In a decision penned by Maine Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Jeffrey L. Hjelm, attorney Paul L. Letourneau was handed down an interim suspension from the practice of law in Maine pending a final deposition of the disciplinary proceeding or until further order of the Court.
This is not the first time Letourneau has been suspended. In 2010, he was suspended for six months for failures in client communication, neglect of legal matters for nine clients, and failure to effectively manage his law practice.
Letourneau did not dispute that he “sent unwanted text messages, photographs, and video images of a graphically sexual nature to a client whom he represented in several criminal cases.”
After the suspended lawyer’s actions , his client went to a different lawyer who represented the client in some cases and also reported Letourneau’s sexting to the Board of Overseers of the Bar.
“I find that Attorney Letourneau’s conduct, based on the present record, poses an ongoing threat to the administration of justice and therefore to the public,” associate justice Hjelm wrote.
He added that Letourneau’s conduct poses an ongoing risk of harm to his remaining clients, who will now get a receiver to protect their interests.
For his part, Letourneau argued that the suspension is not needed because he has executed a contract with the Maine Assistance Program, arranged for counseling with a psychologist, and withdrew his name from the Main Commission on Indigent Legal Services roster.
However, the judge said that there are still risks to the administration of justice, the public and his clients because the therapy has not even begun yet and that the lawyer only arranged for them after learning that regulators initiated a disciplinary proceeding against him.
A Maine lawyer has been suspended from practicing law after he sent unwanted text messages, photographs and videos to a client.