Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Bradford Alan Borman
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Docket No.: GCF#14-552
Issued by: Grievance Commission
Date: October 8, 2015
Respondent: Bradford Alan Borman
Bar Number: 004118
Disposition/Conduct: Bar Admission Disciplinary Matters, Violate or Attempt to violate any provision of either the MRPC or the Maine Bar Rules, Conduct Prejudicial to the Administration of Justice
M. Bar R. 13
On September 29, 2015, with due notice, panel D of the Grievance Commission conducted a public disciplinary hearing pursuant to Maine Bar Rule 13(e)(7) concerning misconduct by Respondent Bradford Alan Borman, Esq. On July 24, 2015 Bar Counsel J. Scott Davis filed with the Board of Overseers of the Bar [Board] a Disciplinary Petition. On that same date, Bar Counsel served that Disciplinary Petition on Mr. Borman [Borman] along with a Summons requiring him to answer the Petition within twenty days.
The Summons specifically warned Borman that failure to file an answer to the Disciplinary Petition within 20 days from the date of service would mean that the misconduct alleged in the Petition “shall be taken as admitted, but you may be heard on the question of sanctions.” Borman did not answer the Board’s Petition. Likewise, Borman did not appear at, nor participate in, the September 29, 2015 public disciplinary hearing.
Respondent Bradford Alan Borman of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was, until the imposition of an administrative suspension, at all times relevant hereto an attorney duly admitted to and authorized to engage in the practice of law in the State of Maine and/or a suspended Maine Attorney, in all events and respects subject to the Maine Bar Rules and the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct.
Borman was admitted to the Maine bar in 2007 and is currently subject to an administrative non-disciplinary suspension. The Board filed a grievance complaint against Borman on December 16, 2014, but Borman failed to file a response in defense of his actions. Such conduct violated M. R. Prof. Conduct 8.1(b).
During the course of the Board’s investigation Borman was afforded opportunities to submit a response(s) pursuant to then applicable M. Bar R. 7.1(d), but he failed to respond to Bar Counsel.
On May 20, 2015, a panel of the Grievance Commission reviewed this case and found probable cause to believe that Borman had engaged in misconduct subject to sanction under the Maine Bar Rules. Thus, the Grievance Commission panel authorized Bar Counsel to prepare and present a formal disciplinary petition before a different panel of the Grievance Commission.
On October 30, 2014, Mr. Borman was administratively suspended. Borman then failed to file the affidavit certifying his compliance with Maine Bar Rule 7.3(i)(2)(B) to confirm that he had provided proper notice to former clients, opposing attorneys, and tribunals of his administrative suspension from practice in Maine, as required within 30 days after that suspension date.
Although Bar Counsel’s initial docketing letter of December 29, 2014, was not received or accepted by Borman, Borman did, later receive and sign the United States Postal Service’s green card on February 19, 2015, confirming his receipt of Bar Counsel’s “second notice” and docketing letter dated February 13, 2015. To date, Borman has not filed an affidavit certifying compliance with the requirements of M. Bar R. 7.3(i)(2)(B).
Borman violated Maine Bar Rule 7.3(i)(2)(B) and Maine Rules of Professional Conduct 8.1(b) and 8.4(a)(d). As a consequence of his administrative suspension, he is not currently a licensed member of the Maine Bar, nor has he completed a change of status to inactive or withdrawn. The Maine Bar Rules provide that the purpose of bar disciplinary proceedings is not punishment, but rather, the protection of the public from attorneys who, by their conduct, have demonstrated that they are unable to properly discharge their professional duties. Among the factors to be considered in imposing sanctions are: the duty violated, the lawyer’s mental state, the actual or potential injury caused by the lawyer's misconduct and the existence of any aggravating or mitigating circumstances. See ABA Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions, 1991 (ABA Standards).
The first factor to be considered for sanctions under the ABA Standards is to determine what duty has been breached. The Maine Rules of professional conduct and the Maine Bar Rules require attorneys to uphold their responsibilities to clients and the courts. Borman violated his duties to the legal system by failing to complete the annual registration requirements in 2014 and by failing to file the required notification affidavit once he was administratively suspended. Borman’s neglect caused minor injury to the legal system. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court promulgated the Maine Bar Rules and the Maine Rules of Professional conduct to govern the practice of law by Maine attorneys. The information collected by the annual registration of lawyers facilitates the protection of the public and courts.
Borman's continuing failure to file an affidavit complying with M. Bar R. 7.3(i)(2)(B), is an aggravating circumstance.
Because the evidence supports a finding that Borman did, in fact, violate the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct, the Panel finds that a public reprimand serves those purposes. Therefore, the Panel concludes that the appropriate disposition of this case is a Public Reprimand to Respondent Bradford Alan Borman which is now hereby issued and imposed upon him pursuant to M. Bar R. 13(e)(10)(C).
Dated: October 8, 2015
James A. McKenna III, Esq., Panel Chair
Mary A. Denison, Esq., Panel Member
Emilie van Eeghen, Public Member