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October 21, 2022

Attorney Sanctioned for Misrepresenting Completion of Mandatory Legal Education Courses

Maine’s Superior Court recently sanctioned an attorney for lying about completing mandatory continued legal education (CLE) courses. According to the court’s order, the attorney misrepresented his completion of the live CLE sessions, when instead his legal assistant used his login and completed the sessions on his behalf. The court found that the attorney violated ABA Model rule 8.4 (Misconduct) and Maine Bar Rule 5 (CLE Reporting Period and Compliance). In deciding the sanction, the court applied Maine Bar Rule 21 (Imposing Sanctions) and Standard 7.0 of the ABA Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions (Violations of Duties Owed as a Professional), finding that the attorney’s history of prior disciplinary actions was an aggravating factor. However, because the court noted that the purpose of an attorney suspension is to protect the public (not punish the attorney), and the failure to complete the CLE did not directly harm clients, the court suspended the 1-year suspension conditioned on the completion of the CLE, among other things.

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