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Staff Biographies

Executive Director John D. Pelletier, Esq.

John became the Executive Director of the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services on January 11, 2010. He is a lawyer with over twenty years experience representing Maine’s indigent citizens in criminal cases, juvenile proceedings, child protective cases, and involuntary commitment proceedings.

In private practice from 1986 until 2007, John conducted trials in numerous serious felony cases, including three murder cases, while maintaining a special focus on representing people with mental illness who were caught up in the criminal justice system.

From April 2007 until January 2010, John served as the Criminal Process Manager for Maine’s Judicial Branch, where he participated in Judicial Branch efforts to improve the processing of criminal cases such as the design and implementation of the Unified Criminal Docket in Portland.

For many years, John has been engaged in shaping criminal justice policy in Maine, first as legislative liaison for the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and since 1997, as Chair of the Criminal Law Advisory Commission, which advises the Legislature on matters related to the criminal law.

John also served as defense counsel consultant to the team that created the co-occurring disorders court in Kennebec County and as staff to the Indigent Legal Services Commission, which recommended the creation of the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services.

John is a former Board member and past President of the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is a native of Fort Kent and a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Maine School of Law.

You can contact John at or 287-3254.