The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has handed down an additional suspension for a former Waterville attorney accused of professional conduct violations while he was suffering from severe clinical depression.

In an order Tuesday, the court found that Matthew E. Clark of Vassalboro, who formerly practiced with the Waterville firm of Weeks & Hutchins LLC, had violated the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct and barred Clark from practicing law without the court’s approval.

According to the court order, Clark failed to communicate regularly with a client, Frederick Black of MSR Recycling, in a 2013 building permit application filed with the town of Madison.

The ruling also found that Clark charged excessive fees, billed for services he had not performed and falsely told Black he had filed an appeal in the case when he actually had not done so.

The failure to file the appeal cost Black his right to appeal in the case, according to the court.

In the order, the court issued a three-month suspension retroactive to another three-month suspension issued by the court Jan. 27 for Clark’s handling of a 2011-12 divorce case for client Gerald Donahue, court documents show. The order states that Clark has represented to the Board of Bar Overseers that he does not intend to resume the practice of law. In the order, the court directed that Clark seek court approval if he decides to practice law again, and that if he does, his work must be supervised by another attorney.

In that case, the court held that Clark failed to communicate regularly with his client, charged excessive fees and acted dishonestly, failing to notify Donahue when a divorce judgment was issued and wrongly advising him in regards to his appeal rights.

Clark’s action in that case also cost the client his appeal rights, the court found.

In both cases, the court included as mitigating factors the fact that Clark does not plan to practice law again and that he had suffered from severe clinical depression for which he underwent treatment.

The court ordered that he remain on its list of inactive lawyers until any further orders are issued in the case.


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