A sign out front of Christopher Whalley's law office on Pine Street in Ellsworth. Credit: Ethan Genter / BDN

A Superior Court judge has suspended an Ellsworth attorney from the practice of law after he allegedly moved $69,000 from a client’s estate to his personal account.

Christopher Whalley, 62, was suspended last week and ordered to vacate his law office and turn over the keys and his client files to a court-appointed receiver, William Devoe of Bangor.

Superior Court Justice Ann Murray took the unusual step of suspending Whalley effective Feb. 17 before a hearing of the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar could be held.

Murray found that Whalley’s continued practice of law “threatens imminent injury to his clients, the public and the administration of justice.”

Whalley has previously been suspended from practicing law in Maine three times, in 2003, 2007 and 2021, Murray said. One of those suspensions was related to an issue with an estate. During those suspensions, he could still practice law, but with some oversight.

Murray also said that Whalley failed to cooperate with staff at the Board of Overseers during the investigation of the most recent complaints.

Whalley’s attorney, Walter McKee of Augusta, declined to comment on the suspension.