So what's up in the Maine appellate world?
This Wednesday in Augusta, at the MSBA's office, Judge Lipez will be having another session with any interested lawyers. These are always informative – he gives updates on what's doing in the First Circuit, and you can ask him questions about the same or any issues you've encountered. Bring $10 for the lunch.
Last week the SJC held oral argument in Bangor, so I saw the Penobscot Judicial Center for the first time. What a great facility. Justice Silver did a fabulous job – it was finished before deadline and under budget, and I am told by trial lawyers that all the sight lines and equipment are in the right place, which apparently is an unusual thing in court architecture. The sound system was great for listening to argument, and the timer is like the First Circuit's so you can see exactly how much time you have left at the podium.
Justice Silver has also instituted a brown bag lunch up there periodically, similar to Justice Lipez's, with the next session scheduled December 8.
Finally, here is my suggestion to help the state court system in what I assume will be a very challenging budgeting year. I am not the first person to ask why there is no coffee shop -or even a kiosk – in that lovely new Bangor court. Or how about the Cumberland County courthouse? These are captive customers, all there for the plucking. The fabulous courthouse in Boston has a large cafeteria, and 100 years ago when I clerked in the federal building in Chicago it had the same, plus a little shop to buy candy and magazines. This is the year to get entrepreneurial! Isn't the junior Justice in charge of coffee? Invest in an espresso machine, Justice Jabar, and if you are as good as Justice Silver is in getting things done in his robe and a hard hat, maybe the judicial system can give Starbucks a little competition!