On Friday, July 14, 2023, a Rumford attorney who failed to submit witness and exhibit lists in a case, resulting in harm to her client’s case, was admonished by the State of Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar. Melanie A. Allen. admitted to violating the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct and agreed to consult with a legal practice management firm to improve her practice.
The case is entitled “Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Melanie A. Allen, Esq.” with case no. 22-213.
The charges cited Maine Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.3, and 8.4(a)(d).
After an investigation, it was determined that Attorney Allen had breached the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct due to her failure to submit witness and exhibit lists in a case, resulting in detriment to her client’s case presentation. A disciplinary hearing was conducted by a panel from the Grievance Commission, and both sides reached an agreement on a stipulated report outlining the findings.
The filing states:
” She acknowledged that at the time of the hearing on March 8, 2022, she believed she had submitted witness and exhibit lists. She was not certain that she did not send one or more such lists to the court and opposing counsel, however, she did not clearly recollect submitting a witness or exhibit list and had no documentation that she did so. Neither the court nor opposing counsel actually received a witness or exhibit list. As a result of failing to file the witness and exhibit lists, Attorney Allen was unable to present what she believed would have been sufficient evidence in her client’s case-in-chief.”
The filing continues:
“Attorney Allen stated in her response that during the time period of the representation at issue, she was dealing with a busy practice, staffing issues, and difficulties with remote practice. Attorney Allen also stated that since that time she has hired a staff person and implemented digital resources that have improved her ability to organize and keep track of her practice.”
According to the Board, Attorney Allen’s conduct, breaching the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct, had a detrimental impact on the client’s case presentation. Taking complete responsibility for her actions, attorney Allen has openly admitted her lack of diligence and competence, as well as her actions being prejudicial to the administration of justice.
In consideration of the aforementioned facts, rules violation, and admission of Allen, the Board concluded that an admonition is an appropriate sanction given the circumstances. She was ordered to consult with Red Cave Legal Consulting for guidance on how to manage her practice and comply with all professional duties.
The Disposition states:
“Taking all of the above factors into consideration, and consistent with the analysis outlined in M. Bar R. 2l(cl, the Panel Commission imposes the following sanction:
1. The panel hereby imposes an ADMONITION pursuant to Maine Bar Rule 21(b)(1).”
Ms. Allen practices in Rumford, Maine. She is licensed in Maine. Her info can be found on avvo.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.