3(i)(2)(A),(B).

After Bar Counsel’s filing of this disciplinary action, Ms. St. Laurent did eventually file a response and an affidavit in this matter. In that response, Ms. St. Laurent verified her lack of any clients and actual law practice in Maine. Similarly, Ms. St. Laurent emphasized her desire not to become a Maine practitioner. Given that intention, Ms. St. Laurent does not contest this proceeding and agrees that her conduct, though not intentional, resulted in violations of the Maine Bar Rules.

CONCLUSION AND SANCTION

The Code of Professional Responsibility specifically requires attorneys to uphold their responsibilities to clients and the courts. Due to Ms. St. Laurent’s above-outlined failures, the Maine Bar Rules were violated and as a consequence of her administrative suspension, she is no longer able to serve as a member of the Maine Bar.

M. Bar. R. 2(a) provides that 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. Since the evidence supports a finding and Ms. St. Laurent agrees that she did in fact violate the Code of Professional Responsibility, the Panel finds that a public reprimand serves those purposes.

Therefore, the Panel accepts the agreement of the parties, including Ms. St. Laurent’s waiver of the right to file a Petition for Review, and concludes that the appropriate disposition of this case is a Public Reprimand to Rebecca St. Laurent which is now hereby issued and imposed upon her pursuant to M. Bar R. 7.1(e)(3)(C), (4). Bar Counsel shall deliver that Reprimand to Ms. St. Laurent by U.S. Mail and email on this date.


For the Parties

Aria Eee, Assistant Bar Counsel

Rebecca St. Laurent, Esq.


For the Grievance Commission

David S. Abramson, Esq., Chair

Martha C. Gaythwaite, Esq.

Christine Holden, Ph.D