The ACLU of Maine is suing the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services (MCILS) over its failure to provide constitutionally adequate legal representation to poor people accused of crimes in Maine. 

The ACLU of Maine filed the class action lawsuit in state court on behalf of plaintiffs who’ve been deprived of their constitutional right to the effective assistance of counsel.

The lawsuit argues that MCILS has violated state laws and the state and federal Constitutions, by failing to set and enforce standards for attorneys who participate in the state’s program, failing to monitor and evaluate these attorneys, failing to ensure adequate funding to the program, and failing to provide training to these attorneys. 

The lawsuit argues that MCILS’s failures deprive plaintiffs and other indigent defendants facing criminal proceedings in Maine of their Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel.

The ACLU of Maine is bringing the case with the assistance of co-counsel at Preti Flaherty and Goodwin Proctor.

Attorney(s)

Zachary Heiden, Anahita Sotoohi, Matt Warner, Anne Sedlack, Kevin Martin, Gerard Cedrone, Jordan Bock

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios, LLP; Goodwin Proctor LLP

Date filed

March 1, 2022

Court

Kennebec County Superior Court

Status

Filed

Case number

Kennebec County Superior Court Docket No. CV-22-54