Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Randy L. Robinson, Esq.
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Docket No.: GCF#15-313
Issued by: Grievance Commission
Date: August 30, 2016
Respondent: Randy L. Robinson, Esq.
Bar Number: 009251
Disposition/Conduct: Competence, Candor Toward the Tribunal, Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel, Truthfulness in Statements to Others, Misconduct
M. Bar R. 13(e)(10)(C) & 21(b)(5)
On August 30, 2016, with due notice and pursuant to Maine Bar Rule 13(e), Panel D of the Grievance Commission conducted a public disciplinary hearing concerning misconduct by Respondent Randy L. Robinson, Esq. The Board of Overseers of the Bar (the Board) commenced that disciplinary proceeding by filing a Disciplinary Petition on February 24, 2016.
At the hearing, Attorney Robinson appeared with his attorney, Stephen C. Whiting, Esq., and the Board was represented by Bar Counsel J. Scott Davis. Prior to that hearing date, the parties submitted a stipulated proposed sanction Report for the Grievance Commission Panel's review and consideration. Having reviewed those stipulated proposed findings as presented by counsel, the Panel makes the following disposition:
Respondent Randy L. Robinson, Esq. has been at all times relevant hereto an attorney duly admitted to and engaging in the practice of law in the State of Maine and subject to the Maine Bar Rules and the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC). Attorney Robinson was admitted to the Maine bar in 2002 and has practiced mainly as a solo practitioner.
This complaint matter was initiated on a sua sponte basis by Bar Counsel Davis under Maine Bar Rule 2(b)(2), as a result of the Maine Law Court’s decision in Estate of Mildred Maccomb, 2015 ME 126, issued on September 22, 2015 (see attached Exhibit 1).
Within its decision in Maccomb, the Law Court noted and discussed Attorney Robinson’s repetitious failures to properly comply with and follow the Court’s Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure in the appeal by his client (James Richman) of the Kennebec County Probate Court’s Judgment regarding the probate of the Estate of Mildred Maccomb. The Law Court issued two dismissals of Richman’s appeals, each due to Attorney Robinson’s failure to follow those appellate rules. Through Attorney Robinson, Richman then sought reconsideration of the Law Court’s rejection of his second brief. In its Order of July 30, 2015, the Law Court included an entry that specifically “Rejected” Richman’s brief (filed by Attorney Robinson), and then ordered that an amended brief, “with correct citations to the record,” must be filed for that matter to properly proceed.
When Attorney Robinson then filed Richman’s second amended brief, the pro se Appellee filed a motion requesting the Law Court reject that still deficient brief. In ¶ 5 of Maccomb, the Law Court specifically referenced and quoted from Attorney Robinson’s stated opposition to that motion:
“…counsel (Attorney Robinson) has struggled mightily with the Brief and this Amended Brief, as he double checked for accuracy citations and law as they relate to the body of the Brief, putting too much effort still into substance rather than form, given the Court’s Order.”
In fact, however, from Bar Counsel’s investigation of this grievance matter, he learned that Attorney Robinson had actually enlisted another attorney, Andrews B. Campbell, to make those corrections to the brief. Furthermore, with no specific reason provided, Attorney Robinson reported to Bar Counsel that he “had very little time left to review the legal and record citations, to make sure that Attorney Campbell had corrected them appropriately.”
As a result, Attorney Robinson now agrees that above-quoted statement included by him within his opposition filing (as cited by the Law Court) was a misrepresentation by him to the Law Court in violation M. R. Prof. Conduct 3.3(a); 4.1(a); and 8.4(a)(c)(d). He also agrees that he acted in an incompetent manner by repeatedly failing to follow the Law Court’s appellate rules, in violation of M.R. Prof. Conduct 1.1 and 3.4(c).
The Panel has been informed by Bar Counsel Davis that Attorney Robinson has no prior sanction history on file with the Board.
The Panel further notes that the purpose of bar disciplinary proceedings is not punishment of attorneys, but instead the proper protection of the public from attorneys who have demonstrated that they are unable to properly discharge their professional duties. Since the evidence supports a finding and Attorney Robinson agrees that he did in fact violate the above-referenced portions of the MRPC, the Panel finds that a public reprimand serves those purposes.
Accordingly, for the admitted misconduct involved in his improper representation and handling of Richman’s appellate matter before the Law Court, the Panel hereby accepts the agreement of the parties, including Attorney Robinson’s separately executed waiver of the right to file a Petition for Review. The Panel hereby directs that Attorney Robinson receive a reprimand pursuant to M. Bar R. 21(b)(5).
Dated: August 30, 2016
James A. McKenna, III Esq., Panel Chair
Teresa M. Cloutier, Esq., Panel Member
Emilie van Eeghen, Public Member