You are currently browsing the archive for the News category.

The Maine Board of Bar Examiners awarded the 2014 Kenneth R. Clegg Award for Excellence to Kevin Decker, who graduated from Maine Law in May 2014. This Award is presented each year to the person who obtains the highest combined score on the Maine Bar Examination in his or her first attempt at passing a bar exam.

Kevin Decker currently serves as judicial clerk for Judge William J. Kayatta, Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Kevin graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in philosophy, and then worked for several years in Boston at an organization that supports civil legal aid programs. At Maine Law, he was Articles Editor for the Maine Law Review, and served as a Teaching Assistant for the Legislation & Administration class and the Criminal Law class. He externed at the United States Attorney’s Office in Portland and, during the summer after his 2L year, was a summer associate at Bernstein Shur in Portland.

The Award honors the memory of Kenneth R. Clegg, a member of the Maine Board of Bar Examiners from 1989 to 2002 and its first Treasurer. Ken was a clerk for Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court and a champion of fairness in the courtroom. He also was a poet, novelist, cyclist, cellist, gourmet cook, and world traveler. The Board trusts that recipients of this Award will be inspired to follow Kenneth Clegg’s example as a positive force for the profession and a person who broadly enriches life.

On December 2, the Women’s Law Association of the University of Maine School of Law will recognize Katherine Knox of Bernstein Shur as the 2014 Outstanding Alumna Award Recipient.

Knox graduated from Maine Law in 2004. She is a shareholder at Bernstein Shur focusing her practice on lobbying, campaign compliance and election law. Knox is General Counsel for the Maine Democratic Party, an adjunct professor at Maine Law, and a member of the National Association of Women Lawyers.

One of Knox’s most noteworthy accomplishments is her work with EqualityMaine to draft and pass historic legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in Maine. This effort marked the first time in U.S. history that such legislation passed in both the House and the Senate, and was signed into law by the sitting governor.

Since the establishment of the Women’s Law Association at Maine Law, they have consistently recognized the achievements of female attorneys, and the impacts of gender on the profession of law. The WLA encourages networking among women at the law school and the women practicing in all facets of the legal community.

Every fall, the WLA receives nominations from students, faculty and staff and selects one alumna for her outstanding contributions to the legal community. A reception is then held to honor the alumna award recipient, as well as to raise money for the WLA fellowship. The fellowship is awarded every spring to a Maine Law student who chooses to spend his or her summer working in furtherance of women’s rights in an unpaid capacity.

This year, the WLA has elected Katherine Knox to be the 2014 outstanding alumna award recipient. Kate will be honored at a reception on December 2, 2014 from 5:30 – 8:30 pm.

For more details about this event, please contact:

The Maine Law Review‘s 2014 Annual Symposium, “Connecting Law and Legislature: The Legacy of Ed Muskie,” took place on Saturday, November 15, 2014 in Portland, Maine. It was part of a day-long “Centennial Celebration” of Edmund S. Muskie on the 100th anniversary of his birth. The series of events was co-sponsored by the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine, the University of Maine School of Law, Southern Maine Community College, and the Muskie Archives at Bates College.

The Maine Law Review Symposium brought together former colleagues of Ed Muskie with contemporary scholars and leaders of the bench and bar. They discussed the enormous impact of Muskie’s public service and its continued relevance today. The symposium consisted of three panel discussions throughout the morning:

  1. An Environmental Law Panel, with Professor Richard Lazarus, Harvard Law School; Leon Billings, former Muskie Chief of Staff; and Professor Joel Goldstein (moderator), St. Louis University School of Law.
  2. A Model Cities and Urban Development Panel, with Professor Kellen Zale, University of Houston Law Center; Don Nicoll, former Muskie Executive Assistant; and Dean Peter Pitegoff (moderator), University of Maine School of Law.
  3. An Access to Justice Panel, with Justice Howard Dana, Maine Supreme Court (retired); Justice Andrew Mead, Maine Supreme Court; and Bob Hirshon (moderator), former President of the American Bar Association.

The Maine Law Review will publish articles and essays arising from the Symposium discussions.

Keynote speakers in the afternoon session were former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and PBS political analyst Mark Shields, both of whom worked closely with Senator Muskie years ago.

Muskie’s public service was wide-ranging. He served in the Maine legislature from 1946 to 1954, as Governor of Maine from 1955 to 1959, as a member of the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1980, and as U.S. Secretary of State in the Carter Administration from 1980 to 1981.

Six students and recent graduates of the University of Maine School of Law were honored this fall by the state’s Katahdin Law Student Recognition Program, for providing free legal assistance to Mainers who cannot afford an attorney.

