DISTRICT OF MAINE HOSTS PANEL DISCUSSION

 

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

DISTRICT OF MAINE

           

 

Contact:  Christa K. Berry                                                                           FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Clerk of Court                                                                                              May 28, 2019

 

 

U.S. DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MAINE

HOSTS PANEL DISCUSSION ON PROVIDING PRO BONO ASSISTANCE

TO VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 

 

The U.S. District Court for the District of Maine held its first public event pursuant to the Pro Bono Work to Empower and Represent Act of 2018 (the “POWER Act”).  The POWER Act was enacted by Congress with the goal of having every U.S. District Court host an event each year to encourage lawyers to provide pro bono assistance to victims of domestic violence. 

 

On Tuesday May 21, 2019, the District of Maine, in partnership with the Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project, the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, and the Maine Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, hosted a panel discussion at the Mariner’s Church Banquet Center in Portland.  The panel discussed Maine’s acute need for pro bono representation for victims of domestic violence and the opportunities for attorneys to provide representation in protection from abuse (“PFA”) proceedings and as guardians ad litem for children affected by domestic violence.

 

The event began with opening remarks by the President of the Maine Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, Rachel Wertheimer, Esq., of Verrill Dana, LLP.  The panel discussion which followed was led by Chief Judge Jon D. Levy, and featured:

 

Hon. E. Mary Kelly, Judge, Maine District Court

 

S. Campbell Badger, Esq., Chair of the Labor Relations Group, Drummond Woodsum

 

J. David Canarie, Esq., Vice President & Chief Transaction Counsel, UNUM Group

 

Juliet Holmes-Smith, Esq., Director, Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project

 

Andrea Mancuso, Esq., Public Policy Director, Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence

 

The panel discussed the profound and positive impact legal representation can have for victims of domestic violence, their families, and for communities as a whole, as well as the challenges and rewards of providing such representation.  Over 70 attorneys attended the event, 36 of whom have already committed to attending trainings to provide pro bono representation for victims of domestic violence and to serve as guardians ad litem for children.

 

For more information about this event, please contact Christa K. Berry, Clerk of Court, at Christa_Berry@med.uscourts.gov or (207) 780-3356.

 

Panel Discussion