FairPoint files for Ch. 11

Portland Press Herald.:

Telecommunications services provider FairPoint Communications Inc. said Monday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after agreeing on a deal with key lenders that will help lower its debt by $1.7 billion.

Charlotte, N.C. Fairpoint said the restructuring plan with lenders holding more than half of its outstanding secured debt is subject to bankruptcy court approval.The company said it expects to continue operating as normal while awaiting that approval.

Last week, the governors of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont said they want assurances from FairPoint that any debt restructuring by the company won’t further erode customer service. FairPoint owns and operates phone companies in 18 states with a total of 1.65 million lines, but its largest holdings are in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The company, which bought Verizon’s land lines and Internet services for $2.3 billion in 2008, has been plagued with customer service and operational problems in those regions.

New President at Pine Tree Legal

Robert Lingley, 66, of Bangor has served on Pine Tree’s board since 2006 and as vice president for the past two years, according to a press release issued last month.

Pine Tree is a statewide nonprofit organization that provides free legal assistance to low-income Mainers. Founded in 1967, it is Maine’s oldest and largest legal aid provider. It has six offices around the state.

via Bangor Daily News.

Flat Rate Legal Fees

I have posted a list of the legal services I offer at a flat rate instead of the usual hourly billing. This allows clients to take as much time as they need to ask questions and to discuss important issues without worrying about the clock. It also allows for the budgeting of these services which some people may skip if they think it will cost them too much.

Go to my rates page.

The list is not exhaustive of the work I will do at a flat rate, but can give a sense for what other services may cost. Feel free to contact me at ertlaw@gmail.com to discuss help you may need.

Lawyer Suspended for Abusing Puppy

Seth Carey, who was suspended earlier in the year for another matter, was again sanctioned for conduct unbecoming a member of the bar.

The latest 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 about being in his presence.

via Sun Journal.

First Distracted Driver Citation

KITTERY — A New Hampshire teenager has been cited under Maine’s new distracted-driving law after allegedly crashing her car into a utility pole while texting on her cell phone.

Kittery police Sgt. Charles Denault told the Portsmouth Herald that 19-year-old Jessica Jones admitted that she was texting when she crashed into the pole on Leach Road at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday, knocking out power to the neighborhood for the remainder of the afternoon.

via Portland Press Herald.