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August 2015 Archives

Tim Zerillo Is Named In Attorney Ranking By National Legal Association

(Portland, Maine) August 26, 2015 - Timothy E. Zerillo, a Shareholder Attorney for Hallett, Zerillo & Whipple P.A., with offices in Portland and Windham, Maine, was selected by a national organization this week as one of the Top 10 family lawyers in Maine. Attorney Zerillo's selection was reported on August 25th in the Portland Press Herald.

Court Says Government Has To Reveal If It Kept The Data From The DEA's Mass Surveillance Program

From TechDirt.com
Back in April, USA Today had a detailed report on a massive DEA phone records surveillance program that pre-dated 9/11 (and the NSA's similar phone records mass collection). The DOJ put an end to the DEA's program after the Snowden revelations when it realized that the government's own defense of why the NSA program was legal would conflict with the DEA program. Specifically, it kept trotting out "terorrism" and "national security" but that didn't apply to the DEA's program, which was actually used much more widely than the NSA's (according to the report, the DEA searched the database as many times in a day as the NSA did in a year). However, a day after this report, Human Rights Watch, represented by the EFF, sued the DEA over the program -- citing both the First and Fourth Amendment as being violated. As expected, the DEA pulled out the usual defenses to try to get the lawsuit dismissed, including arguing that without direct evidence of surveillance on Human Rights Watch, the organization had no standing. Those arguments were given much more credence by the courts in the pre-Snowden era, but lately the courts have been much more skeptical. And, thus, the district court has (somewhat, narrowly) rejected this argument by the DEA and allowed the EFF to move forward with a bit of discovery, which hopefully will enable it to find out at least some details of the surveillance program. More specifically, the court ruling by Judge Philip Guitierrez says that HRW has enough standing on the 4th Amendment question, but not on the 1st Amendment question. Specifically, on the 4th Amendment issue, the court finds HRW's claims to be entirely plausible, which is enough to allow discovery.

Attorney Mike Whipple's Hot Streak Continues

Hallett, Zerillo & Whipple Shareholder Attorney Mike Whipple continued his hot streak last week in Operating Under the Influence cases. As a former Portland Prosecutor, Attorney Whipple knows how to find the soft spots in the prosecution and use them to his client's advantage.

Judge Dismisses Request for DNA Evidence From Attorney Zerillo's Client In Florida Murder Case

Attorney Zerillo represents a Maine resident who was the target of a request for DNA evidence in a death penalty murder case in Florida. The defendant in that case brought motions for DNA evidence collection from our client. Our client refused to comply with the attempts to get his DNA evidence and opposed the Motion. Last week, the Florida Court denied the opposing party's motion to collect the DNA evidence from our client.

Attorney Brett Gabor Wins $400,000 Child Support Case in Portland

Recently, Hallett, Zerillo & Whipple Associate Attorney Brett Gabor successfully defended a client against a claim for unpaid child support, alimony, and interest in the amount of $400,000. Unlike some other debts, a child support debt is very hard to ever overcome when a party seeks enforcement. Prior to this case, Attorney Gabor's research found only one other occasion when a Maine court erased an unpaid child support obligation over the other party's objection.