Dan Lilley, a brash defense lawyer who was involved in many of Maine's highest profile cases including a prostitution scandal at a Zumba studio and the case of a restaurateur who shot her husband 15 times, has died. He was 79.
Lilley died Saturday night at Maine Medical Center, his law office said Monday. The cause of death was not immediately released.
Lilley was known as a tough, old-school defense attorney and was sometimes called a maverick in the courtroom.
"He was a guy to be cherished if you had a good cause and had Dan at your side — and feared if you were on the wrong side," said F. Lee Bailey, another prominent attorney who was part of the defense team at O.J. Simpson's murder trial.
Lilley used a "battered wife syndrome" defense to win acquittal for an Ogunquit (oh-GUHNG'-kwit) restaurateur who in 1990 shot her husband so many times she had to stop to reload.
More recently, he represented insurance agent Mark Strong, who was accused of serving as the business partner of a Zumba instructor accused of running a brothel in Kennebunk.
The scandal in Kennebunk, a village known more for its sea captains' homes and beaches than crime, attracted international attention.
"In the middle of the circus that was Mark Strong's trial, Dan was undoubtedly the ringleader, bringing an air of drama and comedy — in equal measure — to the proceedings," said Tina Nadeau, who served alongside him during that trial.
Years after she left the Supreme Court, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor remained enthusiastic about the early morning exercise class she started at the highest court in the land — the basketball court that sits one floor above the courtroom where she heard arguments for nearly a quarter-century.
While the first female justice never managed to persuade her fellow justices to join her regularly, her class became a court fixture and a hit with a devoted group of women who live in the court's Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Now, more than 35 years after the class began and more than a decade after O'Connor left the bench, the court has ruled that the women must take their workout somewhere else.
"Unfortunately, the time had come for the class to relocate," Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg wrote in an email to The Associated Press. "Few employees attended the class and for some time now, the Justice has not been a participant and cannot oversee the group's access to the gym, which is in a private area of the building open only to Court employees."
Allowing area residents to attend the class was a "rare exception" to court policy made because of O'Connor's role in the class, Arberg wrote. O'Connor is now 86. Her family was informed of the change, Arberg said.
According to a New York Times article from 1981, the year O'Connor joined the court, O'Connor on her third day at the court sent a notice to all female Supreme Court employees that she was starting an exercise class. The class would meet five mornings a week beginning at 8 a.m. and a YWCA instructor would lead the class, which would cost $35 monthly. The letter said that the class would include "conditioning in slimnastics with some aerobic dance."
In addition to court employees, O'Connor's female clerks were encouraged to join, but others got invites, too. In time there were yearly T-shirts with slogans like "Cool Out with the Supremes."
Until recently, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday there was aerobics and work with weights and resistance bands. Tuesdays was for yoga. Participants often grabbed a post-workout coffee at the court's public cafeteria. These days, the group of about 20 exercisers includes women in their 60s, 70s and 80s, with one participant in her 90s.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision reviving a challenge to several Virginia legislative districts could send lawmakers back to the drawing board, but Republicans say they are confident the state's current electoral map will withstand further scrutiny.
The justices on Wednesday tossed out a ruling that upheld 11 districts in which African-Americans made up at least 55 percent of eligible voters and ordered the lower court to re-examine the boundaries. The lawsuit accused lawmakers of illegally packing black voters into certain districts to make surrounding districts whiter and more Republican.
Democrats say they're certain the lower court will find the districts unconstitutional and force lawmakers to redraw them. Marc Elias, an attorney for the Virginia voters who brought the case, said they will push for that to happen before the November elections.
"It's important that the people of the Commonwealth don't have to have another election using unconstitutional district lines, and we will move forward as quickly as possible to make sure we have constitutional and fair lines in place for the 2017 elections," Elias said.
The top Republican in the Virginia House, however, said he's confident that the current boundaries will stand.
