Articles Posted in Maine Supreme Judicial Court

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The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed this interlocutory appeal brought by Defendants challenging the superior court’s denial of their motion to seal or strike, holding that Defendants did not demonstrate the irreparable harm necessary for appellate review of the court’s interlocutory order. Plaintiff, the respondent in an attorney discipline proceeding, filed a complaint against Judge Marian Woodman and Judge Nancy Carlson based on their actions and involvement in the disciplinary proceeding. Defendants filed motions to dismiss the complaint and sought imposition of sanctions. After Plaintiff filed a response to the motions the judges filed a motion to seal or strike certain paragraphs of Plaintiff’s response, in which Plaintiff made assertions about the judges and a family member of one of them. The superior court denied the motion. The judges appealed. The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the appeal did not fall within an exception to the final judgment rule. View "Carey v. Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court concluded that former York County Probate Judge Robert M.A. Nadeau violated Rule 2.11(A) of the Maine Code of Judicial Conduct when he participated in the resolution of a case after acknowledging that he would be required to recuse for bias if an evidentiary hearing were necessary. The court accepted the Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability’s recommendation and ordered that Judge Nadeau be publicly reprimanded for violating Rule 2.11(A), noting that, while a sanction was warranted for Judge Nadeau’s misconduct, the need to deter others from similar misconduct was tempered by the fact that Judge Nadeau was no longer a judicial officer and was serving a suspension from the practice of law. View "In re Robert M.A. Nadeau" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court denied Robert M.A. Nadeau’s motion for reconsideration of the court’s June 20, 2017 decision in this judicial disciplinary matter. In his motion, Nadeau argued that the sanctions imposed on him - including a two-year suspension from he practice of law and $5,000 forfeiture - for his numerous violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct violated his equal protection and due process of law rights and also violated the Privileges and Immunities Clause. The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) the two-year suspension from the practice of law did not violate Nadeau’s rights to equal protection and due process of law; and (2) a sanction affecting Nadeau’s license to practice law was not misplaced. View "In re Robert M.A. Nadeau" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, conservator and guardian for his son Vincent Jones, and Plaintiff’s counsel (Attorney) appealed from two orders issued by the probate court that (1) dissolved and replaced a supplemental needs trust that had been created for Vincent’s estate, and (2) directed the Attorney, who created the original trust, to disgorge legal fees paid to her by Vincent and conditionally to pay additional amounts. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed in part and vacated in part, holding (1) the probate court’s order creating a new supplemental needs trust for Vincent was not void for lack of statutory authority; and (2) the payment order against the Attorney deprived the Attorney of due process. View "In re Guardianship & Conservatorship of Jones" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court ordered that former York County Probate Judge Robert M.A. Nadeau forfeit $5,000 and be suspended from the practice of law in Maine for two years for violations of Canons 2(A), 2(B), and 3()(4) of the 1993 Maine Code of Judicial Conduct and for violation of Rule 4.2(C)(1) of the 2015 Maine Code of Judicial Conduct. The court based its sanctions based on two reports filed by the Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability alleging a total of six violations of the Maine Code of Judicial Conduct by Nadeau arising from Nadeau’s actions while he was a judge-elect, a sitting judge, and a candidate for reelection as probate judge. View "In re Robert M.A. Nadeau" on Justia Law

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Attorney Susan Thiem represented Ann Thomas, an allegedly incapacitated person, during this action for appointment of a guardian and conservator. During the proceedings, the probate court issued an order imposing sanctions against Thiem based on a finding that she had “unreasonably interfered” with the discovery process. The sanctions order required Thiem to pay reasonable expenses, including attorney fees. Thiem appealed, arguing that the court abused its discretion by imposing sanctions. The Supreme Judicial Court dismissed the appeal as interlocutory without reaching the merits, holding that because the court had not yet quantified the amount of any attorney fees and expenses to be paid by Thiem as a sanction, the sanctions order was not a final judgment suitable for appellate review. View "Conservatorship & Guardianship of Ann B. Thomas" on Justia Law

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The Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability filed a report against Probate Judge Robert Nadeau. The Committee alleged that Judge Nadeau violated the Maine Code of Judicial Conduct based on statements he made in a letter to counsel regarding a court proceeding in which he was a party and based on his judge-related Internet and social media activity. The Supreme Judicial Court held that Judge Nadeau committed one actionable violation of the Code based on his statements to counsel. The Court imposed a public censure and reprimand and a thirty-day suspension from the performance of his duties as judge of the Probate Court. View "In re Robert M.A. Nadeau" on Justia Law