Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Clifford M. Ginn
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Docket No.: BAR-20-11
Issued by: Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Date: February 8, 2021
Respondent: Clifford M. Ginn
Bar Number: 009919
Order: Consent Order Immediate Interim Suspension
This matter came before the Court on the Plaintiffs Petition for Interim Suspension dated October 29, 2020. The parties represented through their respective counsel that they had reached the following agreement: The Court therefore enters the following as its Order:
Attorney Clifford M. Ginn is suspended from the practice of law in Maine effective 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 5, 2021.
Attorney Ginn shall comply with the requirements of Maine Bar Rule 31.
From the date of this Order, and until further order of this Court, Attorney Ginn shall not accept any new clients.
From the date of this Order, and until further order of this Court, Attorney Ginn shall not exercise control over his IOLTA accounts and/or operating accounts.
In furtherance of this agreement, Attorney Peter Marchesi of Waterville Maine has agreed to assume responsibility and control or Attorney Ginns IOLTA accounts and operating accounts, and shall net as Court–appointed Receiver during the period of suspension. Attorney Marchesi may confer with Special Counsel Angela Morse regarding receivership duties. Plaintiff and Attorney Ginn agree to this arrangement, and the Court Orders that Attorney Marchesi become and remain named as a signatory on Attorney Ginns IOLTA accounts and operating accounts, and assume responsibility for and control over Attorney Ginns IOLTA accounts and operating accounts. Attorney Marchesis service does not create an attorney–client relationship between Attorney Marchesi and Attorney Ginn, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship between Attorney Marchesi and any of Attorney Ginns clients.
Attorney Ginn has represented that as of the date of this Order his IOLTA account contains only client funds, and that it contains all funds to which any client is or may be entitled. The Plaintiff and the Court have relied on that representation in reaching agreement and approving this Order.
The Court further Orders that Attorney Ginn shall close his law office(s), cease practicing law, and cease operations of any and all of his websites, Facebook/social media account(s) and any other form of advertising of his legal services during the period of his suspension. The aforesaid provision is effective as of the date of this Order except that Attorney Ginn may finish the matters in which he is representing clients pro bono, and the interim suspension of his license will take effect on March 5, 2021. Attorney Ginn is prohibited from receiving any legal fees or client funds as or the date or this Order. Attorney Ginn has represented that all matters on which he will work between the date of this order and the effective date of suspension are pro bono. The Plaintiff and the Court have relied on that representation in reaching agreement and approving this Order.
Subject to any further order of this Court, and subject to the provisions of this Order, the period of this interim suspension shall be from the above-stated effective time/date of 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 5, 2021, through final disposition by the Court of Bar 20–11 Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Clifford M. Ginn, Esq. The period of this interim suspension may be credited to Attorney Ginn at the discretion of the Court in the event final disposition of Bar 20–11 results in any sanction of suspension to be served.
In the event Attorney Ginn receives any fees after February 5, 2021, for services Attorney Ginn provided on or before that date, Attorney Ginn shall notify Plaintiff and said funds shall be deposited into Attorney's Ginn's operating accounts and/or IOLTA accounts for further disposition by the Receiver, Peter Marchesi.
Additionally, Attorney Ginn shall keep and maintain all client contacts and records m electronic storage and shall provide access to such client contacts and records, including all necessary login and password information, to the Court–Appointed Receiver, Attorney Peter Marchesi, as of the date of this Order. He shall also cooperate with the Court's Receiver, Attorney Marchesi in all aspects so as to protect the interests of his clients. Finally, as of the date of this Order Attorney Ginn will not access client files or records, except (i) with respect to the pro bono matters referenced in Paragraph 7, up to the date of suspension of March 5, 2021; (ii) for the purposes of his compliance with Bar Rule 31 and cooperation with Attorney Marchesi and only with prior notice to, and approval of, Plaintiff and under the supervision of Attorney Marchesi, and (iii) as reasonably necessary for purposes of addressing issues in Bar 20–11.
Attorney Ginn shall also ensure that communications are available directly between the relevant banking entities and Attorney Marchesi, without any intervening steps required by Attorney Ginn. In particular, Attorney Ginn will ensure that when any access code(s) are required by the relevant banking entities to access account(s), those codes will be sent directly by the bank to Attorney Marchesi.
Attorney Ginn is prohibited from removing from his law office, client files, or from the possession or control of the Receiver any funds, files, data, check books. financial records/bank information, client property, computer hardware/software or any client related or law office related items, from the date of this order until the interim suspension is effective and for the length of any time period that he may be suspended in BAR 20–11. Thereafter, Attorney Ginn will only access the aforesaid information in accordance with the provisions of a duly-approved and executed law office practice management contract referenced in paragraph 14.
lf Attorney Ginn receives any direct or indirect client communication relating to legal representation or legal advice on his personal cell phone, email or other platforms. he shall immediately direct the persons making communication to the Receiver and take no further action with regard to clients, client files or the communicating person.
Before Attorney Ginn may be reinstated to practice, he will present Plaintiff with the name of a practice monitor, approved by Plaintiff, und will obtain an evaluation and contract for law practice management assistance approved by Plaintiff.
Finally, from the date of this Order and during this interim suspension or any other suspension imposed in BAR 20–11. Attorney Ginn is prohibited from service in a professional capacity as a fiduciary and he is ordered to relinquish any such position as a fiduciary and take steps to receive any discharge from such fiduciary service.
Dated February 8, 2021
Hon. Dan Driscoll
Single Justice, by designation