Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Peter T. Dawson, Esq.

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Docket No.: BAR-13-1

Issued by: Supreme Judicial Court

Date: February 7, 2013

Respondent: Peter T. Dawson

Bar Number: 000294

Order: Receiver Appointment

Disposition/Conduct: Receiver of Peter Dawson Law Office

Order 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, Donald J. Gasink, Esq. is appointed the Receiver of Attorney Peter T. Dawson's law practice. Attorney Gasink shall:

  1. secure the professional files, client property and client data of Attorney Dawson;

  2. obtain access to Attorney Dawson's post office boxes 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; and

  5. notify clients or former clients that the law practice has concluded and provide opportunity for clients to retrieve their property.

  6. Attorney Gasink shall also prudently access and utilize Attorney Dawson's operating and IOLTA accounts to effect the formal conclusion of the practice, including the temporary retention of office staff or other personnel as necessary and appropriate.

Attorney Gasink 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 the State court appointment rate. The assets of Attorney Dawson shall be the first choice for source of payment to the Receiver, although ultimately, he may serve in a pro bono capacity. If insufficient assets are available from Attorney Dawson's Estate, the Board of Overseers of the Bar may be an alternate payment source for disbursements made to conclude the law practice.

Attorney Gasink shall act as Receiver until discharged by the Court either by Motion or in accordance with paragraph 3 of M. BarR 7.3(f).

Attorney Gasink 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 M. BarR 7.3(f).

Furthermore, Attorney Gasink may be engaged by any former client of Attorney Dawson provided that he informs 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 the Receiver's employment by the client. Attorney Gasink is subject to all Maine Rules of Professional Conduct, including M. R. Prof Conduct 1.7; 1.8 and 1.9 regarding conflicts of interest. However, a client's retention of the Receiver(s) as successor counsel is not a per se conflict of interest solely by reason of Attorney Gasink's appointment by this Order.

Attorney Gasink 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, the Receiver shall file a status report with the Court, with a copy to the Board of Overseers of the Bar.

Jon D. Levy

Associate Justice

Maine Supreme Judicial Court