AUGUSTA, Maine — A Brewer lawyer’s license to practice law in Maine was immediately suspended on Tuesday for misconduct, including charging excessive fees, according to a press release from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.
Jay H. Otis of Brewer, who did not immediately return a message left at his office for comment Friday, was “immediately suspended from the practice of law in Maine until further order of the court,” states the release, which was issued Thursday.
A complaint was filed with the Board of Overseers of the Bar on March 20 and it was noted in the release that “Otis has failed to respond to any of the involved grievance complaints or related fee arbitration and Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection claim(s).”
The five items of misconduct listed in the release include: failure to communicate; excessive fee; failure to return client funds/property; failure to respond to disciplinary authority; and the commission of an unlawful act which reflects adversely on lawyer’s trustworthiness and fitness to practice. Details about the nature of the unlawful act were not immediately available Friday, and messages left with the Board of Overseers of the Bar requesting comment were not immediately returned.
“For good cause shown by the board, Jay H. Otis appears to have committed numerous violations of the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct, thereby serving as a threat to clients, the public and to the administration of justice,” Associate Justice Jon D. Levy wrote in the order of suspension.
Otis, a graduate of Colby College and the University of Maine School of Law, opened a general practice law office in Bangor in 1993, the Bangor Daily News reported at the time. The previous year, he and 41 other Penobscot County lawyers were honored by the Maine Bar Foundation for providing free civil legal services to the poor, another BDN article states.
His law office is now in Brewer.