no trolls or ogres, just friendly elves who toiled away at the backlog of questions posted by the public to the SC Bar online forum, SC.FreeLegalAnswers.org. Heads were scratched and discussions of solutions had by all but in the end we respond to 141 questions. We can start with a clean slate in 2022!
Chief Elf- Betsy Goodale, Director, SC Bar Pro Bono Program. Working with 1L Susanne Anderson, there was no time to be on the shelf!
Benjamin Torrey, 1L, toiled away with Pro Bono Alumni Council Member, Olivia Jones, while Cindy Coker, SC Bar Public Services Director managed the technology. Michael Miller, 3L and Mary Michal Smeloff made great progress. Rebecca Kennedy, 3L ( hiding as usual) was captured as she drafted one more response for Valerie Gardner, SC Legal Services attorney
THIS IS WHAT PALMETTO PRO BONO LOOKS LIKE!
In a Family Court custody case in Maine centered around one parties refusal to follow the science and vaccinate the children, a footnote appeared that is worth reading.
We feel obligated to address the unprofessional nature of the brief filed by Michelle’s attorney. Besides engaging in selective editing of the guardian ad litem’s report, the brief does not reflect the standards of civility that we expect because it is filled with intemperate language and unsupported allegations. For example, Michelle’s brief refers to parts of Joshua’s brief as “arrogant” and “egocentric, self-serving, and nonsensical”; calls Joshua’s argument about the best interests of the children “slanderous” and “false and defaming”; and makes an unsupported allegation that Joshua’s attorney became “incensed” when the trial court did not take judicial notice of the CDC’s “proclamations.” This type of uncivil language is never acceptable, see Key Equip. Fin., Inc. v. Hawkins, 2009 ME 117, ¶¶ 22-23, 985 A.2d 1139, but is particularly harmful here because the parties already have a long history of strife. Attorneys should seek to reduce heated rhetoric between parties in litigation, not fan the flames of conflict.
The full case can be found at: https://www.courts.maine.gov/courts/sjc/lawcourt/2021/21me060.pdf