Seeing double (jeopardy) & apportioning water

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I have just returned from the latest conference of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and will provide a full report anon.  Info includes technology use, ethical issues for appellate practitioners, and lots of other tips.

But first, ex-PA member, now First Circuit Judge Kayatta has struck again...

It's not what the judge had for breakfast, but when

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Here's a couple links to stories describing studies about decision fatigue:

The gist is, judges are more likely to be receptive to an argument early in the day or right after a food break.  The theory is...

1st Circuit Judicial Conference Part II

Monday, March 30, 2015

Continuing my summary of the presentations in the conference last week, we had another twinning of speeches, this time on the balance between security and civil liberty interests.  First up on that subject was Robert Mueller, ex-head of the FBI.  I unfortunately had to miss that one.  The next speaker was Justice Breyer, who provided a succinct and very digestible summary of the big Supreme Court decisions in this area, from Lincoln's suspension of the writ of habeas corpus...

1st Circuit Judicial Conference part I

Monday, March 23, 2015

Last week I attended the First Circuit Judicial Conference, held in Boston this time around.  These conferences are authorized by a statute enacted in 1911 and revised in 1948.  The idea is for the bench and bar to get together and talk about concerns, ideas etc.  The last one of these was held in in the First Circuit in 2010.  There was a line up of heavy hitting speakers, like Justice Breyer, as well as attendees (e.g, Justice Souter).  So here begins a full report...

declaratory judgments and ordinance interpretation

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Let's talk about a recent decision that seems simple enough on the surface but appears to raise some thorny procedural questions.  Day v. Phippsburg, 2015 ME 13.

The holding in this decision is straightforward enough - you can't unmerge previously grandfathered nonconforming lots once merged.  We all are supposed to be getting rid of nonconformance, so if an ordinance is ambiguous, you adopt the interpretation against intensifying or perpetuating the nonconformance...

Hot off the press

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

As a recent Cleaves email update indicates, MCLE New England has a new treatise out called A Practical Guide to Superior Court Practice in Maine.  The treatise was edited by Justice Humphrey and BIll Robitzek, and it has a slew of contributors, including Justices Stokes, Warren and Wheeler...

Mainer prevails today in the US SCt

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

In a previous blog, we noted that Lewiston firm Brann & Isaacson had a case before the Supreme Court this term regarding the scope of the Tax Injunction Act vis-à-vis state reporting requirements.  (The Big Show)  The Supremes have now spoken, and B&I  prevailed.  (Direct Marketing Assn. v. Brohl, No. 13-1032, March 3, 2015)

The Court was unanimous, with two concurring opinions...

the science of brief length

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

As most appellate folks know, the Supreme Court is vetting a proposed rule change to shorten briefs  in the U.S. Court of Appeals.  I blogged on this, opining that it was not a good idea (Keep it snappy! ).  I also blogged on the Maine SJC's own recent shortening of briefs in its venue.  (BIG FONT & fewer words)...

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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