Posts Categorized: Articles

Opinion testimony by expert witnesses in divorce litigation

In addition to the evidentiary standards contained in the Maine Rules of Evidence, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court (the “Law Court”) has identified specific judicial standards and procedures that are applicable to the admissibility of expert testimony. While a primary test for admissibility are the Rules of Evidence, judicially crafted standards and limitations constitute a… Read more »

Opinion testimony by lay witnesses in divorce litigation

In divorce litigation, like civil litigation in general, opinion testimony is not limited to experts. Lay witnesses, especially the parties to a divorce case, may testify with respect to the valuation of real and personal property despite a lack of expertise. Rule 701 of the Maine Rules of Evidence provides that: If the witness is… Read more »

Common issues in adoptions

With the new enactment of the Maine Parentage Act coming up in July 2016, we are looking ahead to some changes that will be happening with adoptions in Maine. Before talking about those, however, it is worth revisiting adoptions generally and some common legal issues and considerations if you are considering an adoption. This article… Read more »

Second Circuit recognizes individual liability under FMLA

In a recent decision, Graziadio v. Culinary Institute of America, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that supervisors can be held individually liable for violations of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under the FMLA, only an employer may be held liable for violations of the statute. To decide who qualifies as an “employer,” the Second… Read more »

Maine Law Court clarifies 2013 amendment to spousal support statute

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a major area of conflict in many Maine divorce cases. Spousal support is not awarded in every divorce and, even when it is awarded, there is no specific formula used to determine the amount or length of support. In recent years the Maine laws that govern spousal support… Read more »

Use of experts in divorce litigation

Divorces, like general civil litigation, involve the use of experts in a variety of areas.  This article is the second installment in a series providing general information about the use of expert testimony and opinion testimony in divorce litigation.  The entire Chapter regarding the Use of Experts in Divorce Litigation is due to be published by… Read more »

Maine Redefines How You Become a Parent (Legally)

The Maine Legislature has created a new law, becoming effective in July 2016, that redefines how a person becomes a parent, legally speaking. The new law is a drastic departure from existing Maine law and it creates several “new” ways that a person could become a legal parent of a child. There are many ways… Read more »

Use of experts in divorce litigation

Divorces, like general civil litigation, involve the use of experts in a variety of areas. The two principle issues in any divorce involve parental rights and responsibilities with respect to minor children and the identification and valuation of marital property. Expert testimony can be utilized to establish a variety of facts with respect to the… Read more »