Posts Categorized: Articles

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 »

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 »