Latest from Maine Appeals

Well, we’ve been humongously busy, but c’est la vie. One stop we made was to the conference of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers in Philadelphia. Donald Macomber was also there from the AG’s office, and there were lots of solid presentations (and what a great town – my first visit).  One interesting thing I learned was there is this nifty study from the ABA with an excellent chapter on what formatting should be now…
Well, that last posted blog entry was so exhausting, here’s something short and snappy: The First Circuit has posted the program for the criminal appellate practice seminar we previously blogged about (Mark your calendar – May 15, 2019):  Federal Criminal Appellate Practice Seminar Program For we civil practitioners, the agenda looks pretty criminal-centric, but the opening from the clerk is always useful, and I wouldn’t miss Judge Barron on best practices at 11:45…
The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently issued a regulatory takings decision with relevance to us in Maine given our State’s unique relationship to the Commonwealth. Smyth v. Conservation Commission of Falmouth, 94 Mass. App. Ct. 790. Kudos to Pierce Atwood’s Michelle O’Brien and Nicholas Brown for prevailing in this appeal. Among other things, in Smyth, the Massachusetts Appeals Court held that there is no right to a jury in a regulatory takings case. This matters…
On December 4, 2018 we blogged about the oral argument in this appeal involving the constitutionality of federal legislation enacted to address Puerto Rico’s restructuring. (CLASH OF THE TITANS) The question was whether the people appointed to the oversight board had to be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The district court said no, but the First Circuit has now spoken and ruled otherwise. In an opinion…
Now that I have your attention, let’s discuss a recent First Circuit decision interpreting when there’s a hostile work environment and who’s liable for it under the Maine Human Rights Act.  Roy v. Correct Care Solutions, No. 18-1313 (1st Cir. 2019).  Judge Lynch, writing for co-panelists Judges Stahl and Barron, issued a thorough decision vacating summary judgment in favor of the employer issued by District Court Judge Levy. The facts are set out in detail…
Perhaps moved by my recent viewing of the movie bio of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, On the Basis of Sex, in pondering how much we’ve progressed in gender equality in our own vocation since the days of her early battles as portrayed in that film, here’s a dispiriting article from Bloomberg law about how the chances of arguing in front of the Supreme Court if you are a woman appear worse than winning the lottery –…
That’s the date that the First Circuit will be holding its next federal criminal appellate practice seminar in Maine.  (Announcement)  It’s open to all, free and you get CLE. If you are a civil practitioner, and because of that you are thinking there is nothing useful to be had from this seminar, you are wrong.   See What’s doing at CTA1; Appellate news.  And did I mention that it’s free? The description…
Sometimes around the holiday season, parents must use special skills to explain why Santa won’t be giving them that $500,000 drone or the Tesla they want.   Are similar skills needed to say no to a judge in an oral argument when they say something with which you disagree?  Here’s a discussion about that topic.  How to Tell a Supreme Court Justice She’s Wrong, ALM Media, Dec. 4, 2018. The article was prompted by…
On December 3, the First Circuit (Judges Torruella, Thompson and Kayatta) heard another appeal emanating from the much-litigated federal Promesa legislation enacted in 2016 addressing Puerto Rico’s restructuring (i.e., essentially bankruptcy).  A LOT of money is involved – Puerto Rico’s public debt exceeds $70 billion.  So each side brought out big guns.  You may have heard of two lawyers arguing in this matter:  Ted Olson and Donald Verrilli.  Here’s the argument.  Aurelius Investments, LLC v.
Here in the land of appellate law, there’s nothing more we like than diving into an area of dusty, obscure legal procedure.  The land of ancient writs is one of those areas, and last week the First Circuit issued one of the more obscure of those ancient writs – an “advisory mandamus.”  In re Grand Jury Subpoena, No. 18-1464 (1st Cir. Nov. 21, 2018). A federal grand jury subpoenaed records from the Rhode Island Department…