Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Jay H. Otis
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Docket No.: BAR-13-7
Issued by: Supreme Judicial Court
Date: April 4, 2013
Respondent: Jay H. Otis
Bar Number: 002941
Order: Receiver Appointment
Disposition/Conduct: Receiver Appointment re: Jay H. Otis' Law Practice
Order for Appointment of Limited Receiver M. Bar R. 7.3(f)(1)
Upon the Petition for Appointment of Receiver filed by the Board of Overseers of the Bar, pursuant to M. Bar R. 7.3(f), this Court Orders the following:
As of this date, Attorneys Barbara Cardone and Roberta Winchell (Cardone & Winchell, LLC) are appointed the Receivers of (suspended) Attorney Jay R. Otis’s law practice. Attorneys Cardone and Winchell shall:
Secure the professional files, client property and client data of Mr. Otis.
Obtain access to Mr. Otis’s post office boxes to secure any law office or legal mail.
Inventory the open and closed client files.
Give priority attention to client matters which are open and time sensitive.
Notify clients or former clients that the law practice has concluded and provide opportunity for clients to retrieve their property.
Attorneys Cardone and Winchell shall also prudently access and utilize Mr. Otis’s operating and IOLTA accounts to effect a formal wind down of the practice, including the temporary retention of office staff or other personnel as necessary and appropriate.
As a service to the bar, Attorneys Cardone and Winchell acknowledge that they shall serve as Receivers on a pro bono basis, although if there are sufficient assets from the Otis law practice, Cardone & Winchell, LLC may be reimbursed from those assets. The Receivers shall submit a quarterly written report to the Court and the Board of Overseers of the Bar containing a record of time worked.
Likewise, the Receivers shall submit an itemized list of any disbursements made to effect the terms of this Order. Mr. Otis and his law practice shall be the first choice for source of payment for those disbursements. If insufficient assets are available from Mr. Otis, the Board of Overseers of the Bar may be an alternate payment source for those disbursements.
Attorneys Cardone and Winchell shall act as Receiver until discharged by the Court either by Motion or in accordance with M. Bar R 7.3(f).
Cardone & Winchell, LLC so appointed shall not disclose any information contained in any file listed in the 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. Bar R 7.3(f).
Furthermore, Attorneys Cardone and Winchell [Cardone & Winchell, LLC] may be engaged by any former client of Mr. Otis’s provided that the Receiver 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 Receivers’ employment by the client.
The Receivers are subject to all Maine Rules of Professional Conduct, including M. R. Prof Conduct 1.7; 1.8 and 1.9 regarding conflicts of interest. A client’s retention of the Receivers as successor counsel is not a per se conflict of interest solely by reason of Attorneys Cardone’s and Winchell’s appointment by this Order.
Attorneys Cardone and Winchell and Cardone & Winchell, LLC 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 Receivers shall file a status report with the Court, with a copy to the Board of Overseers of the Bar, c/o Assistant Bar Counsel Aria Eee, Esq.
Jon D. Levy
Maine Supreme Judicial Court