Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Daniel C. Purdy, Esq.
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Docket No.: 10-157
Issued by: Grievance Commission
Date: May 24, 2011
Respondent: Daniel C. Purdy, Esq.
Bar Number: 006792
Disposition/Conduct: Diligence, Communication, Conduct Prejudicial to the Administration of Justice
STIPULATED REPORT OF FINDINGS AND ORDER OF PANEL D OF THE GRIEVANCE COMMMISSION M. Bar R. 7.1(e)(2)(4)
On May 24, 2011, with due notice, Panel D of the Grievance Commission conducted a public disciplinary hearing pursuant to Maine Bar Rule 7.1(e)(2)(E), concerning misconduct by the Respondent, Daniel C. Purdy, Esq. This disciplinary proceeding had been commenced by the filing of a Disciplinary Petition which the Board of Overseers of the Bar amended on November 15, 2010.
At the hearing, Attorney Purdy was pro se and the Board was represented by Assistant Bar Counsel Aria Eee. Prior to the disciplinary proceeding, the parties submitted a stipulated, proposed sanction Report for the Grievance Commission Panel’s review and consideration. Michael Chasse, the Complainant in this matter, is incarcerated out of state and did not attend or participate in the hearing. Bar Counsel did, however, provide Chasse with a copy of the proposed order in advance of this hearing.
Having reviewed the agreed, proposed Report of Findings as presented by counsel, the Panel makes the following disposition:
On April 7, 2010, Michael L. Chasse filed a grievance complaint against Purdy. Chasse’s complaint detailed his concerns with Purdy’s handling of his Post-Conviction Review matter. Purdy answered the complaint, acknowledging his failure to complete work on Chasse’s case. Indeed, the Piscataquis County Superior Court docket record reflects missed deadlines by Purdy related to his required filings on Chasse’s time-served credit dispute. In total, Purdy’s actions constituted violations of Maine Rules of Professional Conduct 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4 (Communication) and 8.4(d) (Conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice). Eventually, Purdy completed the required filings to then negotiate a settlement of Chasse’s Post-Conviction Review matter.
In his response to the complaint, Purdy admitted his delayed actions and explained that his efforts were impacted by various medical problems which have posed significant challenges to his ability to work. While Mr. Purdy did not provide the explanation as an excuse for his misconduct, he did ask that the Board view his lapse within the context of his personal circumstances.
The Maine Rules of Professional Conduct specifically require attorneys to uphold their responsibilities to clients and the courts. Due to Attorney Purdy’s above-outlined failures, Mr. Chasse’s case was unnecessarily delayed and the Penobscot County’s District Attorney’s office and Bar Counsel were required to repeatedly pursue Attorney Purdy for information and cooperation. He has, however, readily accepted responsibility for his neglect of Chasse’s matter and his unresponsiveness to his colleague and to Bar Counsel. The Panel notes and Bar Counsel has confirmed that Attorney Purdy has no history of prior discipline.
At the disciplinary hearing, Attorney Purdy expressed remorse for his violations of the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct. Notably, 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 have demonstrated that they are unable to discharge properly their professional duties. Since the evidence supports a finding and Attorney Purdy agrees that he did in fact violate the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct, the Panel finds that a public reprimand serves that purpose.
Therefore, the Panel accepts the agreement of the parties, including Attorney Purdy’s waiver of the right to file a Petition for Review under M. Bar R. 7.2(a), and concludes that the appropriate disposition of this case is a Public Reprimand to Daniel C. Purdy, Esq. which is now hereby issued and imposed upon him pursuant to M. Bar R. 7.1(e)(3)(C), (4).
For the Grievance Commission
Benjamin P. Townsend, Esq.
William E. Baghdoyan, Esq.
Kathleen A. Schulz