2016 Access to Justice Symposium

The 2016 Access to Justice Symposium took place on January 20 – 21 at the Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks.  National and local experts discussed the cultural and legal issues in delivering justice to veterans, service members, and their families.  A full description of the program is below.


1:30 pmRegistration Opens
2:30 pmOpening Remarks Dean Danielle Conway, University of Maine School of Law Governor Paul LePage First Lady Ann LePage
2:30 – 5:00 pmSymposium Panel Join national and local experts for an exploration of issues that impact veterans, servicemembers and their families.  This panel will present an overview of areas that will be explored more fully in panel presentations on Thursday. Hon. Ellen Gorman, Maine Supreme Judicial Court (Moderator) Holly Petreaus, Assistant Director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of Servicemember Affairs Brent Tanner, Esq., Sullivan & Tanner, P.A. Adria Horn, Director, Maine Veterans Services Nan Heald, Esq., Executive Director, Pine Tree Legal Assistance
5:30 – 7:30 pmSymposium Reception
8:00 – 9:00 amPlenary Session: Keynote Address Dean Danielle Conway, University of Maine School of Law Conway has 25 years of active and reserve duty service with the U.S. Army, and currently serves as a Lieutenant Colonel (LTC). On Aug. 18, 2015, Maine Gov. Paul LePage swore in LTC Conway to the Maine Army National Guard, completing a transfer from her previous assignment in Hawaii. She is slated to serve as the Command’s Judge Advocate, responsible for leading other lawyers and providing advice and guidance to the Command’s leadership team.
9:15 – 10:30 amConsumer Protection for Veterans and Service Members: State and Federal Resources Some of most serious and challenging legal problems facing veterans and servicemembers fall in the area of consumer protection, particularly consumer finance. This panel will explore the consumer protection needs of veterans and servicemembers and the ways that attorneys can most effectively help meet these needs. Panelists will provide specific information about the state and federal laws, agencies, and other resources that attorneys can use to assist veterans and servicemembers in need of consumer legal assistance. Katherine R. McGovern, Esq., Pine Tree Legal Assistance (Moderator) Brig. Gen. Gerard F. Bolduc, Acting Adjutant General of Maine Attorney General Janet Mills Holly Petraeus, Assistant Director, Servicemember Affairs, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
11:00 am – 12:15 pm Veteran and Military Cultural Matters (and they do matter…) (ethics) We all bring who we are; our culture, our backgrounds and our experiences, to our daily lives, and these factors shape how we react to stressful events. For many, legal events are painfully difficult, and how we interact with those who represent us — our lawyers — is fundamentally shaped by who we are. Veterans bring unique perspectives, many of which are deeply unfamiliar to most lawyers, which fundamentally affect their expectations and define the nature of their interactions with and reactions to lawyers. This workshop will explore these important and fascinating issues. James C. Munch, Esq., Vafiades, Brountas & Kominsky, LLP  (Moderator) Eric Banrevy Guerra, Marine, Student, University of Southern Maine, and Veteran’s Court Graduate Maj. Adria O. Horn, Director, Maine Veteran’s Services, US Army Reserves Randall A. Liberty, Warden, Maine State Prison Hon. Nancy Mills, Maine Superior Court Hahna David Patterson, LCPC, Director Behavioral Health, Maine Army National Guard
2:00 – 3:15 pmThe Impact of Military Service on Family Law Issues: What Every Lawyer Should Know This workshop will discuss the impact of military deployment, benefits and regulations on resolution of domestic violence, support issues in family law matters and practical concerns such as service and representation for those in service. Heather Whiting, Esq., Drummond and Drummond (Moderator) Hon. Joseph H. Field, Active Retired Judge, Maine District Court Sarah L. Glynn, Esq., Oxford Hills Law G. Brently Tanner, Esq., Sullivan and Tanner
3:30 – 4:45 pmWhat Every Maine Lawyer Needs to Know About VA Benefits This presentation will cover the most common and important VA benefits, VA accreditation, and other resources to help you ensure that clients with military service access the benefits and rights to which they are entitled. Nan Heald, Esq., Executive Director, Pine Tree Legal Assistance (Moderator) Robert Liscord, Veteran Outreach Coordinator, Pine Tree Legal Assistance Neil Riley, Esq., Jackson and MacNichol

Sponsored by

Justice Action Group: Maine Justice Foundation, University of Maine School of Law, Maine State Bar Association, Maine Trial Lawyers Association, Maine Judicial Branch, Maine’s Legal Aid Providers