On Monday, September 11, 2023, attorney Jason R. Buckley faced a suspension by the State of Maine Supreme Judicial Court. The suspension was imposed due to discrepancies found in his submission of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits, which were required for the reinstatement of his license.
The case is entitled “Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Jason R. Buckley,” with case no. 23-9.
The case stemmed from Buckley’s failure to respond to disciplinary charges filed against him by the Board of Overseers of the Bar. Following this default, the court deemed the allegations in the Information as admitted, marking a crucial turning point in the case.
The facts of the matter revealed that in 2023, Buckley submitted Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits for reinstating his license. However, discrepancies emerged when it was discovered that he attempted to claim credit for two simultaneous webcasts on June 16, 2022. Additionally, it came to light that he attended a live webcast for nearly five hours and an on-demand CLE for over six hours on June 17, 2022. These actions were considered violations of professional conduct rules.
The filing states:
“Defendant stated that he attended the June 16th programs using a computer and an iPad. The defendant stated that he did not realize that attending multiple CLEs simultaneously was a violation of the Bar Rules and that if he had known as much, he would not have done so.”
Maine Bar Rule 21 (c) had guided the court’s decision on sanctions. The rule considered four key factors: whether the lawyer had violated a duty, the lawyer’s intent, the extent of injury caused, and any aggravating or mitigating factors. The court had followed the ABA Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions.
Given the intentional nature of Buckley’s violations, the court had established that suspension, rather than reprimand, was the appropriate sanction. The court had cited Standards 2.2, 2.3, and 2.5 of the ABA Annotated Standards to support this decision.
In conclusion, the court ruled for a one-year suspension from the practice of law, with no suspension of the period. Buckley is also required to seek court approval for reinstatement in accordance with M. Bar R. 29. The utmost priority was to safeguard the public by ensuring that, in the event of Buckley’s return to practice, he would do so with utmost competence and diligence.
The Disposition states:
“It is hereby ORDERED that Defendant is suspended for a period of one year, with none of that period suspended. Pursuant to M. Bar R. 29, the Defendant must seek Court approval prior to any reinstatement to the Bar. The clerk shall enter this order on the docket.”
According to martindale.com, Mr. Buckley had been working at International Paper Company. He received his law licenses in 2014 for Connecticut, 2007 for Maine, and 2008 for Tennessee.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.