Judicial Committee Confirms Governor LePage Judicial Nominees

July 24, 2014

For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 24, 2014
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – The Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary unanimously confirmed today nominees of Governor Paul R. LePage to the Maine courts. Governor LePage nominated in May the Honorable Jeffrey L. Hjelm to the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine and Deputy Attorney General William R. Stokes to Superior Court.

“Justice Hjelm and Deputy Attorney General Stokes exemplify standards of excellence and integrity. I am confident that they both will live up to the high standards we expect from Maine judges. I appreciate today’s unanimous votes of confidence for both candidates from the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary.”

Jeffrey L. Hjelm, a resident of Camden, is a Superior Court justice for the Knox County Superior Court. 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. Governor LePage nominated him again for the Superior Court in 2012.

Prior to becoming a judge, Justice Hjelm served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division and in private practice at Vafiades Brountas & Kominsky. A graduate of Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., he earned his law degree at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio.

William R. Stokes, a resident of Augusta, is the chief of the Criminal Division of the Maine Attorney General's Office. Stokes began his career with the Maine Attorney General’s Office in 1977 and has served under nine Attorneys General.

As chief of the Criminal Division, Stokes is responsible for the homicide unit, welfare fraud, financial crimes and victims’ advocates. He oversees drug prosecutors, as well as appellate and corrections attorneys. Attorney Stokes is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Boston and Suffolk University Law School in Boston. He is also the mayor of Augusta.

Judicial nominees must be confirmed by the full Senate.

The members of the Governor’s Judicial Selection Committee are Joshua Tardy, Esq., Irwin Tardy & Morris, LLC, Newport; Gloria Pinza, Esq., Pierce Atwood, LLP, Portland; David King, Partner, Rudman & Winchell, Bangor; Geoffrey Rushlau, District Attorney, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, & Waldo Counties; Harold Stewart II, Esq., Stewart Law Office, P.A., Presque Isle; John Hobson, Esq., Perkins Thompson, P.A., Portland; and Timothy Woodcock, Shareholder, Eaton Peabody, Bangor.