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 http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/scotus/

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. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3PYp5sROj_1RGNBUldIelk0T1lHVTZ1UTRrSkU3eHZtdFZJ/view?pref=2&pli=1.   

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. 

A Judge for All Seasons

Friday, February 19, 2016

This week the Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to recommend the reappoint of the Honorable Leigh Ingalls Saufley to a third term on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.  She was first nominated to the SJC in 1997 by Gov. Angus King, an Independent.  She was confirmed as Chief Justice in 2001 (the first female CJ), and reappointed in 2009 by Governor Baldacci, a Democrat.  She has now been nominated for reappointment by Governor Le Page, a Republican.

If only it were this easy with the Supreme Court in Washington.

Bryant and the (not so) Final Word

Friday, February 12, 2016

On Tuesday, the Maine SJC issued another decision on the issue of finality before filing an 80B appeal.  Bryant v. Town of Camden, 2016 ME 27.  Whether the decision achieves the Court’s objectives providing clarity and speeding up administrative appeals remains to be seen.

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


To reach Cathy Connors with comments about this blog, please e-mail to cconnors@pierceatwood.com

Sign-up for Alerts

RSS Feeds ADD THIS PAGE to your feeds or put your e-mail in the box below and hit GO to subscribe by e-mail.




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.

This blog may be construed as an advertisement, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances, nor does it create attorney-client privilege.