Alan DuBois on briefing

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Following up on my last entry, here is the download from Alan DuBois, the First Assistant Public Defender of the District of North Carolina (so he spoke from the criminal defense perspective and how to draft the appellant brief).  His presentation was excellent and thought provoking, in part because he spoke against conventional wisdom.  Here are some nuggets I found useful:

Appellate news

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Things are hopping on the appellate front in Maine.

Oral argument – the fundamentals

Thursday, April 28, 2016

There has been much publicity about the clubbiness of the US Supreme Court, including how, if you want your cert petition granted, you’d better have the signature of one of the handful of folks they like to hear argue on the petition.  These are the Lucky Few who (1) went to Harvard or Yale; (2) clerked for a Supreme Court Justice; and (3) then typically went to the Solicitor General’s office for a few years before hitting the Supreme Court boutiques.  See

If you do the wrong thing for the right reasons v. the right thing for the wrong reasons ….

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

So we had a little hiatus from blogging because I was teaching a class at the U. of Maine Law School.  That teaching exercise was, using technical lingo, a Giant Time Suck.  My hats off to anyone and everyone in education who do this year after year.  Phew!

What's doing at CTA1

Monday, March 14, 2016

It’s been a while since we’ve discussed what’s been happening at the First Circuit vis-à-vis- Maine, so here’s an update.  Nothing too spectacular on the Maine front decision-wise, but the Court is offering a free seminar, with one session in April in Boston, and one in May in Portland, on criminal appellate practice in the First Circuit.  They do something like this every five years or so.  I went to the last one and it was very good.  While most of the schedule is focused on issues of only criminal appellate interest, the beginning of the day has Judge Kayatta speaking, followed by another speaker on issues of generic appellate interest.  It’s free and you get CLE (although not ethics, which seems odd, since David Beneman is talking about that for a half-hour).

Ranked voting, Joshua Chamberlain, and excellent legislative history

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Attorney General recently issued an opinion on the constitutionality of proposed legislation to adopt ranked voting, noting that the proposed law presents serious constitutional issues.   

The problem is that the relevant provision in the Maine Constitution refers to vote by a “plurality,” which suggested that you pick the candidate with the most votes and end there.

Appellate news

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Things are hopping on the appellate practice front in Maine.  Last month the Maine SJC announced it was creating an advisory committee for the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure, and on May 20, the SJC will be giving a CLE on Appellate Practice before the Court.  (Appellate Practice Before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court (PRACPRO)

Does One Bad Apple Spoil the Whole Bunch?

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

On Feb. 29, the Supreme Court heard argument in Williams v. Pennsylvania, a case presenting two issues:  (1) should one of the judges hearing the capital case appeal have recused himself due to involvement at the trial level; and, if so (2) what’s the proper remedy, if any, if the majority vote on appeal would remain a majority even excluding that judge’s vote.  We’re looking at Q #2 today. 

About Maine Appeals

With the launch of this blog, we seek to discuss issues relating to appeals and appellate law in Maine, including the activities and decisions of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and First Circuit Court of Appeals relevant to Maine, and other participants in the Maine appellate community.

About the Author

Catherine R. Connors
Partner, Pierce Atwood LLP
Biography / Pierce Atwood’s Appellate Litigation Page


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This is a site offering non-comprehensive commentary, and seeking to prompt a dialogue about issues relating to Maine appeals. It is not an attempt to provide legal advice.

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