Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Dale F. Thistle, Esq.


Docket No.: BAR-14-10

Issued by: Single Justice, Maine Supreme Judicial Court

Date: May 28, 2014

Respondent: Dale F. Thistle, Esq.

Bar Number: 007483

Order: Receiver Appointment

Disposition/Conduct: Appointment of Proxy

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

As of this date, Michael A. Wiers is appointed as the Receiver of Attorney Dale F. Thistle's law practice. As such Attorney Wiers shall have the sole authority to:.

1. Secure the professional files, client funds and file property of the Thistle law office;.

2. Obtain signatory authority over all Thistle law office bank accounts (IOLTA and operating/office accounts).

3. Obtain access to Attorney Thistle's computer hardware and software (together with required passwords), and any post office boxes to secure all law office or legal mail.

4. Inventory the open and closed client files.

5. Give priority attention to client matters which are open and time sensitive. In addition, Attorney Wiers shall notify all courts that he is serving as Attorney Thistle’s Court-Appointed Receiver.

6. Notify clients or former clients that Attorney Wiers is servmg as Receiver for the Thistle law practice and provide opportunity for clients to retrieve their property.

7. The Receiver shall access and utilize Attorney Thistle's operating and IOLTA accounts to prudently and appropriately wind down the practice. The Receiver may pay expenses, as he deems appropriate given available funds or anticipated receivables to the firm. The Receiver may also hire temporary office staff and take other action as necessary and appropriate to wind down and close the Thistle law practice.

As a service to the bar, Attorney Wiers acknowledges that he shall serve as Receiver on a pro bono basis, although if there are sufficient assets (including receivables) from Attorney Thistle's law practice, Attorney Wiers may be compensated from those assets. The Receiver shall submit a quarterly written report to the Court and the Board of Overseers of the Bar containing a record of time worked in the event the Court orders Attorney Thistle to remit payment to the Receiver.

Likewise, Attorney Wiers shall submit an itemized list of any wind-down disbursements made to effect the terms of this Order. Attorney Thistle and his law practice shall be the first choice for source of payment for those disbursements. If insufficient assets are available from Attorney Thistle's practice, the Court may Order that the Board of Overseers of the Bar be an alternate payment source for the disbursements.

Attorney Wiers shall act as Receiver until discharged by the Court either by Motion or in accordance with M. Bar R 7.3(f).

Additionally, Attorney Wiers so appointed shall not disclose any information contained in any me 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, Attorney Wiers may be engaged by any former client of Attorney Thistle's so long as Attorney Wiers 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 Wiers 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. A client's retention of Attorney Wiers as successor counsel is not a per se conflict of interest solely by reason of appointment by this Order.

Attorney Wiers shall be protected from liability for professional services rendered as the appointed Receiver in accordance with this Order.

Finally, within ninety (90) days of this Order, Attorney Wiers shall file a status report with the Court, with a copy to Bar Counsel, J. Scott Davis, Esq.

Ellen A. Gorman, Associate Justice

Maine Supreme Judicial Court