10. Assessment of Attorneys for Expenses of Administration
(a) Annual Fee. Every attorney required to register in accordance with these rules, other than judicial law clerks, members of the armed forces of the United States who are on active duty outside of the State of Maine, and suspended attorneys, shall pay an annual fee as established by the Court, which shall be paid to the Board with the registration statement on or before August 31 as required by Rule 6(a)(1). Judicial law clerks and members of the armed forces of the United States who are on active duty outside of the State of Maine must file a registration statement and pay the annual fee required for the year in which active or inactive practice is resumed within 30 days of completion of their service. In addition to any registration fee required under the provisions of Maine Bar Rule 6(c)(1), the registration fee for attorneys registering in emeritus status under Rule 6(d) shall be $25.00 per year until otherwise ordered by the Court.
(b) Failure of Payment. Any attorney who fails to pay the fee required under subdivision (a) of this rule with the annual registration statement by August 31 is automatically suspended. Notice of the suspension shall be given by the Board by registered or certified mail, and return receipt requested, addressed to the office or home address last known to the Board. Such suspension shall not be effective until thirty (30) days after the date of mailing the notice thereof. The failure to pay shall not be considered a violation of the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct per se and the suspension for failure to pay shall not constitute the imposition of discipline. Any suspension pursuant to this subdivision shall be subject to Maine Bar Rules 7.3(i)(2) and 7.3(j)(4). An attorney who, after the date of the mailing of such notice of suspension but before the effective date of such suspension, pays the annual fee as required under subdivision (a) of this rule and receives from the Board acknowledgement of such payment, shall be deemed to be in compliance with this rule and shall not be suspended for failure to pay such fee. An attorney aggrieved as a result of a suspension may apply to the Board Chair for summary relief for good cause shown.
(c) Reinstatement Fees. Any attorney suspended under the provisions of subdivision (b) of this rule shall, prior to reinstatement, pay all arrears due from the date of the attorney's last payment to the date of the request for reinstatement, and shall also pay in addition to the $25.00 late fee imposed by Rule 6(a)(1) a reinstatement assessment of $125.00 unless excused from such reinstatement assessment by the Board as a result of its determination that to impose the same would result in a grave injustice under the circumstances. Attorneys who have been suspended within the previous five (5) years for non-compliance with M. Bar R. 12, shall be assessed an additional $50.00 reinstatement fee.
(d) Amount of Fees. The annual fees for the following categories shall be established from time to time by order of the Court on recommendation of the Board:
(1) Attorneys admitted to the practice of law in this State but conducting their practice primarily in another jurisdiction, and not maintaining an office here.
(2) Attorneys admitted to the bar of this State or any other jurisdiction for 3 or fewer years as of January 1 of that year.
(3) Attorneys admitted to the bar of this State or any other jurisdiction for more than 50 years as of such date.
(4) All other attorneys.
(e) Use of Fees Paid. The fees so paid, pursuant to the foregoing sections, together with any other source of funds made available to the Board, shall be used to defray the costs of attorney registration, disciplinary investigation, hearings and enforcement, expenses of fee arbitrations and for such other purposes as the Board, with the approval of the Court, may determine.
(f) Audit. The Board shall annually obtain an independent audit by a certified public accountant of the funds entrusted to it and their disposition, and shall file a copy of such audit with the Court.