Posts Categorized: Articles

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issues ruling on employee use of medical marijuana

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently decided that employees of Massachusetts corporations and of out-of-state corporations doing business with operations in Massachusetts are permitted to use medical marijuana and cannot be fired for failing a drug test due to medical marijuana usage.  On July 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in the case of… Read more »

Non-compliant appendix may result in dismissal of appeal

A recent Maine Law Court decision provides a warning to the bar and public: failure to comply with Rule 8 of the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure may result in dismissal of an appeal. Rule 8 describes specific requirements for the appendix to be filed on appeal, including size, contents, and order of documents. In… Read more »

Maine law permitting recreational use of marijuana creates uncertainty for employers

Maine is now one of eight states – Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington – and the District of Columbia that have legalized the use of recreational marijuana.  Although retail sales of marijuana have been delayed to February 2018, the recreational use of marijuana became legal on January 30, 2017.  Once the Maine… Read more »

Seventh Circuit holds that sexual orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit released a landmark decision on April 4, 2017, opening the door for Title VII claims for alleged discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate on the basis of a person’s… Read more »

Circumstantial evidence can present a “convincing mosaic” of gender discrimination

So holds a recent decision by the First Circuit Court of Appeals. In Burns v. Johnson, — F.3d — (1st  Cir. 2016), the First Circuit vacated a district court’s decision granting summary judgment to an employer, after the district court concluded the employee’s evidence of gender bias amounted to speculative conclusions about a supervisor’s motivation.… Read more »

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 »