Jodi L. Nofsinger, trial lawyer and partner at Berman & Simmons

$75,000 awarded to family, attorneys in historic transgender student case

In a settlement reached last month, a Maine court has awarded $75,000 to the family and attorneys of the transgender teenager who faced discrimination while she was a student at Orono High School.

The award represents a groundbreaking victory for the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and the Berman & Simmons law firm, which assisted GLAD and the ACLU of Maine in the representation of 17-year-old Nicole Maines.

Berman & Simmons attorney Jodi Nofsinger, one of the state’s top trial lawyers, served as counsel on this historic case over the past five years.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled earlier this year that the Orono school district violated Maine’s Human Rights Act by not allowing Nicole to use girls’ bathrooms. It was the first time that a state high court concluded that a transgender person has the right to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify. Nicole is a biological male who identified as a girl beginning at age 2.

The case sets a precedent as other school districts and public entities throughout the U.S. look for guidance on the issue. You can read more about the case in the Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald.

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Berman & Simmons is the leading personal injury and medical malpractice law firm in Maine. For more than 100 years, our trial attorneys have represented those who have been injured or harmed by the actions of others. These personal injury cases range from car and truck accidents to the most complex litigation involving defective products and malpractice by healthcare providers. We are known as the firm that will stand up and fight for injured Mainers in disputes against big corporations and powerful interests.