LEWISTON — Rumford lawyer Seth Carey, who was suspended last year following complaints about ethical and competency lapses, was reinstated and can practice law again in Maine beginning next week.

Carey, who spearheaded a failed referendum that would have paved the way for a casino in Oxford County, was admitted to the bar in 2006. He practiced law at his father’s Rumford office.

Seth Carey was suspended twice after the bar received complaints from lawyers and judges.

He sought reinstatement after completing the terms of his suspension, according to an order by Maine Supreme Judicial Court Justice Andrew Mead.

“Mr. Carey has not engaged in the unauthorized practice of law since the date of his suspension,” Mead wrote. “He has fully complied with the terms of his disciplinary orders. There has been no suggestion that he engaged in any other professional misconduct since his suspension.”

Seth Carey was given a two-month suspension from practicing law a year ago, which ran concurrently with a six-month suspension that began earlier in the year.

Mead had ordered Carey to enter into a contract with the Maine Assistance Program for Lawyers and Judges. That program, which operates under the auspices of the Maine Office of Substance Abuse, offers protection to clients and the public from harm caused by impaired lawyers, according to the program’s Web site.

It also helps lawyers begin and complete recovery and educates lawyers and the public about the causes and remedies for impairments affecting members of the legal profession, the website says.

The first suspension followed a recommendation by a grievance commission of the Board of Overseers of the Bar, which held hearings on several complaints lodged against Carey by several people.

A complaint brought by one of the judges questioned Carey’s competence to handle criminal matters in her courtroom. In the earlier suspension, Mead ordered Carey to “demonstrate that he has undertaken further education in trial advocacy and professional ethics” before he could be reinstated.

He also had to show that he had “obtained the services of an established trial attorney (not a relative or member of his father’s law firm) with a demonstrated expertise in trial and criminal defense advocacy to monitor and mentor him” for a year after his reinstatement.

The latter complaint lodged against Carey came from a woman who alleged he physically abused her German shepherd puppy at her home during an October visit last year. She said he was expressing his anger toward a prosecutor for the board who had been handling complaints brought by Maine lawyers and judges. Carey later refused to leave the woman’s home after being asked to. She described his behavior as “unhinged” and said she was wary of being in his presence.

Both sides agreed to the additional sanctions.

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