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

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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.

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.