Articles Posted in Maine Supreme Judicial Court

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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