Surry man charged with illegally practicing law

Posted April 25, 2011, at 5:10 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Surry man is being charged with a misdemeanor after passing himself off as a licensed attorney, according to court documents.

Frank B. Walker, 77, is facing a single charge of “unauthorized practice of law” in Ellsworth District Court. The charge is a class E misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to six months behind bars and a fine of up to $1,000.

Walker used to be a licensed attorney in Maine but resigned his license permanently in 2006, after the Board of Overseers of the Bar had recommended that his license be suspended for 60 days, according to documents provided to the Bangor Daily News by the office of the Maine attorney general.

According to a copy of a 2006 Maine Supreme Judicial Court order on Walker’s resignation, a supporting affidavit filed by Walker about his situation was impounded by the court, which prevents it from being accessible to the public. Further information about why Walker was being sanctioned five years ago was unavailable Monday.

According to a court complaint filed against Walker, the Surry resident is accused of practicing law without a license and of being paid for legal work between late October 2009 and June 2010.

Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin said Monday officials believe Walker was doing work during that time period that only licensed attorneys are allowed to do. Whether or not the work is ruled to be invalid and has to be redone by a licensed attorney, she added, likely will depend on whatever decision a judge might make on Walker’s alleged legal work.

She said Walker was expected to go to trial on the charge April 15, but that the matter has been continued for possible trial on July 15. She said Walker is representing himself in the case, which is allowed under Maine law.

‘“If the case goes to trial, our evidence would show that he continued to take some real estate and probate court [work],” Robbin said.

Attempts Monday to contact Walker by phone at his Surry home were unsuccessful.

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