Supreme Court Oral Argument Schedule & Summaries

Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Sitting as the Law Court

Caution: This schedule is subject to change. The case synopses are prepared for the convenience of the public and are not to be construed as statements of the court.

Audio stream of oral arguments available.

As a service to the public, the Supreme Judicial Court provides live streaming of its oral arguments, and streaming of recordings of oral arguments for approximately two weeks after the week of arguments. To listen, go to our streaming page.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Westbrook High School, Westbrook
  9:00 a.m.   Fra-17-12   State of Maine v. Kevin O'Donnell

Attorneys: Claire Gallagan Andrews, Adam P. Sherman, Lawrence C. Winger, Paul Rucha, Zachary L. Heiden, Tina Heather Nadeau

Kevin O'Donnell was convicted of burglary. He appeals, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence because (1) the warrantless acquisition of information concerning O'Donnell's cellular telephone's location was an unlawful "search"; and (2) the alleged accomplice and companion of O'Donnell who consented to the search of O'Donnell's home had no interest in the home and no authority to consent to the search.

  9:50 a.m.   Kno-17-294   Edward Arbour v. Department of Corrections et al.

Attorneys: Edward Arbour, Scott Dolan, E. James Burke, James E. Fortin

Edward Arbour appeals from the Superior Court's affirming an administrative decision of the Department of Corrections disciplining Arbour. Arbour argues that the Superior Court erred because 1) the conduct for which he was disciplined was protected speech, 2) the relevant disciplinary regulation is unconstitutionally vague, 3) the disciplinary hearing was not by an impartial officer, and 4) the evidence was insufficient to support the discipline decision.

  10:40 a.m.   Ken-18-6   State of Maine v. Todd J. Perkins

Attorneys: Maeghan Maloney, Christy Stilphen, Tyler J. LeClair, Jeremy Pratt, Ellen Simmons

Todd Perkins was in the driver's seat of his vehicle when the police officer who had stopped the vehicle for erratic operation arrived at the diver-side door. Perkins claimed, however, that he had not been driving the vehicle but had switched seats with another vehicle occupant. Perkins was convicted of criminal operating under the influence with no test (Class D). Perkins appeals, arguing that the court erred in (1) its accomplice liability instruction and (2) failing to provide an instruction on the defense of voluntary intoxication.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Cumberland County Courthouse, Portland
  9:00 a.m.   Ken-17-526   State of Maine v. Travis R. Gerrier

Attorneys: Kristin Murry-James, Leanne Robbin, Harold J. Hainke

Travis R. Gerrier was convicted of gross sexual assault (Class A), unlawful sexual contact (Class B), and furnishing liquor to a minor (Class D) upon his conditional guilty plea. Gerrier appeals, arguing that, in light of his intellectual disabilities, the trial court erred in (1) determining that he was competent to stand trial and (2) failing to suppress incriminating statements that he did not make voluntarily.

  9:50 a.m.   Som-18-65   State of Maine v. Charles M. Bowley

Attorneys: Francis J. Griffin, Jr., Rory A. McNamara

After a jury trial at which Charles Bowley represented himself with the assistance of standby counsel, Bowley was convicted of loud and disorderly conduct (Class E). Bowley appeals, arguing that his standby counsel interfered with his right to self-representation.

  10:40 a.m.   Pen-18-184   Eric B. Clark v. Paula A. Clark

Attorneys: Anthony A. Trask, Kristy M. Hapworth, William B. Devoe, Kady S. Huff

Eric Clark appeals from an order modifying his child support obligation and the schedule for his contact with his children, arguing that the trial court erred in finding that (1) there had been a substantial change in circumstances and 2) Paula Clark is not voluntarily unemployed.

  11:30 a.m.   And-18-50   John Doe v. Department of Health and Human Services

Attorneys: Joshua Klein-Golden, Meghan Szylvian

The Superior Court denied John Doe's appeal of a Department of Health and Human Services substantiation (formerly "indication") of sexual abuse of a minor. Doe appeals, arguing that the 2003 substantiation, not challenged at the time, was not a final agency action and that the denial of his review request, fifteen years later, violates his due process rights.


Thursday, October 25, 2018
Wells High School, Wells
  9:00 a.m.   Cum-18-27   City of Portland v. Sulan Chau

Attorneys: Anne M. Torregrossa, Roy T. Pierce

After Sulan Chau failed to appear at a hearing, the District Court imposed a civil penalty and ordered her to remedy certain code violations in a property she owns and manages. Chau appeals, arguing that the District Court erred by (1) imposing a civil penalty for a violation not enumerated in the governing statute, (2) relying on a City ordinance providing for heightened penalties, and (3) failing to consider the value and circumstances of the property and the effect of the City's alleged failure to take timely action.

  9:50 a.m.   Lin-18-61   State of Maine v. John Burbank

Attorneys: Matthew R. Gerety, Rory A. McNamara

John Burbank was convicted of OUI (Class D) and operating a vehicle in violation of a condition or restriction (Class E) after his plea of nolo contendere. Burbank appeals, arguing that the court erred in excluding expert testimony that Burbank may not have been voluntarily intoxicated because of the possibility that Burbank's body produced alcohol without his knowledge.

  10:40 a.m.   And-17-553   State of Maine v. David T. Brown

Attorneys: Johanna L. Gauvreau, Rory A. McNamara

David Brown was convicted of four counts of aggravated trafficking of a Schedule W drug (Class A), one count of unlawful possession of cocaine base (Class C), and four counts of violating conditions of release (Class E). Brown appeals, arguing that (1) there was insufficient evidence that Brown trafficked within 1000 feet of a school and (2) the trial court erred in its statutory interpretation of the definition of "cocaine base."