Governor LePage Announces Judicial Nominees

August 20, 2012

For Immediate Release: Monday, August 20, 2012
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

Governor LePage Announces Judicial Nominees

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul LePage today announced the nomination of nine current judges to new terms on the bench and two first-time nominees to fill vacancies on the District Court. The judges being re-nominated to new terms are Supreme Court Justices Donald Alexander and Warren Silver; Superior Court Justices Jeffrey Hjelm, Thomas Humphrey, Thomas Warren, and Joyce Wheeler; Active Retired Superior Court Justice Carl Bradford; and District Court Judges Keith Powers and Kevin Stitham. Daniel Billings and John Lucy are being nominated to serve as District Court Judges.

“As Governor, I have been impressed with the high quality work of the Judicial Branch. My decision to re-nominate nine current judges reflects the fact that Maine people are being served well by our courts,” said LePage. “I am confident that my two new nominees will live up to the high standards we expect from Maine judges.”

Justice Alexander has been a judge since 1978. He was first appointed to the District Court by Governor Longley in 1978 and was appointed to the Superior Court in 1980 by Governor Brennan. In 1998, he was appointed to the Supreme Judicial Court by Governor King and he was reappointed to that position by Governor Baldacci in 2005.

Justice Silver was appointed to the Law Court by Governor Baldacci in 2005 after a long and distinguished career in private practice.

Justice Hjelm was appointed to the District Court in 1992 by Governor McKernan. He was first nominated to the Superior Court by Governor King in 1998 and was reappointed by Governor Baldacci in 2005. Justice Humphrey was appointed to the District Court in 1993 by Governor McKernan. He was first nominated to the Superior Court by Governor King in 1998 and was reappointed by Governor Baldacci in 2005. Justice Humphrey has served as Chief Justice of the Superior Court since 2004.

Justice Warren was appointed to the Superior Court in 1998 by Governor King and was reappointed by Governor Baldacci in 2005. Justice Wheeler was appointed to the Administrative Court in 1994 by Governor McKernan. In 1999, she was appointed to the District Court by Governor King and she was appointed to the Superior Court by Governor Baldacci in 2005.

Justice Bradford was appointed to the Superior Court in 1981 by Governor Brennan and was reappointed in 1987 and 1994 by Governor McKernan. In 1998, he was appointed an Active Retired Justice by Governor King and was reappointed to that position in 2005 by Governor Baldacci.

Judge Powers was appointed to the District Court in 1998 by Governor King and was reappointed in 2005 by Governor Baldacci. Judge Stitham was appointed to the bench in 1998 by Governor King and was reappointed in 2005 by Governor Baldacci.

Billings, a resident of Bowdoinham, has served as Governor LePage’s Chief Legal Counsel since January 2011. Prior to that, he was a partner at Marden, Dubord, Bernier, and Stevens in Waterville where his practice was focused on civil litigation and criminal defense. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine and the University of Maine School of Law.

Lucy, a resident of Orono, is a partner at Richardson, Whitman, Large, & Badger in Bangor, where he has practiced since 1990. He is a graduate of the University of Maine and the University of Maine School of Law.

The vacancies being filled by the nominations of Billings and Lucy were created by the retirements of District Court Judges Jessie Gunther and Ralph Tucker.

Judicial nominees must be reviewed by the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary and confirmed by the full Senate. The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold confirmation hearings on the nominees on September 4th and 5th and the State Senate is scheduled to take up the nominations on September 6th.