Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Paul L. Letourneau

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Docket No.: BAR-16-17

Issued by: Maine Supreme Judicial Court

Date: August 5, 2016

Respondent: Paul L. Letourneau

Bar Number: 009544

Order: Receiver Appointment

Disposition/Conduct: Receiver Appointment

Order for Appointment of Receiver
M. Bar R. 32

Pursuant to the Court's Order of Interim Suspension of August 27, 2016, counsel for the Board of Overseers of the Bar and for Defendant Paul L. Letourneau have conferred and agreed1to the following Order of Appointment:

As of August 5, 2016 at 5:00 p.m., Attorney Joseph S. Mekonis is appointed as the Receiver of Paul L. Letourneau's law practice. As such Attorney Mekonis shall have the sole authority to:

  1. Secure the professional files, client funds and file property of the Letourneau law office;
  2. Obtain signatory authority over all Letourneau law office bank accounts (IOLTA and operating/office accounts);
  3. Obtain access to Mr. Letourneau'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. In cooperation with the Board, make arrangements for retention and storage of client files not retrieved by former clients;
  6. Advertise in the local newspaper that the office is presently closed and providing clients with an opportunity to retrieve their files from Receiver Attorney Mekonis;
  7. Notify all courts that Attorney Mekonis will continue to serve as Mr. Letourneau's Receiver until discharged by this Court; and,
  8. As Receiver, Attorney Mekonis shall access and utilize Mr. Letourneau's operating and IOLTA accounts to prudently and appropriately manage the practice. The Receiver may pay expenses, as he deems appropriate given available funds or anticipated receivables to the law office.

Attorney Mekonis shall not disclose any information contained in any file 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. 32.

Attorney Mekonis may be engaged by any former client of Mr. Letourneau provided that Attorney Mekonis informs such client in writing that the client is free to choose to employ any attorney, and that the Court's appointment of Attorney Mekonis does not mandate or recommend the Receiver's employment by the client.

The Receiver 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 the Receiver as successor counsel is not a per se conflict of interest solely by reason of appointment by this Order.

As a service to the bar, Attorney Mekonis acknowledges that he serves as Receiver on a pro bono basis, although if there are sufficient assets from Mr. Letourneau's practice, Attorney Mekonis may be reimbursed from those assets.

The Receiver shall submit a quarterly status report to the Court and the Board of Overseers of the Bar containing summary of actions taken, a record of time worked, and an itemized list of any disbursements made to effect the terms of this Order. Mr. Letourneau shall be the first choice for source of payment for those disbursements. If insufficient assets are available from Mr. Letourneau, the Board of Overseers of the Bar may be an alternate payment source for those disbursements. Any order of reinstatement of Mr. Letourneau shall take into consideration all expenses incurred during the course of the Receivership.

Attorney Mekonis shall be protected from liability for professional services rendered in accordance with M. Bar R. 32(e).

Attorney Mekonis shall act as Receiver until discharged by the Court either by Motion or in accordance with M. Bar R. 32.

Pursuant to M. R. Civ. P. 79(a) the Clerk is instructed to incorporate this Order on the docket by reference.

Dated: August 5, 2016

Jeffrey L. Hjelm
Associate Justice
Maine Supreme Judicial Court

1Attorney Mekonis has also agreed to this Order, which is expressly conditioned on his ongoing willingness to serve as receiver.