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Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Lawrence A. Lunn, Esq.
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Docket No.: GCF #18-137
Issued by: Grievance Commission
Date: September 20, 2019
Respondent: Lawrence A. Lunn, Esq.
Bar Number: 002358
Order: Report Finding of Probable Cause for Filing of Information with the Court
Disposition/Conduct: Report Finding of Probable Cause for Filing of Information with the Court
M. Bar R. 13(e)(10)(E)
On September 20, 2019, Panel A of the Grievance Commission (the "Panel") conducted a telephonic disciplinary hearing pursuant to Maine Bar Rule 13(e)(7)(D) concerning misconduct by the Respondent, Lawrence A. Lunn, Esq. The disciplinary proceeding had been commenced by the filing of a Disciplinary Petition by the Board of Overseers of the Bar (the "Board") on February 1, 2019.
At the stipulated hearing, the Board was represented by Assistant Bar Counsel Alan P. Kelley and Attorney Lunn appeared pro se. Prior to the hearing, the parties agreed to a stipulation that based upon the conduct alleged in the Disciplinary Petition, and Attorney Lunns prior disciplinary history, that there was probable cause for suspension pursuant to M. Bar R. 13(e)(10)(E), and that the matter should proceed by way of information before a single justice.
The Panel incorporates herein by reference the parties exhibits in connection with this disciplinary proceeding, and highlights in its Finding of Probable Cause for Filing of an Information ("Finding of Probable Cause") two specific matters of importance:
- The Divorce Judgment in the matter of James M. Leonard v. Lorraine P. Leonard (BANGDC-FM-18-043) was entered by the court on April 5, 2018. Attorney Lunn represents via Board Exhibit #11 that he spent 7.3 hours working on his clients behalf in connection with the divorce proceeding, earning a total of $1,095 (7.31 hours x $150/hour). By this calculation, Attorney Lunn was obligated to timely refund to his client $1,905, which was the balance of the $3,000 retainer. Attorney Lunn testified during the telephonic disciplinary hearing on September 20, 2019, that he failed to timely return to his client the balance of the retainer on account of Attorney Lunn feeling "nickel and dimed" having reduced his hourly fee from $200/hour to $150/hour at the outset of the representation; and "annoyed" and "angry" with his client for how his client spoke to him and/or treated him during the course of the representation. Attorney Lunn returned $2,500 of the retainer to his client on January 30, 2019, upon being ordered to do so by the Fee Arbitration Panel of the Fee Arbitration Commission ("Fee Panel"), approximately 9 months after the court entered the Divorce Judgment.
- The exhibits Attorney Lunn prepared and submitted in response to GCF No. 18-137 support a conclusion that Attorney Lunn and the public would benefit from ongoing oversight and supervision after his period of suspension concludes. Specifically, Attorney Lunns office filing, documentation, and organizational systems; attention to administrative detail; methods of communicating to the court and clients; and systems for recording time spent in connection with legal services he renders and billing clients for the same needs substantial improvement (see, e.g. Board Exhibit #9, paragraph 4; Respondents Answer, paragraph 24; Board Exhibits #11, #12).
Therefore, after inquiry of the parties, the Panel accepts the agreement of the parties and concludes that the appropriate disposition of this case is a finding of probable cause for suspension, and directs Bar Counsel to prepare and file an information with the Clerk of the Law Court pursuant to M. Bar R. 13(e)(10)(E)
Date: September 20, 2019
Cynthia M. Mehnert, Esq., Panel Chair
Megan A. Sanders, Esq., Panel Member
Milton R. Wright, Public Member
1At a hearing held before Fee Panel on December 4, 2018, Attorney Lunn asserted that he spent 7.25 hours on Mr. Leonards case justifying a fee of $1,087.50. Attorney Lunns representation before the Fee Panel is inconsistent with the representation Attorney Lunn makes in Board Exhibit #11, which asserts that he spent 7.3 hours (not 7.25 hours) on Mr. Leonards case. Undersigned members of the Panel make note of this discrepancy in further support of numbered paragraph 2 on page 3 of this Finding of Probable Cause.