Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Charles G. Williams
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Docket No.: BAR-02-5
Issued by: Single Justice, Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Date: April 7, 2004
Respondent: Charles G. Williams, III
Bar Number: 008827
Disposition/Conduct: Neglect of a Client's Matter; Conduct Involving Ddishonesty, Fraud, Deceit, or Misrepresentation; Excessive Fees
In this bar disciplinary proceeding there are three Informations before the Court involving twenty-eight complaints. A hearing was held before the Court at Bangor on April 5 and 6, 2004. The Board of Overseers of the Bar was represented by Bar Counsel J. Scott Davis, Esq. Although Charles Williams had notice of the scheduled hearing, Mr. Williams did not appear. The Court proceeded in his absence.
The Board offered evidence in connection with eighteen of the complaints contained in the three Informations filed against Mr. Williams. The evidence offered by the Board established a pattern of client neglect, excessive fees, incompetency, unauthorized disclosure of confidential information, failure to respond to orders of the Fee Arbitration Commission, and the failure to respond to inquiries from Bar Counsel. The record indicates that Mr. Williams failed to communicate with his clients, missed appointments both with his clients and with the courts, and failed to respond to telephone messages from his clients, opposing counsel, and the courts. The testimony from one former client established on three separate occasions that Mr. Williams forced her to engage in an unwanted sexual act.
The Court notes that the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection has to date paid ten claims against Mr. Williams totaling $24,275.89 and as of March 31, 2004, the Board of Overseers of the Bar has incurred witness fees, transcription charges, and civil process service fees upon Mr. Williams and witnesses totaling $5,457.84.
The record establishes that Mr. Williams presents a danger to the public and has demonstrated an inability to follow the clear mandates of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Disbarment enforces the purpose of discipline in that the public is protected from the further practice by the lawyer and taking appropriate action against lawyers who fail to follow the professional and ethical precepts enunciated by the Code of Professional Responsibility protects the reputation of the legal profession. The record clearly demonstrates that Mr. Williams has repeatedly violated M. Bar R. 2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.13, 6, and 9.
It is ordered and adjudged that Charles B. Williams III be and hereby is disbarred from the practice of law in the State of Maine effective this date. Should Mr. Williams seek reinstatement, a condition of his reinstatement shall be reimbursement to the Board of Overseers of the Bar of all expenses it has incurred in the prosecution of this disciplinary proceeding and reimbursement to the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection for all payments made by it on claims made against Mr. Williams.
For the Court
Hon. Paul L. Rudman, Associate Justice - Maine Supreme Judicial Court