Let me introduce myself. My name is Brett Baber. I am the attorney selected by University of Maine Student Government to provide legal assistance to the undergraduate student body. Together with my colleague, Corenna Howard Esq., we will be staffing the Student Legal Affair’s office in Memorial Union 20 hours each week. Our schedule is as follows:
Monday: 1- 5 p.m.
Tuesday: 1- 5 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Friday: 1-5 p.m.
Our responsibility as counsel is to provide basic legal services to the undergraduate student body. We encourage students with any type of legal problem to contact our office. If you sense that you may have a legal issue on the horizon, please contact us sooner rather than later, since we may be able to help you avoid legal problems in the future. If you have already become involved in a legal matter, you should contact us at your convenience.
Since Corenna and I will be maintaining regular office hours, we ask you to contact the office at 581-1789 to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins will be accommodated as time permits. If you have an immediate legal problem, please contact me at 945-6111 during normal business hours.
There should only rarely be instances in which you need legal assistance after normal business hours. In the event that you are arrested, your first priority should be to obtain bail if a bail requirement is imposed. Quite often, people are released on their own recognizance or with a summons. If bail is imposed, you should contact a family member or friend to make the monetary arrangements, since we do not have the ability to provide bail.
If you are in an accident or are a victim of a crime, you should contact police immediately. In future columns, I will provide you with more detail describing your responsibilities when approached by law enforcement authorities or other situations.
I encourage you to send me legal questions to the address in this column. Quite often, your questions will be similar to those of your fellow students. Hopefully, your questions will provide a mechanism for a response that will assist your fellow students in addressing common legal situations. Therefore, I invite your questions, which should be sent to Brett Baber on FirstClass.
Finally I want to provide you with a comment about confidentiality. As an attorney, I am obligated to keep any information that you share with me confidential except in very rare circumstances in order to prevent clients from committing crimes or from causing a risk of harm to others. Although I may be representing you in a limited capacity, I am obligated to keep your confidences and secrets just that, secret. Therefore, I encourage you to be candid with me in our discussions. The same rule applies to any other lawyer you may engage.
The scope of my service in the office is to provide initial legal services. I will attempt to provide you with an initial understanding of the legal issues and the possible ramifications. It is not my initial responsibility to provide you with ongoing representation in any litigation. While I am available to assist students on an ongoing basis, any such representation would be the subject of a separate fee agreement within parameters that have been negotiated between myself and the University of Maine Student Government.
On behalf of Corenna Howard and myself, I look forward to being of service.