Panel pans law license reinstatement effort by suspended Rumford attorney

Apr. 27—A grievance panel of Maine’s Board of Overseers of the Bar has recommended the state’s high court deny a petition by a suspended Rumford attorney and one-time candidate for the district attorney to be allowed to practice law again in Maine.

The Grievance Commission wrote in a 17-page decision recently that Seth T. Carey, 47, had “failed to meet his burden to demonstrate his compliance with the necessary reinstatement criteria” and that, based on the evidence presented at his three-day hearing in March, “there is no good and sufficient reason why (Carey) should nevertheless be reinstated.”

The panel went further, adding, “To the contrary, protection of the public requires that he not be permitted to practice law.”

Carey had the burden of showing “by clear and convincing evidence” that he had met each of the criteria spelled out in the state bar rules for reinstatement.

Those rules include full compliance with the terms and conditions of all prior disciplinary orders issued in Maine.

During the less than 12 years Carey practiced law in this state, the courts have issued five disciplinary suspensions for Carey, the most recent in 2018 for a three-year period.

In the commission’s decision, it says Carey failed to meet any of the criteria necessary to reinstate his license, except for paying the fee.

“Rather, the record reflects that to this day, (Carey) continues to engage in the same sort of conduct that led to his suspension “spelled out in current and earlier court orders” and he has not adequately addressed the conditions for reinstatement imposed by the bar rules.

Specifically, Carey has failed to show he has the “requisite honesty and integrity” to practice law, according to the panel’s recommendation.

“The record is replete with evidence that (Carey) continues to engage in behavior unbecoming of an admitted attorney to practice law in Maine, including sarcastic, demeaning, and even libelous comments in communications directed at the court clerk and board staff … and numerous frivolous and vexatious filings containing unfounded and disparaging accusations hurled at opponents usually in an effort to deflect from his own failures.”

Carey has engaged in “other professional misconduct since his suspension,” the commission wrote in its report.

“Although not acting as a lawyer given his suspension, his bullying and abusive behavior directed at board staff, court clerks, and opposing counsel does not satisfy ethical standards. And his violation of this panel’s order to file a properly notarized petition in a timely manner also constitutes professional misconduct under” bar rules, the report said.

Moreover, Carey has failed to “recognize the wrongfulness and seriousness of the misconduct for which he was suspended,” according to the commissioners.

“Petitioner continues to deny that he engaged at all in the most egregious misconduct for which he is suspended, although let alone to acknowledge that it was wrongful and serious. (Carey) pays lip service to recognizing he ‘has made a lot of mistakes’. and claims in conclusory fashion now to be a ‘better version’ of himself, closer examination of his filings and testimony reveals that he admits nothing as to recognizing the serious behavior that led to his suspension, and the importance of avoiding similar behavior in the future,” the report said.

The commissioners noted that Carey “continues to publicly castigate and demean the victim of the sexual assaults the court has already found he committed.”

Carey faces criminal charges, including felonies, in connection with that alleged sexual abuse. In the 2018 suspension, a Superior Court justice found there was evidence to support claims of sexual abuse involving a former tenant in Carey’s Rumford home.

Carey was indicted last year by an Oxford County grand jury on misdemeanor charges of sexual sexual contact, two counts of domestic violence assault and engaging in prostitution, in addition to two felony charges — attempted gross sexual assault and attempted aggravated sex trafficking.

Those charges are pending trial.

Commissioners found the mental health disability cited in the 2018 suspension order hasn’t been removed.

“In suspending Petitioner for three years, the court found that (Carey) suffered from a personality disorder, diagnosed by a licensed psychologist,” according to the commission’s report.

At the March hearing before the commission, Carey “presented the testimony of two witnesses, his therapist Cassandra Snow-Pyburn and his treating psychiatrist Vijay Amarendram, MD, whom he represented would demonstrate that he does not suffer from a personality disorder, and that any mental disability from which he suffered at the time of his suspension has been removed. These witnesses did not,” according to the commissioners’ report.

During his suspension, Carey was barred from practicing law, but he ran earlier this year for the office of district attorney for Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties, conduct that violates that condition, the commission said.

Before his law license could be reinstated, Carey had to complete required legal education courses, but failed to do that, the commissioner’s report said.

Carey reacted Tuesday to the commission’s report by emailing the Sun Journal, saying: “I am disappointed with the Board of Overseer’s Panel decision, but not surprised. The mistake I made five years ago to allow a woman who seduced me to move into my home has continued to haunt me today. She made up a story of abuse in order to take advantage of me, as she has done to everyone else she has dated. knows her background of abuse, yet the board has convinced the court with no evidence that it’s true. This has left me to only believe that it’s possible that I have been ‘blackballed’ by the courts for speaking out against judges who conspired against me because I fight against the injustices of the system. Everyone who knows me knows I would never hurt anyone or anything. The truth will eventually be obvious to everyone, but in the meantime, it has been difficult to be falsely accused and receive no h elp from the justice system.”

The commission’s recommendation in a report recommending Carey’s law license not be reinstated will go to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for a decision.

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