Caribou attorney reprimanded for neglecting clients’ legal matters

Posted Sept. 03, 2011, at 3:32 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 04, 2011, at 6:45 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar has reprimanded a Caribou attorney for violating the state’s code of conduct for lawyers.

Allan Hanson acknowledged after a hearing before a three-member grievance panel earlier this summer that he failed to communicate properly with two clients involving separate matters.

Hanson, 48, agreed to work with a local lawyer monitor and the Maine Assistance Program for Lawyers and Judges, or MAP, to address the case and time management issues affecting Hanson’s law practice, according to information provided by the board.

MAP is a free service for members of the Maine bench and bar as well as law students. The organization provides confidential assistance to help individuals identify and address problems with alcoholism, drug abuse and mental or emotional disorders.

“The purpose of bar disciplinary proceeding is not punishment,” according to the board’s report over the complaints against Hanson, “but rather the protection of the public from attorneys who, by their conduct, have demonstrated that they are unable to properly discharge their professional duties.”

Hanson’s reprimands stemmed from complaints made to the Board of Overseers in 2010 by two different clients concerning matters they hired Hanson to handle in 2008 and 2009, respectively. One involved a divorce, the other a breach of contract matter over the client’s purchase of a modular home.

The three-judge grievance panel that heard the complaints outlined against Hanson at a hearing found that he had allowed both cases to “languish.” At the hearing, held in July at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor, Hanson took responsibility for the how he neglected the cases and apologized to the clients who filed the complaints, according to information post on the Board of Overseers’ website.

Members of the panel were Ray Bradford Jr. of Bangor, James A. McKenna III of the Maine Attorney General’s Office and Norman Ross of Ellsworth.

Hanson’s prior sanctions by the Board of Overseers include two minor nondisciplinary informal warnings in 1998 and 2001. He also was reprimanded in 2004. All three involved neglect of clients’ matters similar to last month’s reprimand.

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