Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Schuyler G, Steele, Esq.

Download Decision (PDF)

Docket No.: BAR-1O-3

Issued by: Single Justice, Maine Supreme Judicial Court

Date: February 17, 2010

Respondent: Schuyler G, Steele, Esq.

Bar Number: 002817

Order: Receiver Appointment


Order for Appointment of Temporary Receiver M. Bar R 7.3(f)(1)

After Petition filed by the Board of Overseers, pursuant to M. Bar R. 7.3(f), the Court Orders the following:

As of this date, Rebecca A. Cayford, Esq. and Michael A. Wiers, Esq. are appointed the Temporary Receivers of Attorney Schuyler G. Steele's law practice. With the cooperation of Mrs. Steele (or if necessary, with the assistance of Penobscot County Sheriff?s Department) Attorneys Cayford and Wiers shall:

  1. secure the professional riles, client property and client data of Attorney Steele

  2. obtain access to Attorney Steele's post office boxes to secure any law office or legal mail

  3. inventory the open and closed client files

  4. give priority attention to client matters which are open and time sensitive

  5. notify clients or former clients that the law practice has concluded and provide opportunity for clients to retrieve their property.

  6. Attorneys Cayford and Wiers shall also prudently access and utilize Attorney Steele's operating and IOLTA accounts to effect the formal conclusion of the practice, including the temporary retention of office staff or other personnel as necessary and appropriate.

Attorneys Cayford and Wiers shall submit to the Court a record of hours worked and disbursements made in the event the Court allows for payment of legal fees at the State court appointment rate. The assets of Attorney Steele shall be the first choice for source of payment to the Receivers, although ultimately, they may serve in a pro bono capacity. Otherwise Attorneys Cayford and Wiers may be compensated from another source ordered by the Court.

Attorneys Cayford and Wiers shall act as Receivers until discharged by the Court either by Motion or in accordance with paragraph 3 of M. Bar R 7.3(f).

Attorneys Cayford and Wiers so appointed shall not disclose any information contained in any file listed in such inventory 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 7.3(f). Furthermore, Attorneys Cayford and Wiers may be engaged by any former client of Attorney Steele provided that they inform such client in writing that the client is free to choose to employ any attorney, and that the Court's appointment order does not mandate or recommend the Receiver's employment by the client. Attorneys Cayford and Wier are subject to all Maine Rules of Professional Conduct, including M. R. Prof Conduct 1.7; 1.8 and 1.9 regarding conflicts of interest. However, a client's retention of the Receiver(s) as successor counsel is not a per se conflict of interest solely by reason of Attorneys Cayford and Wier's appointment by this Order.

Attorneys Cayford and Wiers shall be protected from liability for professional services rendered in accordance with this Order to the extent permitted by law. Within seventy-five (75) days of this Order, the Receivers shall file a status report with the Court, with a copy to the Board of Overseers of the Bar.

For the Court

Hon. Ellen Gorman, Associate Justice - Maine Supreme Judicial Court