June 17, 2016
Beth Maloney, Esq.
We all understand that after the brutal morning you had to endure today, there was no room for small talk or rehashing or socializing. We did want you to know that you have our deepest respect and admiration, as a person, as a lawyer, as a citizen.
The court and the Maine Bar may have won this battle – they have a monopoly in legal weapons – however, in our opinion, they badly lost the war in the court of public opinion. The display of punitive collaboration between the Maine Supreme Court and the Overseers of the Maine Bar erased all pretense of boundaries between them. In their campaign to make you an example to all Maine lawyers who might fight judges, who enforce the abuse of children and families by a Guardian ad litem, they joined forces.
It was not pretty to watch, and it must have been sheer hell to go through. But the Overseers zeal in adding unprecedented “overkill” touches, like a link to the cases and their restriction of your practice of family law, were advertising to others but exacted from you. In earlier days, bodies were left hanging as a warning to others, “Nota bene“! Let this be a warning to any lawyer who might be tempted to call attention to “child abuse” by “officers of the court”. Courtroom child abuse doesn’t matter; the dignity of the court (even at its most undignified) is what counts. Image before facts!
Despite the “show trial” in Augusta this morning, we continue to admire your enormous courage, your total integrity and your fearless, total honesty – today and always! It troubled us to watch the unprincipled use of force to bend you to do their will: “Comply, or lose your license”. But like the “show trials” in totalitarian countries, those involved lose more than they gain. The public feels disgust, contempt and a deep identification with the victim. Also a deep sense of personal shame, as a citizen, that this is my government in operation, punishing the wrong person.
We wish you well, the very best, even if we are terribly sad that Maine has lost an incredible family court lawyer. Paradoxically, your treatment by the Overseers and the ensuing intimidation of other lawyers may make ‘pro se‘ the best option in Maine’s family courts.
Best wishes for the future!
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2016-06-20 Did the Overseers of the Bar Protect the Public or Kill the Messenger?