The Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued the ruling against Christopher Whalley on Feb. 17.
Crime & Justice
Lawmakers returning to Augusta this month may recommend enacting a bill to open the state’s first trial-level public defender office.
State officials filed a civil lawsuit against Fairfield & Associates and managing attorney Amy Fairfield for bad billing practices.
Defense lawyers during online court hearing argued it may be too late, that their clients were treated illegally.
Courts routinely order people convicted of lesser crimes to report to jail on a certain date. When they show up in York County, they’re being told the sentence has been delayed.
The decision means new evidence may be considered in a high-profile, 1994 murder-rape case. A U.S. Supreme Court opinion was a key consideration.
York County refused to release records about times it may have recorded and listened to phone calls between defense lawyers and people held at the jail.
Hard-fought reforms to Maine’s public defense system were enacted on July 15 without the signature of Gov. Janet Mills.
In a scathing court motion, Amy Fairfield accused the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services of launching a “targeted campaign” against her law firm.
Three bills cleared a major hurdle in the state House and Senate on Thursday and gained unanimous support of legislators. The reforms could change how Maine provides legal services to its poor and pays court-appointed attorneys.
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