Newport lawyer suspended from practice because of disability

Posted June 09, 2014, at 6:46 p.m.
Last modified June 09, 2014, at 9:18 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A well-known Newport lawyer has been suspended from the practice of law because of a disability, according to the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar.

Dale Thistle, 66, was suspended indefinitely on May 27, according to information released Monday by the board.

The nature of his disability was not disclosed.

Thistle’s order of suspension, signed by Maine Supreme Judicial Court Justice Ellen Gorman, said that he “appears to be a disabled attorney; as a result, he has committed apparent violations of the Maine Rules of Professional conduct, thereby serving as a threat to clients, the public and to the administration of justice.”

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His practice was placed into a receivership to be overseen by Michael A. Wiers, 65, of Hartland. He is to deal with Thistle’s clients and report to the court about the financial shape of the practice, among other duties.

To be reinstated, Thistle must apply to the state supreme court. The suspension was recommended by the legal staff at the Board of Overseers.

Thistle has represented many high profile defendants over the years, including Cindy Dunton, 52, the former deputy clerk and treasurer in Newburgh. She was sentenced July 1, 2011, at the Penobscot Judicial Center to to five years in prison with all but 20 months suspended for embezzling nearly $200,000 from the town since 2006.

Dunton, who pleaded guilty in April 2011 to Class B theft by unauthorized taking, also was ordered to be placed on probation for three years after serving her sentence and to pay about $252,000 in restitution — which is the sum of the money she stole plus attorney and forensic auditor fees.

Dunton was released Oct. 12, 2012, after serving 15 months of her sentence, according to previously published reports.

Thistle also represented clients in at least half a dozen federal lawsuits alleging illegal strip searches at county jails.

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