Law Articles

Dov Saks, lawyer at Berman & Simmons

As Mainers, we are fortunate to live in the state with the third-longest coastline in the continental U.S., trailing only Florida and California. This offers many the opportunity to work at sea in fishing, maritime construction, shipping, oil, and many other industries.

However, as anyone who has spent time at sea knows, these maritime positions can pose serious risks—often to life and limb—which are uncommon in most land-based positions. Fortunately, several federal and state laws recognize... More

Michael T. Bigos, trial lawyer and partner at Berman & Simmons

In the middle of a September night, a fire ripped through an apartment building at 35 Main Street in downtown Biddeford, Maine. Michael Moore, 23, and his best friend and roommate James Ford, 21, were trapped in their attic apartment unit. By the time they were carried out of the building by firefighters, the men were unconscious and had suffered severe smoke inhalation. Moore died the next day at Maine Medical Center in Portland. Ford... More

Alicia F. Curtis, lawyer at Berman & Simmons

A Defendant’s Offer to Stipulate Should Not Disrupt the Narrative Force of Plaintiff’s Evidence at Trial

A tort defendant whose negligence was obvious or shocking will sometimes offer to stipulate to liability before trial, leaving the jury to consider the issue of damages in isolation. The Law Court’s recent decision in State v. Michaud addresses the extent to which such an offer prevents a plaintiff from adducing evidence about how a car crash occurred, or why... More

Alicia F. Curtis, lawyer at Berman & Simmons

Effective February 14, Maine Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b) has been amended to clarify that any party may record a deposition by any means, provided the recording does not disrupt or impede the deposition process.  A party may record the deposition by videotape, after giving written notice to every other party.  The rule does not specify how much notice should be given, for instance a day or a week. 

As the Advisory Note points out, the... More

Promoting Safer Trucking in Maine

Maine’s unique geography and geopolitical boundaries necessitate heavy reliance on trucking to keep our economy moving and to keep food and other goods available and in our stores. However, because of their massive size and limited maneuverability, trucks pose special risks on the roadways. Every year, there are over 1,000 crashes involving commercial vehicles on Maine’s roads. With increasing economic

pressures and competition, this number is likely to increase. In addition, regulations... More

James E. O'Connell, trial lawyer and partner at Berman & Simmons

During the summer season, many of us enjoy time out on Maine’s lakes, rivers and coastal waters. Boating and fishing enthusiasts live throughout Maine, and with the long-awaited arrival of warm weather, they are getting out on the water with family and friends as often as possible. And while our short and busy boating season certainly provides many enjoyable experiences, an unfortunate aspect of the activity is that serious boating accidents and collisions inevitably happen... More

Miriam A. Johnson, lawyer at Berman & Simmons

When a patient presents at a hospital or a practice affiliated with a hospital, whether the doctor is an employee of the hospital is usually the last thing on the patient’s mind. If the doctor’s treatment results in a medical malpractice claim, however, the identity of the doctor’s employer may become a central issue of the litigation.

With more Maine hospitals, particularly those in rural areas, hiring locum tenens physicians1 and other contractor physicians, the... More

Daniel G. Kagan, trial lawyer and partner at Berman & Simmons

Every tort lawyer knows the simple definition of negligence: “failure to use ordinary care under the circumstances.” When presented with a new case, we are trained to look at an individual’s behavior and see where it failed to meet this familiar standard. Identifying failures of relevant individuals is an appropriate starting place, but the wise tort lawyer goes beyond this to look for the system failure that caused the harm or injury.

Importance of System Failure... More

Travis M. Brennan, lawyer at Berman & Simmons

On October 2016, after a five-day bench trial, the Penobscot Superior Court awarded our client Michael Lund approximately $729,000 for serious and permanent injuries he experienced as a result of the Defendant’s negligence. The Court’s decision and award are the culmination of over four-and-a-half years of time and resources. This article reflects on some of the fundamental issues that we had to navigate to prevail in this case.

Blueberry Burns in Machias
In March 2012, Defendant... More

Alicia F. Curtis, lawyer at Berman & Simmons

Defendants in product liability and other complex personal injury cases often point to their compliance with government regulations or industry standards as a key to their defense. Under Maine law, breach of a law, regulation, or formal standard is evidence of negligence to be considered with other evidence in the case.

The defendant may argue that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and compliance with these same regulations or standards proves... More

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Berman & Simmons has the experience, expertise, and resources to win your case

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.