Friday, April 19, 2013

Do Stakeholders in Maine Board of Overseers have your Best Interest?

In 1978 the The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar was created by the Supreme Court of Maine. It is a private organization entrusted with the responsibility of oversight of Maine's lawyers. It is the only private organization that offers oversight of any group and or organization in the state.

The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar is also being endorsed by the Judiciary, Family Lawyers and Guardians ad litem as a means of offering oversight and management of Guardians ad litem. March 28, 2013 saw testimony from many people – almost exclusively those that endorsed the idea of oversight of Guardians ad litem through the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar were lawyers. Or they had a law background. Those that opposed the idea of using The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar were parents.

The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar has been used by consumers to complain about a lawyer they felt acted with impropriety. Not one made it by the initial “gate keeper” - the person who decides whether or not your concern is worthy enough to be heard. It is a highly legal process and is a dream for anyone in the legal profession. This is being endorsed and lobbied by stakeholders (are like stockholders and have a financial interest) – by those who have every reason for supporting the idea of Guardian ad litem management and complaints with the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar. The following are those that may have an interest in the Board of Overseers and the regulation of Guardians ad litem through that private agency – the question you should ask is if they have your interest at hand:

This list is by no means complete but it does call into question whether your interests and concerns are really being heard. Or will the special interest of those who stand to lose should an equitable process of management and oversight finally come to Maine. You be the Judge and tell us and tell your Representatives what you think is right. Maine GAL alert encourages you to comment on this blog through email at or find us on Facebook.


  1. To some people this move to adjudicate GAL disputes via the Overseers of the Bar represents a professional conflict of interest. Lawyer-GALs and SW-GALs will be judging the merit of YOUR complaint against a GAL colleague, using their unwritten criteria and placing the burden of proof (and the expense) on you to use the right legal arguments to get past the first gatekeeper in this procedure.

    It is like a giant, expensive game of 20 questions for consumers with complaints. We strongly recommend against it!

    Its main supporters are the legal profession, GALs and political friends of both. It will insure the 'status quo' for them. It is about bucks and privilege.

    It is the "foxes" endorsing a new security system for the "hen house"


  2. It's about access. By setting up a system that is not in understandable language, that requires the average individual to hire an attorney to fill out the paperwork for a complaint is, in effect, a denial of access.

    I thought that our country was one in which human rights were respected.