Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Patrick Hunt
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Docket No.: BAR-09-12
Issued by: Single Justice, Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Date: March 12, 2010
Respondent: Patrick Hunt
Bar Number: 002707
Order: Suspension Suspended Suspension
Disposition/Conduct: Failure to exercise reasonable care
On January 29, 2010, this court found that the Defendant Patrick Hunt violated Maine Bar Rule 3.6(a), failure to exercise reasonable care and skill. This court found and concluded that the Defendant failed to exercise reasonable care and skill by (1) not knowing the law applicable to the case he was handling; (2) not properly preparing a complaint filed in court against another person; (3) not taking the necessary steps to amicably resolve a pending legal matter where all the parties agreed to the final resolution; and (4) waiting too long to resolve the pending matter. For these reasons and reasons stated on the record this court finds that the Defendant violated Maine Bar Rule 3.6(f).
On March 1, 2010, this court heard argument of counsel regarding what sanctions if any should be imposed for the aforementioned violations. Plaintiff's exhibit 1 was admitted into evidence without objection. This exhibit sets out prior actions taken against the Defendant by the Board of Overseers of the Bar. Over objection by the Defendant, the court admitted Plaintiff's Exhibit 2, a statement from a person affected by the actions of the Defendant. Plaintiff's Exhibit 3 was admitted without objection. This exhibit contained the expenses incurred by the Board in conjunction with the case.
This court must consider the appropriate sanction in light of the violations found. The court's determination must be based on the Maine Bar Rules' directive that the purpose of this disciplinary action is not the punishment of the Defendant but the protection of clients, the public, and the interest of fair administration of justice.
For reasons stated on the record, the court hereby ORDERS that the Defendant's right to practice law in the State of Maine shall be suspended for a period of six months commencing April 1, 2010. All but thirty days of this suspension shall be suspended. The Defendant shall be monitored for a period of one year. During this time he shall take 2 CLE courses dealing with litigation and probate matters. If he has taken these types of courses during this past year, he may receive credit for them. It is further ordered that he pay to the Board of Overseers two thirds of the expenses associated with this case-three thousand six hundred and nineteen dollars ($3619).
It is further ordered that the Defendant withdraw as counsel in all matters involving the Department of Health and Human Services and the Estate of Eldora Bourgeois.
For the Court
Hon. Joseph M. Jabar, Associate Justice - Maine Supreme Judicial Court