Kimberly Watson (’14), Saad Kahn (’14), Ashley Janotta (14), Taylor Sampson (’15), Scott Helmke (15), and Sarah Lemay (’16) were recognized for completing more than 50 pro bono hours, providing legal services to the poor. The pro bono hours were above and beyond any other pro bono work the students performed for law school credit, or during internships.

The Katahdin Law Student Recognition Program is an offshoot of the Katahdin Counsel Recognition Program, which is overseen by the state Supreme Judicial Court, and acknowledges Maine lawyers who complete more than 50 pro bono hours in a year. The purpose of the program is twofold: to establish a process for recognizing the pro bono work of Maine lawyers; and to encourage more lawyers to provide such services for low-income residents. The reporting year runs from July 1 to June 30.

Two University of Maine School of Law students, Amber Attalla ’16 and Laura Shaw ‘15, in coordination with Maine Law’s Refugee and Human Rights Clinic, will volunteer at The Artesia Center, an immigration detention center in New Mexico for one week this November. They will provide legal assistance to unaccompanied immigrant children and women. Amber and Laura will be the first legal representatives from Maine to travel to The Artesia Center in the wake of a humanitarian crisis on the U.S. border. Follow Laura and Amber’s blog beginning on November 15 where they will be documenting their experiences.

Since October 2013, more than 65,000 unaccompanied children and tens of thousands more Central Americans traveling as families have sought refuge at the U.S. southern border. Most of these individuals fled their home countries due to conditions of extreme violence and poverty. Unprepared for what has been characterized as a surge of immigration, the United States federal government started The Artesia Center, a makeshift immigration detention center located in a remote, desolate area of New Mexico. The Artesia Center, located four hours from the closest major city, currently houses over 600 Central American women and children.

Representatives from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) along with other immigration advocacy organizations have stated that “severe due process violations” are taking place at The Artesia Center. Specifically, women and children fleeing their home countries out of fear of persecution are being denied access to asylum and other protections without any meaningful opportunity to contact a lawyer. Many children, even toddlers, are forced to defend their cases in immigration court without the help of legal counsel.

In response, lawyers and law students from around the country are traveling to Artesia volunteering their time to provide urgent legal assistance to the women and children detained there, working to ensure that their due process rights are met. While in Artesia, Amber and Laura will undergo specialized training and assist immigration attorneys from across the country who are donating their time and expertise in Artesia.

For more information and to provide financial support for this exciting project, please see our project summary.

Maine Law Dean Peter Pitegoff and Dan Boxer, Adjunct Professor of Governance and Ethics at the Law School, published an op ed feature in the Maine Sunday Telegram (Oct. 19, 2014) on “a wake-up call for nonprofit boards.”

The article describes recent revelations of embezzlement of nearly four million dollars of donor contributions to Camden’s United Mid-Coast Charities and draws corporate governance lessons from this debacle. It recalls the Law School’s 5th Annual Governance and Ethics Symposium last year, which was introduced with the following prescient statement: “From embezzlement by small town Little League treasurers to fraud and corruption within some of its largest institutions, America has witnessed stunning breaches of trust in the past several years.”

“Are we learning yet from breaches of trust?” asked Pitegoff and Boxer. “Sadly, the answer appears to be a resounding no! ” The article presents guidelines to nonprofit corporations and their boards of directors for responsible governance practices to prevent abuses and to operate for the public good.

Read the complete article on the Portland Press Herald’s website.

A panel of experts will share diverse perspectives on public access and private ownership of Maine’s shoreline in a program being held at the University of Maine School of Law in Portland on October 2 at 5:30pm. The six presenters have more than a century of combined legal and policy experience on this controversial issue.

The 1989 Moody Beach decision, this year’s Goose Rocks decision, and other cases over the past quarter century have affected private property owners’ rights and the public’s ability to use Maine’s intertidal lands and dry sandy beaches.

After a quarter century of legal wrangling, confusion and controversy remain. Who is a legitimate visitor to a beach and who is a trespasser? Why can clammers and scuba divers use private intertidal lands while a sunbather sometimes cannot? Why would one beachfront property owner have lesser rights to control public use than another?

“We want to help people make sense of the laws surrounding Maine’s intertidal zone,” said Paul Dest, director the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, who is coordinating the event with the Maine Sea Grant College Program and the Center for Oceans and Coastal Law of the University of Maine School of Law.

