On Monday, November 21, 2022, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court suspended Portland attorney Kayla M. Alves in relation to disciplinary charges concerning her felony conviction.
The case is styled ‘Board of Overseers of the Bar vs. Kayla M. Alves, Esq.’ and was brought by the Board, under case no. BAR-22-23.
The charges cited Maine Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3.4(a), Rule 8.4(a), Rule 8.4(b), Rule 8.4(c), and Rule 8.4(d).
Alves was alleged to have violated the above-mentioned rules when she:
unlawfully obstructed another party’s access to evidence or unlawfully altered, destroyed or concealed a document or other material having potential evidentiary value;
violated provisions of the Maine Bar Rules and the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct;
committed a crime that reflects adversely on her honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;
engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; and
engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.
The Maine Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
The following are as summarized from the filing:
Alves allegedly engaged in misconduct upon her guilty plea to Tampering with Documents, in violation of U.S.C. § 1512(c)(1) on August 17, 2022. The Bar Counsel filed a Petition for Interim Suspension on October 12, 2022, upon receipt of the certified copy of Alves’ conviction.
The Order states that:
“In this matter, Attorney Alves violated duties to the public and to the profession. She knowingly destroyed evidence during the course of a criminal investigation, thereby committing criminal conduct. At the time she engaged in this conduct, she was an assistant district attorney and should have been well aware of the seriousness of her conduct.”
The Order additionally notes:
“Here, Alves deleted text messages which were evidence relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation. She was not charged with the substantive crimes which were the subject of that investigation, however, and she has no prior disciplinary history. Importantly, she also was not responsible as an assistant district attorney for the matter under investigation. Her conduct does not rise to the level of the conduct set forth in Standard 5.11, and, therefore, suspension is generally appropriate.”
With the foregoing facts, the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine ruled against Alves in relation to her violations of the rules as charged.
The disposition reads:
“After consideration of all the factors set forth above and the circumstances of this case, it is ORDERED that Kayla M. Alves is suspended from the practice of law for nine months, effective November 7, 2022.”
Prior to this suspension, Ms. Alves was a former assistant district attorney in Franklin County, Maine. She had been licensed in Maine. Her info can be found on Avvo.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.