This is in response to the Sun Journal editorial July 2 that stated, "The union's chastisement of LePage for his decision to hire out of New York ... is — well — pure rhetoric. Right?"
Well — no. And the fact the gentleman is from New York may not be the problem, precisely, either.
He is a lawyer. To practice law in Maine you have to be admitted to do so here, either by a court or agency.
The governor's counsel is not so admitted. He is not authorized to practice law here at all. He has not passed the Maine bar exam nor been admitted to practice temporarily under various options, usually requiring association with Maine counsel. (So that the out-of-state attorney gets the Maine law right; a small but important point.)
Given this impediment, the New York lawyer could be a behind-the-scenes adviser at most.
Unfortunately, the governor's choice, far from playing a background role, has been front and center, touting not only that he is here as the governor's attorney but regularly mentioning that New York law firm he hails from, leaving no doubt exactly what role he's here to play.
In Maine, however, that activity appears to constitute the unauthorized practice of law — a crime. 4 MRS sec. 807.
Maybe that's what all the "rhetoric" is about.
Laurie Gibson, Esq., Durham
Editor's note: According to Chief Counsel Dan Billings, the governor's office worked closely with the Office of the Attorney General to clearly define the "practice of law for purposes of Mr. (Louis) DiLorenzo's services." The consulting agreement between the governor and DiLorenzo, signed April 22, "makes clear that he is not a Maine attorney and cannot practice law in this jurisdiction," according to Billings. DiLorenzo is legally authorized to provide services, including reviewing collective bargaining agreements and developing negotiation strategies and a communication plan, under the agreement vetted by the AG's Office.