Anthony Sineni takes notes in court in Portland in this 2015 BDN file photo. Credit: Seth Koenig | BDN

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has suspended a Portland attorney accused of a range of improper actions — from missing court deadlines to witness tampering.

The state’s top court suspended Anthony Sineni III from practicing law for nine months as a result of a disciplinary proceeding brought by the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar.

In September 2014, a Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office detective said he found firearms at Sineni’s home that had been reported stolen by one of his clients.

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The detective testified he discovered Sineni then told another client to claim responsibility for putting the guns at his house, and that the attorney told the first client to withdraw his report of stolen firearms.

The first client, called M.R. in the court’s decision, was Sineni’s neighbor and the second, referred to as A.R., sometimes lived at the attorney’s home and did odd jobs for him, according to the court document.

Later in 2014, Sineni improperly sought to use A.R.’s medical record against him when the man was called to testify in a protection-from-abuse hearing involving Sineni and his former domestic partner, the board argued.

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The District Court ultimately issued a protection-from-abuse order against Sineni, which he then reportedly violated by making contact with one of his children in school.

In a series of other counts detailed in the court’s decision, Sineni overcharged clients and handled clients’ settlement money questionably, by apparently commingling it with his personal funds and dispersing it to clients periodically without any written explanation for when and how he was doing it.

In still other cases, Sineni missed filing deadlines on behalf of clients, causing the court to dismiss their cases.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court suspension was two years, with all but nine months of of that term suspended.

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Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.