Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Jonathan C. Hull
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Docket No.: BAR-18-10
Issued by: Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Date: August 23, 2018
Respondent: Jonathan C. Hull
Bar Number: 001584
Order: Immediate Interim Suspension
Disposition/Conduct: Conflict of Interest: Current Clients; False Statement to a third party, Misconduct; Truthfulness in Statements to Others; Misconduct: Violation of MBR or MRPC, Illegal Conduct, Dishonest Conduct, Conduct Prejudicial to the Administration of Justice
M. Bar R. 24
By filing dated August 10, 2018, the Board of Overseers of the Bar (the Board) petitioned this Court for an immediate Order of Interim Suspension of Jonathan C. Hull from the practice of law in the State of Maine. Incorporated with the Boards Petition was an Affidavit of Bar Counsel with related exhibits.
Attorney Hull filed a response, through counsel, on August 15, 2018. Attorney Hull did not submit any rebuttal evidence but has argued that the Boards position is not supported. The court held a conference of all counsel on August 21, 2018. Following the conference, the Board filed an additional affidavit, containing essentially the same information set forth in the original filing.
Upon consideration of the materials submitted, including Attorney Hulls objections, the Court concludes that the submitted evidence supports a finding that Attorney Hull has committed multiple violations of the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct. Notwithstanding Attorney Hulls objection, the Court is satisfied that the quality of the evidence is a sufficient basis upon which to issue this order. Specifically, the Court finds that the Boards evidence demonstrates Attorney Hulls violations of at least M. R. Prof. Conduct 1.7(a)(2), 4.l(a); and 8.4(a)(b)(c)(d).
Under the facts presented by the Board, this Court concludes that Attorney Hulls misconduct serves as an imminent threat to clients, the public and to the administration of justice.
Effective 5 p.m. on August 24, 2018, this Court ORDERS that Attorney Jonathan C. Hull shall now be suspended from the practice of law in Maine, until further Order of this Court.
The Court further ORDERS that Attorney Hull shall vacate his law office(s) (including any home office), cease practicing law, and cease operations of any and all of his websites, Facebook/ social media account(s) and any other form of advertising of his legal services during the period of his suspension.
Additionally, Attorney Hull shall immediately surrender possession and control of all client files, the keys to his law offices, his law office operating and client trust bank accounts, and all computer and mobile devices/equipment utilized by him for the practice of law. In that regard, Attorney Hull shall provide all necessary login and password information to the Court–Appointed Receivers and surrender any such items or information listed above as soon as requested by the Board or the Courts Receivers. He shall also cooperate with the Co–Receivers in all aspects so as to protect the interests of his clients.
Attorney Hull is prohibited from removing any funds, files, data, check books, financial records/bank information, client property, computer hardware/ software or any client related or law office related items, including in the period from the time of this order until the suspension is effective as well as thereafter. With advance request of the Receivers, Attorney Hull may return to the law office, accompanied by a Receiver (or agent thereof) to retrieve his personal belongings.
Finally, Attorney Hull is prohibited from service as a fiduciary and he is ORDERED to relinquish any position as a fiduciary and take steps to receive any discharge from such fiduciary service.
Under separate order the Court shall appoint Co–Receivers to wind down the law office and protect the interests of Attorney Hulls clients.
Dated: August 23, 2018
Valerie Stanfill, by designation
Maine Supreme Judicial Court