No hurry: On Feb. 12, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued an order in the case of controversial Rumford attorney Seth Carey, suspending his license to practice law for six months and a day and requiring him to get further training in trial advocacy and ethics before he could apply to be readmitted to the bar.
The Maine media missed it.
And, as of this morning, are still missing it.
In part, that might be due to the unnecessarily complicated nature of the court’s Web site. It took me a few tries to find the decision, even after I’d been tipped to its existence by an attorney. Disciplinary orders involving lawyers don’t seem to be listed with other court actions, instead being hidden away on a separate page that required some searching to locate.
But I’d expect any reporter who regularly covered legal issues to know this stuff. I’d particularly expect any news organization that devoted considerable space to covering the original proceedings that led to this decision – yes, Lewiston Sun Journal, I’m talking about you – to be aware of it.
Makes me wonder what else is being missed.
In fact, any actual sale of the Blethen Maine Newspapers (which also include the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel) is at least 30 days away, as noted in the Portland Press Herald article of Feb. 18.
Staff writer Tux Turkel does a good job of exploring the uncertainties remaining in this deal to sell his employer, pointing out that the letter of intent signed the day before by Pennsylvania newspaper publisher Richard Connor and his partners is a long way from a purchase-and-sale agreement.
Munjoy, however, insisted in an e-mail that this latest development is important because, “They have agreed now on the price. That's set in stone.”
The announcement of the letter of intent doesn’t say what that price is, although it does indicate there is one.
Munjoy also said the signing shows, “Connor has ‘new,’ and as yet unnamed partners, which is big news in and of itself and means the financing is absolutely in place. The 'due diligence' caveat keeps the lawyer happy.”
Munjoy’s optimism aside, Connor and Blethen have been this far before with a previous partnership called Maine Media Investment LLC. It remains to be seen if Connor’s current alliance has what it takes to close the deal.
Al Diamon can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.