More Challenges to Railroad Land

Dale Henderson is continuing to contest the ownership of the old railroad bed on his land in Hancock and Steuben.   He is now blocking access to a trail that was created on the old railroad bed.   As was reported earlier, Henderson is claiming that ownership of the land the railroad tracks were on should have reverted back to the previous owner as soon as the railroad company stopped using it.

The landowner recently erected barricades to stop users from traversing his property. In the town of Hancock, Henderson put up a berm on the tracks at one end and a stone wall at the other end. On a smaller piece of land in the Washington County town of Steuben, he built berms on both ends of the 50-acre property where the tracks run through.

Accompanying the barricades are signs that read “This portion of the railroad bed is closed. No trespassing. Violators will be prosecuted.”

via Bangor Daily News.

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Anecdotal Evidence on the Legal Industry

The Press Herald reports on how the legal industry in Maine is doing in the recession. I am not sure speaking with a handful of attorneys really demonstrates the point, but certainly some firms are doing fine. Though like any industry if you are diversified, you can hopefully find part of your business that thrives while the others wither.

And if your wondering, my rates are not in the quoted range, but that is why I can call my rates ‘affordable.’

Lawyers and others in the legal community say Maine law firms have escaped major layoffs and belt-tightening so far. They said the firms are small enough and diversified enough to switch gears so they don’t have to lay off entire divisions devoted to a recession-sensitive practice area, such as mergers and acquisitions or investment banking.

Some say local firms even stand to gain business because of the recession. Maine lawyers charge about half the hourly rates of the big law firms in New York and Washington. Shapiro said the going rate in Maine varies from $150 an hour to $400 an hour, a bargain compared with the $800-and-up rates in big cities.

Security Cuts at Courts

Coming from Washington, D.C. I was surprised that there was not always a security check at the Portland courthouse. Budget cuts will mean even few times those checks occur.

Three of 18 marshal positions are open at the courthouse in Portland, Maine’s busiest. The X-ray machine and metal detectors at the main entrance — regularly staffed by marshals as recently as last summer — are usually unmanned except for Fridays, when judges hear cases involving allegations of domestic abuse and harassment.

…”In 2007, more than 7,000 knives and lethal objects were stopped at the doors,” she said. “More terrifying, however, were the number of guns that were prevented from coming into courthouses by entry screening. Sixty-four times, guns or ammunition were stopped at doors.”

via Kennebec Journal.

Verrill Dana Hires Former AG

Beleaguered Portland firm Verrill Dana has hired the former Maine Attorney General.

Rowe, a Portland resident, will join the firm’s litigation and trial department and environmental department. “We are delighted to welcome Steve to Verrill Dana,” Managing Partner K.C. Jones said in a statement. “He brings with him a reputation for sound judgment, integrity and collegiality, and a unique understanding of the state of Maine and the issues the state is facing.”

via Mainebiz.