6 attorneys face sanctions for ignoring colleague who stole from clients

Posted Dec. 03, 2010, at 7:14 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar is seeking professional sanctions against six attorneys from a prominent Portland law firm for allegedly turning a blind eye to a fellow lawyer who was stealing money from clients.

The Portland Press Herald says the six Verrill Dana lawyers are accused of breaking ethics rules by engaging in “willful blindness” to the misconduct of former Verrill Dana partner John Duncan three years ago. Duncan was disbarred and served two years in federal prison for stealing about $300,000 from clients.

An attorney representing four of the lawyers said she’s confident the six will be cleared of wrongdoing, and that none of them ever lied, stole money or covered anything up.

Disciplinary hearings are scheduled for Dec. 13 and 14 in Lewiston.

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