After missing a court-ordered deadline, Johnny Manziel appeared before a judge Tuesday and promised to meet the stipulations required to get the troubled quarterback's domestic violence case dismissed while saying his distrust of the NFL played a part in the delay.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner said he doesn't want to disappoint Judge Roberto Canas, who warned that he or a jury could decide Manziel's fate if the deal reached in November is revoked.
The 24-year-old Manziel faced a misdemeanor charge that carried a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine after he was accused of hitting and threatening former girlfriend Colleen Crowley during a night out in January 2016. The judge said he called the hearing because Manziel missed a deadline for an update on the progress of meeting his conditions, including one that requires the former Cleveland Browns player to work through the NFL or another agency on a substance-abuse program.
Asked by the judge to explain how things would be going forward, Manziel said he responded quickly when attorney Jim Darnell told him the judge wasn't happy.
"Since that day everything's been going extremely smoothly and my life is trending upward," Manziel said in a 70-second statement. "I don't even want to let this get anywhere near the rabbit hole that you were describing. I'm taking this responsibility. This is helping me get my life back together."
Manziel said he was slow to get the process started in part because he was hesitant to work with the NFL. He said the involvement of the NFL Players Association, which administers the league's drug program, also slowed the process.
The U.S. Supreme Court won't review the case of the Ohio leader of a breakaway group that was accused in hair- and beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish.
Defense lawyers challenged the constitutionality of the federal hate crimes law and how a kidnapping allegation was used to stiffen the sentence for 71-year-old Samuel Mullet Sr. He petitioned the Supreme Court after a federal court rejected his appeal last May.
Mullet's attorney, Ed Bryan, told Cleveland.com he is disappointed by the high court's decision this week not to take up the case.
Prosecutors said some of the victims in the 2011 attacks were awakened in the middle of the night and restrained as others cut their hair and beards, which have spiritual significance in the Amish faith. Prosecutors alleged the motive was religious, while the defense attributed it to family disputes.
Mullet, who led a group in the eastern Ohio community of Bergholz near the West Virginia panhandle, was accused of orchestrating the attacks. Despite arguments that he wasn't present during the hair-cuttings, he received an 11-year sentence.
A panel of federal judges on Friday ordered the Wisconsin Legislature to redraw legislative boundaries by November, rejecting calls from those challenging the maps to have the judges do the work.
The ruling clears the way for the state to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review an earlier decision declaring the current maps unconstitutional, but the judges rejected Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel’s request to delay any work until after the Supreme Court decides whether to hear an appeal.
Schimel’s spokesman, Johnny Koremenos, promised the decision would be swiftly appealed to the Supreme Court. Democrats hailed the ruling and called for public hearings on new maps, but Republicans still control the drawing of district boundaries.
“I hope that legislative Republicans are more competent with their second chance,” said Democratic state Sen. Mark Miller, of Monona.
A dozen voters sued in 2015 over the Republican-drawn maps, alleging they unconstitutionally consolidated GOP power and discriminated against Democrats. The three-judge panel agreed in a 2-1 ruling in November, but didn’t order any immediate action.
In its Friday ruling, the judges ordered the Legislature to redraw the maps by November so they could be in place for the 2018 elections. They forbid the current legislative boundaries from being in effect for any future election. They also declined to do the work themselves, as the Democrats who filed the lawsuit wanted.
Supporters of a voter-approved government ethics overhaul are asking the state Supreme Court to allow them to join a lawsuit challenging the initiative filed by Republican lawmakers.
South Dakotans for Integrity, a political committee that supported the initiative, is arguing that a lower court judge was wrong in denying their push to intervene in the case.
The judge in December issued an order blocking the entire law from taking effect while the court challenge moves forward.
The group can't appeal that order because they aren't intervenors. South Dakotans for Integrity says the majority of voters who enacted the measure have the right to be represented by advocates whose allegiance is "unquestionable."
Those bringing the lawsuit contend that provisions in the law are unconstitutional. The attorney general's office is defending it.