Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Warren M. Turner

Download Order for Appointment of Receiver (PDF)

Docket No.: BAR-11-15

Issued by: Supreme Judicial Court

Date: October 24, 2011

Respondent: Warren M. Turner

Bar Number: 001623

Order: Receiver Appointment

Disposition/Conduct: N/A

Order for Motion for Appointment of Receiver M. Bar R. 7.3(f)(1)

After Petition filed by the Board of Overseers, pursuant to M. Bar R. 7.3(f), the Court Orders the following:

As of this date, Thomas G. Ainsworth, Esq. is appointed the Receiver of Attorney Warren M. Turner’s law practice. As soon as possible, Attorney Ainsworth shall:

  1. secure the professional files, client property, client funds and data of Attorney Turner

  2. obtain access to Attorney Turner’s post office or mail box to secure any law office or legal mail

  3. inventory the open and closed client files

  4. give priority attention to client matters which are open and time sensitive

  5. notify clients and or former clients that the law practice is under Receivership and provide opportunity for clients to retrieve their property

  6. If necessary, Attorney Ainsworth shall locate appropriate successor counsel and provide services as are required to manage or wind down Attorney Turner’s practice

  7. Attorney Ainsworth shall also prudently access and utilize the operating and/or IOLTA accounts to wind down and if necessary, audit the law office. That review may include the temporary retention of office staff or other personnel as necessary and appropriate

Attorney Ainsworth shall submit to the Court a record of hours worked and disbursements made in the event the Court allows for payment of legal fees at a designated rate. Attorney Turner shall be the first choice for source of payment to Attorney Ainsworth, although ultimately, the Court may determine that Attorney Ainsworth serves in a pro bono capacity. Otherwise, Attorney Ainsworth may be compensated from any other source ordered by the Court, including those matters in which Attorney Turner’s clients have outstanding obligations to him. Attorney Ainsworth has standing to pursue claims as Receiver for past due legal fees related to Attorney Turner’s practice.

Attorney Ainsworth shall act as Receiver until discharged by the Court in accordance with paragraph 3 of Rule: 7.3(f).

Attorney Ainsworth so appointed shall not disclose any information contained in any file listed in such inventory without the consent of the client to whom such file relates except as may be necessary to carry out an order of court including any order under this Rule. Furthermore, Attorney Ainsworth may be engaged by any former client of Attorney Turner, provided that he informs any such client in writing that the client is free to choose to employ any attorney, and that the Court's appointment order does not mandate or recommend Attorney Ainsworth’s employment by the client . Attorney Ainsworth is subject to all Bar Rules and the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct, including M. R. Prof Conduct 1.7; 1.8 and 1.9 regarding conflicts of interest. However, the client’s retention of Attorney Ainsworth as successor counsel is not a per se conflict of interest solely by reason of Attorney Ainsworth’s appointment by this Order.

Attorney Ainsworth, his agents and employees shall be protected from liability for professional services rendered in accordance with this Order to the extent permitted by law.

Finally, within one hundred twenty-five (125) days of this Order, Attorney Ainsworth shall file a status report with the Court, with a copy to the Board of Overseers of the Bar.

For the Court

Joseph M. Jabar, Associate Justice

Maine Supreme Judicial Court