Proposed Amendments to Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure

The Appellate Rules Committee, of which I am currently chair, has been busy considering various amendments to the rules. The Committee has recommended certain changes, and the Supreme Judicial Court has now proposed amendments to the rules and invited public comment.

The biggest change is one that will hopefully be a significant benefit to attorneys appearing before the Law Court: the proposed rules would require most documents to be filed and served electronically.  With the advent of a uniform electronic filing system across Maine courts still an elusive goal, the proposed rules would allow for email filing with the clerk’s office. Filing would be deemed effective the date the clerk receives the email, even if filed after business hours. Paper copies of briefs, appendices, and certain other documents would still be required, but up to 7 days after the clerk of the Law Court has indicated that the electronically filed brief has been accepted by the Court.

The proposed

A Summer Smorgasbord – Rule Changes, Constitutional Law, and Settlement Agreements

It’s the middle of a beautiful Maine summer, a good time for a few quick hits on some interesting developments . . .

First, as I previewed last month, new amendments to the Rules of Appellate Procedure became effective July 13.  The new rules streamline certain procedures (such as allowing electronic signatures), make a few tweaks (particularly to the content and formatting for briefs), and provide helpful clarity (regarding cross-appeals).  The latter point is worth highlighting here.  As the Advisory Committee note observes, Rule 2C now makes clear that

no cross-appeal is necessary if the appellee does not seek to change any aspect of the judgment.  A cross-appeal is necessary only if a party seeks a change to the judgment.

With this change and the Court’s aside in Concord General regarding cross-appeals, perhaps some clarity is beginning to enter this area of the law.


Proposed Amendments to the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure

The Advisory Committee on the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure, of which I am a member, has been working with the SJC on potential changes to the rules.  The Court has made the proposals publicly available, and has invited public comment.  The deadline for any comments is July 1.

A quick summary of key changes may be helpful (though you should note this list isn’t exhaustive):

  1. Rule 1C: Electronic Signatures. The proposed rules include a new Rule 1C, which permits lawyers to sign documents electronically.  This will be familiar to practitioners, as it is patterned on and would make permanent the SJC’s pandemic orders permitting electronic signatures.
  2. Rule 2A(b): Appearances of Counsel. The amendments would clarify that, when an appeal is docketed in the Law Court, only members of the Maine bar are deemed to represent parties on appeal.  Any out-of-state attorneys must file a