Yesterday in Wiscasset I had a very satisfying success in court. My client was subject to a Protection From Abuse order for the past two years. That meant no contact with the plaintiff, and no use or possession of firearms for the duration of the PFA order. 

A month before the two years were up, the plaintiff filed a motion requesting another two years on the order. My client had been in perfect compliance with the order and just wanted to get on with his life, wanted to have his Second Amendment rights back. The plaintiff, it seems, was more interested in continuing to be a thorn in his side.

We got to court for what I expected would be a pretty quick hearing, when we realized that the plaintiff was represented by a lawyer from Pine Tree Legal. Nothing quick, nothing easy, nothing reasonable when Pine Tree got involved.

Now, Pine Tree does important work in Maine. When I was in law school I volunteered many hours at Pine Tree. But I have realized that frequently the lawyers at Pine Tree have a hard time recognizing that their clients are not the angels they make themselves out to be. Often in court, BOTH parties are at least a little bit wrong. And a lawyer who refuses to acknowledge this fact is both a pain in the neck to deal with, and doing their client a disservice.

They do their client a disservice because judges know better. And a lawyer who represents that everything their client says is true will draw skeptical looks from the judge. And skeptical looks lead to adverse rulings. Like the one Pine Tree got yesterday.

Anyway, after a half-day hearing that included all sorts of unpleasant testimony and audio recordings, the judge found that there was no reason to extend the PFA. My client walked out of court with no restrictions on his conduct (besides behaving like a law-abiding citizen and a gentleman) and I walked out of court plenty pleased with the outcome.

AuthorJonathan Handelman