Professor Orlando Delogu and attorney Pete Thaxter will lay out their theories on existing laws and pertinent court cases. Thaxter will make the case that upland owners abutting intertidal land own to the low water mark, subject only to a public easement permitting “fishing, fowling, and navigation.” Delogu will argue that public use rights in intertidal lands are much broader—that the Colonial Ordinance is not as encompassing as it is claimed to be, that public trust rights remain, and that public ownership of most intertidal lands have never been lost.

Attorneys Durward Parkinson, Amy Tchao, and Ben Leoni, along with Maine Coast Heritage Trust president Tim Glidden, will offer their perspectives on the issues while focusing on alternatives to litigation. They will address issues that help advance unresolved questions in Maine, such as: Can the public gain a broader range of use rights by prescription? Can negotiated arrangements protect upland owner interests while broadening public use rights? How are practical problems like beach maintenance and parking addressed?

A question-and-answer session following the presentations will be moderated by professor John Duff.

The program will be held in the Moot Court Room at the University of Maine School of Law, 246 Deering Ave., Portland. Registration is required at 207-646-1555 or Free-will donations will be accepted. For more information on the program and presenters, please visit

The University of Maine School of Law is pleased to welcome Kevin Gover to present the 22nd annual Frank M. Coffin Lecture on Law and Public Service. Kevin Gover is Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and a citizen of the Pawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. The Lecture will be held at 7:30 pm on Thursday, November 6, at the Portland Museum of Art.

Director Gover has served as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior and as the senior executive of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He practiced federal Indian law for more than 15 years in Washington D.C. and in New Mexico, and he taught law and policy as a professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Kevin Gover’s career and wide-ranging public service activities resonate with Judge Coffin’s values and legacy. His full bio is available on the Smithsonian Institution’s website.

The lecture series, sponsored by the University of Maine School of Law, honors the late Judge Frank M. Coffin, longtime federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, former member of Congress, and renowned leader and mentor in public service.

We have reached capacity for this event. If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please contact Kayla Ramsay at 207-780-4344 or

Released by the ABI on September 8, 2014

”Prof. Lois R. Lupica, the Maine Law Foundation Professor of Law at the University of Maine School of Law, returns to serve as the Robert M. Zinman ABI Resident Scholar for the Fall 2014 semester. Prof. Lupica will be assisting ABI with the final compilation of the Chapter 11 Reform Commission’€™s report due in December, continuing work on her Consumer Financial Distress Research Study and assisting with ABI educational programming and publications. Helping to maintain ABI’€™s position as the authoritative source of bankruptcy information for the Congress, media and public, she will serve in ABI’s Alexandria, Va., office from September to December.

An ABI member since 2001, Prof. Lupica continues her distinguished service within the organization:

Prof. Lupica, a member of Maine Law’™s faculty since 1995, teaches courses focused on secured transactions, bankruptcy, negotiation and legal ethics. She is a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy and actively involved in numerous professional and academic organizations. Prof. Lupica was awarded the Faculty Senate Award for Excellence in Scholarship in 2004 and received Honorable Mention for the National Award for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching Professionalism, sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism and the Conference of Chief Justices in 2005. She has served as dean of faculty and as a member of the Executive Board of the American Board of Certification, and she has been a co-coach and faculty advisor for the Duberstein Moot Court Competition in New York since 2005. Prof. Lupica received her J.D. from Boston University in 1987 and her B.S. from Cornell University in 1981.


ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes more than 13,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit For additional conference information, visit

Maine Law is pleased to welcome the Hon. James B. Haines as the Edward S. Godfrey Distinguished Visiting Professor. Judge Haines joins the faculty after serving on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine for nearly 25 years. He will teach courses in bankruptcy, federal courts, pre-trial practice, and secured transactions.

Judge Haines was Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine from 1997 to 2004 and 2011 to 2013. He also served on the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit from 1996 to 2014 (Chief Judge from 2008 to 2012). He retired from the Bankruptcy Court in January 2014.

In 2007, Judge Haines was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy, an honor in recognition of his exceptional contributions in the fields of bankruptcy and insolvency. He received the 2006 Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Conference of Bankruptcy Clerks.

Judge Haines has taught previously as an adjunct professor at Maine Law and as an associate professor at the West Virginia College of Law. He graduated with high honors from Willamette University College of Law where he served as Editor-in-chief of the Willamette Law Journal. He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Washington State University. Following law school, he clerked for the Hon. Eugene A Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He then practiced law at Davis, Write, Todd, Riese & Jones; at Hews, Culley, & Beals; and at Black, Lambert, Coffin & Haines.

In recent years Judge Haines has engaged in international legal consulting with the USAID in Kosovo, with Moscow State University, and with the U.S. Russia Foundation.

« Older entries