Hon. Donald G. Alexander, Associate Justice, Maine Supreme Judicial Court
(published February 2008)
Maine Appellate Practice was written to provide relatively contemporary guidance in implementing the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure and addressing other issues that may arise in the course of appellate practice before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. The first edition was published in January 2003.
Maine Appellate Practice is divided into three sections.
Thefirst section, following this introduction, is a User’s Guide to the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure and Maine Appellate Practice. It is a brief and general overview of appellate practice, the steps involved in an appeal, and the relevant rules regarding appeals. The second section includes: (i) the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure, (ii) advisory notes published with the original rules and with amendments to those rules, and (iii) commentary addressing issues which may arise in application of each individual rule. Thethird section includes six chapters addressing general legal and practice issues which arise in the course of appeals, often outside the context of any particular rule. To avoid confusion in section numbering, there is no chapter 1.
The current chapters in this section are:
Chapter 2: Addressing standing to appeal and justiciability of cases and issues on appeal;
Chapter 3: Addressing the final judgment rule and exceptions to the finality requirement;
Chapter 4: Addressing the standards of review for appeals;
Chapter 5: Providing guidance and practical suggestions for preparing quality appellate briefs. This chapter is written by Professor Nancy A. Wanderer of the University of Maine School of Law.
Chapter 6: Addressing oral argument; and
Chapter 7: Addressing appellate ethics.
About the Author:
Hon. Donald G. Alexander was appointed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in 1998 by Governor Angus S. King. He previously served on the Maine Superior Court and the Maine District Court and as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of Maine. He served in Washington, D.C. as an assistant to Maine Senator Edmund S. Muskie and as Legislative Counsel for the National League of Cities. Justice Alexander is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the University of Chicago Law School. He is the author of The Maine Jury Instruction Manual (4th ed. 2005); and the editor of The Maine Rules of Civil Procedure with Advisory Committee Notes and Commentary (2005 ed.). He is the Court's liaison to the Advisory Committee on the Maine Rules of Probate Procedure, the State Court Library Committee, and the Maine State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Committee.
Here's what litigants are saying about this edition:
“Justice Alexander's Maine Appellate Practice is an important tool for anyone appearing before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court—whether for the first time or the hundredth. As a major force behind the drafting of the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure, Justice Alexander's explanation of their content and the practice under them is unique and invaluable. His text is clear, concise and focused. All Maine litigators should have this volume on their shelves.”
~ Catherine R Connors, Esq., Pierce Atwood, LLP
“Any attorney or party appealing to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court should read first Justice Alexander's book, Maine Appellate Practice. The book has information, suggestions and insights that cannot be found in the Court's procedural rules or its decisions—from such important details as where to sit in court, how and when to use graphic displays, and how to structure oral argument and reserve “question-exempt” and rebuttal time—to core matters such as how to write and speak so as to best persuade the Court. Justice Alexander's detailed advice on how to write appellate briefs should be required reading for law students, attorneys and pro se litigants.”
~ Peggy L. McGehee, Esq., Perkins Thompson, P.A.
“Maine Appellate Practice is like a How-To Manual for handling appeals to Maine’s Law Court. Written in an easy-to-read style by Justice Donald Alexander, this book offers helpful insight into the Court’s decision-making process; answers frequently asked questions about the appeal process and the Rules of Appellate Procedure. It contains expert advice on the preparation of effective written and oral presentations. Every lawyer appearing before Maine’s highest court should read this book.”
~ Edmond J. Bearor, Esq., Rudman & Winchell
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