Wednesday, February 5, 2014
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has imposed a six month suspension of an attorney who had
...on five separate occasions, served subpoenas - four on U.S. Cellular and one on a local credit union - without providing the required notice to Ms. A's attorney or Ms. A., who are parties to the action. On three separate occasions, [the attorney] obtained access to text messages, which he knew or should have known could have contained confidential attirney/client communications protected by [rules of evidence] and confidential health care professional/patient communications... [His] access to and disclosure of Ms. A.'s text messages also accomplished a goal for his client by causing Ms. A. to agree to a resolution of the divorce more favorable to Mr. B. then she would have liked because she desired to end the tension, harrassment, and embarrassment in the community that [the attorney's] and Mr. B.'s access to her text messages had caused.
The attorney has practiced for twenty years without prior discipline. His client was also his cousin.
He was ordered to assemble and turn over to Bar Counsel all copies of the texts and contact federal ans state prosecutors to advise them of the practices of U.S. Cellular. (Mike Frisch)