Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The Maine Board of Bar Overseers imposed a stipulated public reprimand in a matter where the attorney belatedly filed an answer in a credit card matter, resulting in a default judgment against the client. After he "expended a fair amount of additional [uncharged] time" on related matters, "due to personal difficulties, [he] became unable to perform legal services for a period of time." As a result, the client suffered "real harm" in the form of wage garnishment.
The attorney had accepted responsibility, refunded fees and apologized to the client. To prevent future problems,
[he] has apparently instructed his wife how to access all information within his law practice. He has also created a computer-based client file list, including important dates and status descriptions of each case. Within that client list are the names and phone numbers of three local attorneys to which [his] wife can make any necessary referrals.