Attorney/Judicial Misconduct: Defense against Legal Malpractice Claim
In Brooks v. Lemieux, 2017 ME 55, Maine’s Law Court upheld the award of summary judgment in favor of Verrill Dana’s client in a legal malpractice case arising from the dismissal by the federal court of the Plaintiff’s employment discrimination action. The Law Court found that the Plaintiff had failed to present prima facie evidence of causation flowing from the Defendant’s alleged malpractice. In reaching this decision, both the trial court and the Law Court found that the opinions of the Plaintiff’s expert were insufficient to create a trial-worthy issue.
Elections and Constitutional Law: Constitutionality of Ranked Choice Voting
Verrill Dana represented the League of Women Voters in two proceedings before the Maine Supreme Court relating to the constitutionality of Maine’s voter-approved ranked choice voting law. The first proceeding, Opinion of the Justices, 2017 ME 100, was a rare “solemn occasion” in which the Supreme Court is asked to render an opinion where a proceeding has not been commenced but the issue is of special significance. In Opinion of the Justices, the Supreme Court held that ranked choice voting was unconstitutional under Maine’s constitution, but permitted ranked choice voting in primaries and federal elections to proceed. In Maine Senate v. Secretary of State, 2018 ME 52, the Supreme Court held that it could not decide the authority of the Secretary of State to implement ranked choice voting under a separation of powers theory.