In Board of Overseers v. Brown, the Law Court addressed the timeliness of an appeal following a “motion for clarification” of a judgment. In doing so, the Law Court drew an interesting distinction between requests for relief that qualify as a motion to alter or amend the judgment under Rule 59(e) (which toll the appeal deadline) and those that are categorized as a motion for relief from judgment under Rule 60(b) (which do not toll the appeal deadline). This distinction poses potential traps for the unwary.
Brown involved a bar complaint against an attorney for violations of the Maine Rules of Professional Conduct, which led to the imposition of sanctions by a single justice. Within 14 days of entry of judgment (perhaps not coincidentally, the deadline for a Rule 59(e) motion), the Board of Overseers of the Bar filed a “motion for clarification,” without citing the authority upon which it relied, seeking additional sanctions. The single justice granted the