Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Christopher D. Hardy, Esq.

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Docket No.: BAR-16-19

Issued by: Maine Supreme Judicial Court

Date: April 14, 2017

Respondent: Christopher D. Hardy, Esq.

Bar Number: 002636

Order: Receiver Discharge Order

Disposition/Conduct: Receiver Discharge Order

Order Discharge of Receiver

Before the Court is a Petition for Discharge of the Receiver appointed by this Court to oversee and close the law practice of Christopher D. Hardy, Esq. The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar joins in the Petition for Discharge of the Receiver.

After consideration of the Court’s Order Appointing Receiver, the Receiver’s Final Report and the Petition for Discharge, the Court finds:

  1. Upon motion of the Board, the Court appointed Jesse F. Bifulco, Esq., as Receiver of the law practice of Christopher D. Hardy, Esq. As Receiver, Attorney Bifulco was authorized to obtain possession of files belonging to Attorney Hardy’s clients, secure funds held in operating and trust accounts, obtain trust account records, and protect the interests of the clients and/or former clients of Attorney Hardy.
  2. Attorney Bifulco has taken necessary and reasonable steps to fulfill his obligations as the Receiver of the law practice of Attorney Hardy. With the pro bono assistance of Attorney Robert Rubin, Attorney Bifulco has returned or attempted to return client files to their rightful owners. He has properly reviewed and disbursed funds in Attorney Hardy’s bank accounts.

  3. Attorney Bifulco has reviewed Attorney Hardy’s client files and appropriately secured, transferred or expunged such files.
  4. In consultation with the Board of Overseers, Attorney Bifulco has appropriately addressed the secure destruction of old client files and ensured the safe retention of files less than 8 years old.

  5. Within the Final Report, Attorney Bifulco detailed his professional services and a list of the costs he incurred related to the closure of the Hardy law practice.

THEREFORE, it is hereby ORDERED:

  1. The actions of Attorney Jesse F. Bifulco, as Receiver of the law practice of Attorney Hardy, as taken or proposed in the Final Report of the Receiver, are approved, inter alia, regarding the disposition of the client files and the closing of all bank accounts;
  2. Attorney Bifulco is discharged as Receiver of the law practice of Attorney Christopher D. Hardy;
  3. Attorney Bifulco is authorized to retain all other files unclaimed by clients until their required expungement.
  4. In accordance with the amounts referenced in his Final Report, Attorney Bifulco shall be compensated for his professional services (at the court-appointed rate) and for his costs related to the wind down and closure of Attorney Hardy’s practice. The sources of payment for those fees and costs shall be the remaining assets of the closed law practice.
  5. The Court extends it sincere gratitude to Attorneys Bifulco and Attorney Rubin for their valuable work in protecting the clients of Attorney Hardy.

The Clerk is directed to incorporate this Order upon the docket by reference pursuant to M.R.Civ.P. 79(a).

Dated: April 14, 2017

Andrew M. Mead
Associate Justice
Maine Supreme Judicial Court