Supreme Court Oral Argument Schedule
Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Sitting as the Law Court
Caution: This schedule is subject to change. The case synopses are prepared for the convenience of the public and are not to be construed as statements of the court.
Audio stream of oral arguments available.
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FEBRARY 2014 SESSION
At the Cumberland County Courthouse, Portland
||Kno-13-166||State of Maine v. Samuel Sanchez|
Attorneys: Jeffrey E. Baroody; Jeremy Pratt
Samuel Sanchez appeals from a judgment of conviction of criminal trespass (Class E), 17‑A M.R.S. § 402(1)(E) (2013), entered by the court upon evidence that Sanchez entered a Rite Aid six months after a police officer ordered him not to be on the premises. Sanchez argues that the court erred in finding that the officer who ordered Sanchez not to enter the Rite Aid was authorized, within the meaning of 17-A M.R.S. § 402(1), to order him not to enter the premises.
||BCD-13-121||Mallinckrodt LLC et al. v. Department of Environmental Protection|
Attorneys: Jeffrey D. Talbert; Sigmund D. Schutz; Dvid B. Van Slyke/ Peter B. LaFond; Eric M. Mehnert; Cynthia M. Mehnert
Mallinckrodt US LLC and United States Surgical Corporation (collectively, “Mallinckrodt”) appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court affirming a decision of the Board of Environmental Protection, which modified and affirmed a compliance order issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. The Commissioner’s order required Mallinckrodt to excavate material containing mercury and other contaminants from all five of its landfills located on the site of a former chemical manufacturing facility adjacent to the Penobscot River, and to transfer the material to offsite landfills. The Board’s decision modified the Commissioner’s order by requiring that Mallinckrodt excavate only two of the landfills and that it secure and monitor the others. Mallinckrodt argues that the Board erred by concluding that the Department had authority to issue a unilateral compliance order in a nonemergency situation; by conducting a hearing for which it had not formally adopted procedural rules; by precluding Mallinckrodt from cross‑examining two Board consultants who offered expert opinions on technical issues regarding the various remedial options available for cleaning up the site; and by excluding evidence relating to Mallinckrodt’s claim that the Commissioner’s order was issued solely as a result of political pressure from the Governor.
||Florence R. Mathieson v. John H. Mathieson|
Attorneys: Kelley E. Mellenthin; Christopher K. MacLean
John H. Mathieson appeals from a divorce judgment entered in the District Court dissolving his marriage to Florence R. Mathieson, now Florence R. Colby. On appeal, John argues that the court abused its discretion in (1) ordering him to pay general spousal support to Florence pursuant to 19-A M.R.S. § 951-A (2013); (2) allocating to him a larger portion of the unsecured marital debt pursuant to 19-A M.R.S. § 953 (2013); (3) awarding to Florence a portion of her legal fees and costs; (4) ordering John to return to Florence personal property owned by a third party; and (5) allowing Florence’s expert witness to testify regarding the valuation of John’s company.
||State of Maine v. Arnold Diana|
Attorneys: Donald W. Macomber; Jeremy Pratt
Arnold A. Diana appeals from a judgment of conviction entered by the trial court, and from the sentence it imposed, following a jury verdict finding him guilty of murder, 17-A M.R.S. § 201(1)(A) (2013). Diana contends that the court erred in (1) denying his motion to suppress the evidence resulting from three searches of his residence by law enforcement officers, (2) allowing a prospective juror who was once a victim of domestic violence to serve on the jury, (3) denying his motions to exclude certain physical evidence and failing to exclude expert and non-expert testimony concerning the significance of that evidence, and (4) setting his basic sentence at forty years before arriving at a final sentence of forty-five years.
||And-13-252||Daniel R. Bisson v. Melissa M. Bisson|
Attorneys: Verne E. Paradie, Jr.; Barbara L. Raimondi
Daniel R. Bisson appeals from a divorce judgment entered in the District Court determining child support and dividing the parties’ marital property. Bisson contends that the District Court erred or abused its discretion in determining the parties’ respective incomes for purposes of calculating child support, and in granting a downward deviation from the presumptive support amount pursuant to the child support guidelines, such that he receives no child support. Bisson also argues that the court erred or abused its discretion in awarding Melissa M. (Bisson) Martin the value of her retirement account and half of the remaining balance of Bisson’s 2012 federal income tax refund after the payment of certain marital debts.
|2:55 p.m.||Aro-13-307||State of Maine v. Reginald Dube|
Attorneys: James G. Mitchell Jr.; Jon P. Plourde
Reginald Dube appeals from a jury verdict finding him guilty of gross sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact, and furnishing liquor to a minor. On appeal, he contends that the Superior Court (Aroostook County, Hunter, J.) erred when it (1) refused to postpone the trial and allow Dube access to certain medical records of the alleged victim, (2) allowed the State's attorney to participate in a pre-trial hearing, and (3) refused to grant Dube a judgment of acquittal. He also contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions.
|9:30 a.m.||Ken-13-255||Paul J. Smith v. Kathleen N. Smith|
Attorneys: Robert J. Ringer, Jr.; Robert E. Sandy, Jr
Kathleen N. Smith appeals, and Paul J. Smith cross-appeals, from a divorce judgment entered by the District Court. Kathleen contends that the court abused its discretion by (1) awarding her an insufficient amount of general spousal support to meet her needs, and (2) requiring her to pay the portion of her attorney fees and other professional fees that were still owed at the time of the trial. Paul contends that the court abused its discretion in awarding Kathleen the entirety of a 401(k) account instead of dividing it between the parties.
|10:20 a.m.||Han-13-331||Estate of Clarence Weatherbee and Helen Weatherbee|
Attorneys: Frank T. McGuire; Tracy J. Roberts; Dean A. Beaupain; Charles E. Gilbert III; Julie D. Farr
Peggy McPike, daughter of Helen and Clarence Weatherbee, appeals from an order of the Hancock County Probate Court directing that her brother, Michael Weatherbee, would be compensated out of their parents’ estates for $95,855 in attorney fees incurred in a Superior Court action that he brought against McPike that resulted in $92,400 in restitution, plus interest and costs, being paid to the estates. McPike argues that the Probate Court erred in applying the common fund doctrine to require that attorney fees be paid by the Estate; that the claim for attorney fees is precluded because it could have been, but was not, pursued in the Superior Court; that the claim is barred because it was untimely filed; and that the court abused its discretion in awarding attorney fees.
||Estate of Robert L. Collopy|
Attorneys: John A. Doonan, Jenai J. Cormier; Patrick S. Bedard
The Bank of New York Mellon, as trustee for certain certificate holders, appeals from an order of the York County Probate Court dismissing its petition for formal appointment of a special administrator as untimely pursuant to 18-A M.R.S. § 3-108(a) (2013). The Bank argues that it is not subject to the time limit contained in 18-A M.R.S. § 3-108(a) because of the exemption for secured creditors contained in 18-A M.R.S. § 3-803(c)(1) (2013). Robert L. Collopy's heir and trustee of the Robert and June Collopy Family Trust, Bobbie King, argues that the plain language of 18-A M.R.S. § 3-108(a) unambiguously bars the commencement of appointment proceedings more than three years after the death of the decedent, and that none of the statutory exceptions apply in this case.