What the rhetoric is about

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.

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.

Advertisement

Comments

RONALD RIML's picture

Does the LSJ

Print a disclaimer anytime they refer to the Governor's 'adopted' Jamaican son that he really isn't adopted???

IF BS were music Da Guv would be a Brass Band........

 's picture

Agreed

Whole heartedly agree Ms Gibson, and to the Sun Journal, your disclaimer is a joke. It sounds like you have simply taken the BS slung by LePage's PR office as gospel.
"provide services, including reviewing collective bargaining agreements and developing negotiation strategies and a communication plan, under the agreement vetted by the AG's Office." Sounds like being a practicing law to me,,,,,

JUDY MEYER's picture
staff

BS?

The editor's note was not a disclaimer. It was a direct response to Ms. Gibson's suggestion that perhaps there was a violation of Maine statute. Since she raised the question, we felt obliged to answer it. Mr. Billings explained the attorney's duties, and provided a copy of the signed agreement that was approved by the Attorney General's Office. So, no BS slung there. Just a legal document.

 's picture

Thank you

Thank's "Staff" rarely do members of the papers pay c;lose enough attention, and actually care enough to answer I appreciate it!
My next question, don;t you think the Sun should challenge that? Yes the AG says it's legal, but really. Giving legal advice, and getting paid for it? Sounds like he's "lawyering" to me! Just because the AG (appointed by LePage) says that what LePage is doing is ok, doesn't make it so!

Advertisement

Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...