By Rudman Winchell Attorney

By: Rudman Winchell Attorney Anthony Trask

Every couple or three years, the Maine State Bar Association (MSBA) puts on multi-day seminar called the Family Law Institute. The event, which addresses a wide array of family law issues, is next scheduled to take place at the Augusta Civic Center on Friday, September 18, and Saturday, September 19, 2015. More information about the seminar will be forthcoming from the MSBA1, however, I encourage those who are or aspire to be family law practitioners to mark your calendars now. Not only does this seminar provide an opportunity to learn about and keep apprised of new developments in the family law arena and network with other family law attorneys, but with a single event one can acquire all of the Continuing Legal Education (CLE)2 credits needed for an entire year, including that sometimes elusive ethics credit.3

After being on opposite sides of the relatively early grandparents’ rights case of Conlogue v. Conlogue4, Attorney Stephen Nelson and I were asked to present at the Family Law Institute on the topic. A couple of years later, we were invited to return to present on the same subject. However, the development of the law in the area of non-parents rights to children caused us to expand the subject matter and we wrote and presented on the combined topics of grandparents rights as well as de facto parenthood.5

Since then, with important cases like Pitts v. Moore6 as well as the Maine Legislature’s current effort to enact Maine’s own version7 of the Uniform Parentage Act8, Maine family law in this area continues to evolve. Attorney Nelson and I will once again be on the faculty of the Family Law Institute, writing and presenting on these same two topics. In addition, we look forward to learning about other family law issues from our colleagues in September and we hope that you will join us.

1.             More information, as it becomes available, can be found at the following location:                 https://www.mainebar.org/Calendar/SignUp.aspx?EventOrgId=1&EventNo=4559

2.             The specifics of Maine’s Continuing Legal Education requirements can be found here:                 http://mebaroverseers.org/attorney_services/continuing_education/continuing_education.html.

3.             If you know your Bar Number and Password for the Maine Board of Bar Overseers’ Attorney Services           website then you can check your own status with respect to meeting the annual CLE requirements at:   https://www1.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/maine_bar/attorney_services.pl

4.             The case citation is 2006 ME 12, 890 A.2d 691 (2006), however, the opinion can be read in full here:                 http://www.courts.maine.gov/opinions_orders/opinions/2006_documents%20/06me12co.htm.

5.             The entire article we wrote on this topic can be found at: http://www.rudmanwinchell.com/2-firm-news/grandparents-rights-and-de-facto-parenthood.html.

6.             2014 ME 59, 90 A.3d 1169 (2014). Those interested in this decision can review it here: http://www.courts.maine.gov/opinions_orders/supreme/lawcourt/2014/14me59pi.pdfo.

7.             As it often does, Maine has chosen not to adopt the Uniform Parentage Act verbatim. Instead, it has made various amendments in creating its own unique version of the Act which is not yet law, but is presently making its way through the Maine Legislature. The current draft of the bill and its status can be seen here: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?PID=0&snum=127&paper=&paperld=l&ld=1017.

8.             The official Uniform Parentage Act can be found in its entirety at this location: http://www.uniformlaws.org/shared/docs/parentage/upa_final_2002.pdf.


These materials have been prepared by Rudman Winchell for educational purposes only. They should not be considered legal advice. The transmission of this information to you is not intended to create a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. You should not send any confidential or private information to Rudman Winchell until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established, in writing.