Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Mary Notaris
Download Download Decision (PDF)
Docket No.: BAR-11-4
Issued by: Supreme Judicial Court
Date: August 16, 2011
Respondent: Mary Notaris
Bar Number: 007642
Order: Disbarment Reciprocal Discipline
Disposition/Conduct: Diligence; Communication; Making a False Statement in Connection with a Disciplinary Matter
On May 10, 2011 the Board of Overseers of the Bar (Board) petitioned this Court for reciprocal discipline against Mary Notaris, a New Hampshire resident and suspended Maine attorney. Attached to the Board's Petition for Reciprocal Discipline was a certified copy of the November 10, 2010 Supreme Court of New Hampshire's Order disbarring Notaris in that state.
The Court notes that on June 23, 2011, Notaris was served with a copy of the Board's pleadings and this Court's May 16, 2011 Order and Notice. Thereafter, Notaris had 30 days in which to notify this Court of any claim by her that identical discipline in Maine would be unwarranted. While Notaris failed to file an answer to the Court's Order and Notice, she did ultimately engage in negotiations with Assistant Bar Counsel Aria Eee. The parties have subsequently reached agreement as to findings and disposition of this matter. Additionally, the parties have agreed to integrate Notaris' more recent disciplinary action with this Reciprocal Discipline matter. That action was initially processed as a Grievance Commission matter but Notaris has elected to waive the Grievance Commission forum and have the Court resolve all of her pending disciplinary matters.
In January 1992, Notaris was admitted to practice law in Maine. Shortly thereafter, she was admitted to practice in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. From 1994 until her November 2010 disbarment, Notaris maintained a law office in Salem, New Hampshire.
Notaris has acknowledged that her misconduct in New Hampshire constitutes similar misconduct in Maine and encompasses several violations of the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct. Specifically, those violations include Rules 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4 (Communication), 8.1(a) (Making a false statement of material fact in connection with a disciplinary matter), and 8.4(c) (Conduct involving dishonesty, deceit, and misrepresentation). Notaris also agrees that she violated Maine Bar Rule 7.3(i)(2) when she failed to file with the Court and the Board the required affidavit attesting to her compliance with the provisions of that Rule. On July 11, 2011, the Board received Notaris' affidavit indicating that she has no clients for whom she is providing legal representation.
In that regard, although Notaris is no longer licensed to practice law in any jurisdiction, she continues to work at Salem Legal Services as a Mediator and an Office Manager. The Court emphasizes that any work performed by Notaris must not be legal services, despite her training and prior bar licensures. Moreover, any advertizing for Salem Legal Services, LLC must reflect the fact that Notaris is no longer practicing law or providing legal advice to consumers and clients of Salem Legal Services, LLC.
Accordingly, upon consideration of the Board of Overseers of the Bar's Petition for Reciprocal Discipline and the parties' proposed agreement, it is hereby ORDERED as follows:
The Board of Overseers of the Bar's Petition for Reciprocal Discipline is hereby granted in all respects;
Effective immediately and pursuant to M. Bar R. 7.3(h)(3), Mary Notaris is disbarred for her violations of those portions of Maine's Rules of Professional Conduct that are analogous to her violations of New Hampshire's Rules of Professional Conduct as found in the Supreme Court of New Hampshire's November 10, 2010 Order.
Ms. Nota.ris is also Publicly Reprimanded for her violation of M. Bar R. 7.3 i (2)(a)(b).
Pursuant to M. Bar R. 7.3(j)(1), Ms. Notaris must wait until three (3) years from the effective date of this disbarment to seek reinstatement; and
Prior to her reinstatement in Maine, Ms. Notaris must comply with the provisions outlined in M. Bar R. 7.4(j).
For the Court
Donald G. Alexander, Associate Justice Maine Supreme Judicial Court