Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Litigant-unfriendly decision in Maine - Kingsbury v. Forbes (1998)

Following is a bit of the dissent from a 1998 case, which got to the Maine Supreme Court on appeal after being dismissed in a lower court. Chief Justice Daniel Wathen was in the majority who voted to dismiss Robert Forbes' appeal. 

From the dissent in that 1998 case, Kingsbury v. Forbes:

[¶ 11] A pro se party who has complied with the requirements of the rules and reasonably has placed the responsibility for the next step in the proceedings in the hands of the court, in my opinion, has demonstrated the good cause necessary to prevent dismissal pursuant to M.R.Civ.P. 41(b). Holding pro se litigants involved in small claims actions to the technical requirements of Rule 41(b) in circumstances where the court system has failed to fulfill its own responsibilities defeats the goal of providing a litigant-friendly procedure to resolve small claims disputes.   I would therefore vacate the judgment of the Superior Court.

If you go to the Findlaw website, the decision doesn't state who the dissenting judges were, but at Casetext: Smarter Legal Research it does:

DANA, Justice, with whom ROBERTS and CLIFFORD, Justices, join, dissenting.

Here's the citation given at the Casetext website: 

Kingsbury v. Forbes, 714 A.2d 149, 152 (Me. 1998)

The latest on Mary Kellett...

Well, here's news about Mary Kellett. An attorney named Luke Rioux posted the latest at his website Harmless Error, writing that the penalty for the Assistant D.A. Kellett's dirty deeds was "almost nothing."

I helped circulate a petition calling for her dismissal a while back, after Judge Kevin Cuddy found Kellett guilty of prosecutorial misconduct. She'd kept important facts of the case from Vladek Filler's attorney... evidence which was detrimental to the prosecution. Filler was then found guilty of domestic violence and/or charges of that nature.

Interesting, Kellett's disciplinary hearing was presided over by Ellen Gorman. She's the judge who kept us from getting to trial in Androscoggin Superior Court after doctors at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital treated my son, Aaron, for a dislocated shoulder, when it was in fact broken.

The fracture was so slight that it went undetected by emergency room doctors. Yet after they treated for a dislocation, my son needed surgery and pins because they displaced the fracture. That happened in 2000, when Aaron was 14 years old.

The case was pursued for six years with Attorney Anthony Ferguson before we finally got before the medical malpractice screening panel. After an unfavorable decision there, Ferguson dropped the case, and I filed suit on behalf of my then minor son.

Ellen Gorman, a Superior Court justice in 2006, soon awarded summary judgment to the doctors involved, though in their responses to my complaint, they had admitted a "valid claim exists to defend."

The attorney, Patrick Strawbridge, of the law firm Preti Flaherty representing the medical professionals, had asked for a jury trial and paid the $300 fee. From the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 38 e regarding withdrawal

A demand for trial by jury made as provided in this rule may not be withdrawn without the consent of all parties.

Aaron was and I believe still is entitled to a trial by jury.

Judge sentenced to 28 years... Yahoooo!!!!!!!!!

Remember a few years ago in Pennsylvania a few judges were selling out to private prisons... jailing adolescents who shouldn't be? Well, one of those judges was just sentenced... here's the story.
The state's Supreme Court just threw out 4000 convictions under Ciavarella's rule.