Charlene M. Richard & Kathleen M. Struble v. Elizabeth H. Hoffman, Esq.

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Disposition: Award to Petitioner

Issued by: Fee Arbitration Commission

Docket #: FAC# 18-270

Dated: October 25, 2018

Bar Number: 004333

A hearing in this matter was held on October 18, 2018, in Biddeford, Maine, before a duly authorized Fee Arbitration Panel of the Fee Arbitration Commission of the Board of Overseers of the Bar. This Panel was designated to hear the controversy existing between the parties as set forth in the Petitioners' Petitions. The members of this Panel were Chair Thomas P. Elias, Esq., Elizabeth J. Scheffee, Esq., and public member Philip D. Fearon. The Petitioners and the Respondent all appeared pro se and testified. Based upon the prior submitted documentary evidence and the testimonial evidence introduced at the hearing, the Panel finds as follows:

Measuring the findings with the factors set forth in Rules 1.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Panel finds that the Petitioners have carried their burden to show that a portion of the fees and costs charged by the Respondent are not reasonable. The Panel finds that the sum of $6,000.00 was paid by Petitioner Kathleen M. Struble on behalf of Petitioner Charlene M. Richard, to the Respondent, and that the amount of reasonable fees for the services rendered by the Respondent is $5,625.00. Therefore, the Respondent owes the Petitioners the sum of $375.00.

In order to preserve the confidentiality of the documentary and testimonial evidence, the findings of fact and conclusions are not set forth in the Award and Determination. This Award and Determination is accompanied, however, by a Confidential Addendum that sets forth the findings of facts and conclusions of the Panel. By ruling of the Chair, the Confidential Addendum shall not be considered part of the award, which is a public document. In accordance with Maine Bar Rule 7(h), the Confidential Addendum shall be confidential and shall not be open to the public or disclosed to any person except as otherwise set forth in Maine Bar Rule 7(h).

The Award and Determination is in full settlement of all claims submitted to the Arbitration Panel.

The undersigned has subscribed to this award on October 25, 2018.

Thomas P. Elias, Esq.
Chair, Panel 1A
Fee Arbitration Commission