Articles Posted in Maine Supreme Court

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Scott Liberty appealed a superior court's interlocutory order that denied his motion to reconsider his motion to disqualify attorney Martha Gaythwaite from representing Jeffrey Bennett. Liberty contended that Gaythwaite should have been disqualified because she previously represented Liberty's former attorney David Van Dyke in a legal malpractice action brought by Liberty. Upon review of the matter, the Supreme Court found that Liberty failed to demonstrate that any exception to the "final judgment rule" should have applied to justify reaching the merits of this appeal. Accordingly, the Court dismissed Liberty's appeal. View "Liberty v. Bennett" on Justia Law

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This case arose from an investigation by the Board of Overseers of the Bar in into the actions of six law firm attorneys who were involved in the discovery and reporting of the misconduct of a former partner in the law firm. The Board, acting through bar counsel, appealed from a prehearing discovery order entered by a single justice of the Supreme Court granting the six attorneys' motion to quash a subpoena and also appealed from a judgment entered by a single justice determining that none of the six attorneys violated the Maine Bar Rules in responding to the former partner's misconduct. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the order granting the motion to quash the subpoena, but (2) vacated the judgment finding no violation of the Maine Bar Rules because the six attorneys, who were partners in the firm who were acting as the firm's executive committee and were the only lawyers within the firm who knew of Duncan's actions, violated Me. Bar R. 3.13(a)(1), which requires law firm partners to make efforts to enact procedures that will deter unethical behavior. View "Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Warren" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court received a report from the Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability recommending that Probate Judge Lyman Holmes be sanctioned for certain violations of the Maine Code of Judicial Conduct Canon 3(B)(8), which requires that judges dispose of all judicial matters promptly. Judge Holmes conceded a pattern of unacceptable delays in managing and resolving at least five cases entrusted to him, the most egregious of which involved a delay of nearly five years in the resolution of a matter involving family contact with a child. The Supreme Court concluded that the pattern of delays constituted of violation of Canon 3(B)(8) and ordered that Judge Holmes be sanctioned for the violations. View "In re Holmes" on Justia Law