Supreme Court Justice Biographies
Chief Justice Saufley graduated from the University of Maine at Orono, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1976. She is a 1980 graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. She was with Maine’s Attorney General’s Office for almost ten years, becoming one of Maine’s first female deputy attorneys general. In April of 1990, she was appointed to the District Court by Governor John R. McKernan. Governor McKernan appointed her to the Superior Court in 1993, and in 1997 Governor Angus S. King appointed her to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. On December 6, 2001, she was sworn in as Maine’s first female Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court by Governor King. Chief Justice Saufley was sworn in for a second term as Chief Justice on February 27, 2009, by Governor John E. Baldacci, and on March 1, 2016, she was sworn in for a third term by Governor Paul LePage. Chief Justice Saufley is a member of the Conference of Chief Justices. She served on the Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction of the Judicial Conference of the United States, and she is the recipient of numerous awards, including the International Women’s Forum, Woman Who Makes a Difference Award.
Associate Justice Donald G. Alexander was appointed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in 1998. He previously served on the Maine Superior Court and the Maine District Court and as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of Maine. He served in Washington, D.C., as an assistant to Maine Senator Edmund S. Muskie and as Legislative Counsel for the National League of Cities. Justice Alexander is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the University of Chicago Law School. He is the author of the Maine Jury Instruction Manual (2018 ed.) and Maine Appellate Practice (5th ed. 2018), the principal editor of The Maine Rules of Unified Criminal Procedure with Advisory Notes and Comments (2017 ed.); and a past author or contributing editor for many law-related publications or articles. He was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maine School of Law from 2006 through 2014 and was on the faculty of the Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop from 1980 through 2009. He is the Court’s liaison to the Advisory Committees on the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure and the Maine Rules of Evidence, the Judicial Education Committee, the Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Maine State Bar Association, and the Cleaves Law Library.
Associate Justice Andrew M. Mead attended the University of Maine and New York Law School. He was a member of the Bangor law firms of Paine, Lynch & Weatherbee and Mitchell & Stearns, and is a past President of the Maine State Bar Association. He was appointed to the Maine District Court in 1990 and the Maine Superior Court in 1992. He served as Chief Justice of the Maine Superior Court from 1999 to 2001 and was appointed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in 2007. He has served as judicial liaison to the Maine Rules of Evidence Advisory Committee, Chair of the Judicial Education Committee, and Chair of the Task Force on Electronic Court Records. He currently serves as Chair of the Maine Justice Action Group and liaison to the John Waldo Ballou Inns of Court, and is a member of various court technology committees and groups. He is a former member of the University of Maine adjunct faculty.
Associate Justice Ellen A. Gorman is a graduate of Trinity College, Washington, D.C., and the Cornell Law School. After graduating from law school, Justice Gorman worked as an associate with the firm of Richardson, Tyler and Troubh until Governor Brennan appointed her to the Workers’ Compensation Commission. In 1989, Governor McKernan appointed her to the Maine District Court, where she worked for eleven years. In 2000, Governor King appointed Justice Gorman to the Maine Superior Court, and she served as a Justice on that court until Governor Baldacci appointed her to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on October 1, 2007. Governor LePage reappointed Justice Gorman to her second term on the SJC in the spring of 2015.
Justice Gorman is the Court’s liaison to the Cumberland County Unified Criminal Docket Project, the Family Law Advisory Committee, the Family Rules Division of the Civil Rules Committee, the Probate Rules Committee, the Probate and Trust Law Advisory Commission (PATLAC), the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program, the Court Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADRES) Committee, the Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability, and the Judicial Branch Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics.
Associate Justice Joseph M. Jabar is a graduate of Colby College and the University of Maine School of Law. Following graduation, Justice Jabar served as a federal prosecutor for the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. He returned to Maine and served four years as District Attorney for Kennebec-Somerset Counties. For twenty-five years he was a member of the law firm of Jabar, Batten, Ringer and Murphy of Waterville.
During these years he served two Governors as Chair of the Executive Clemency Board, served as a Workers’ Compensation Commissioner, and served two terms as a State Representative. He was Chairman of the Juvenile Code Revision Commission in 1977 and 1978. He has also served on the Board of Governors for the Maine Trial Lawyers Association.
He was appointed to the Superior Court in 2001 by Governor Angus King, and he was re-appointed by Governor John Baldacci in 2008. While on the Superior Court he served on the Family Law Advisory Commission, Criminal Law Advisory Commission, Media and the Courts Committee, and the State Sentencing and Corrections Council. He was appointed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court by Governor John Baldacci on September 1, 2009, and was reappointed in 2016.
Hon. Jeffrey L. Hjelm
Associate Justice Jeffrey L. Hjelm is a graduate of Hampden Academy, Hamilton College, and Case Western Reserve University School of Law. After serving as a law clerk for the Maine Superior Court and for then-Maine Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Gene Carter, he worked as a trial lawyer with Vafiades, Brountas & Kominsky, and with the Criminal Division of the Maine Department of the Attorney General. Justice Hjelm was appointed to the Maine District Court in 1992 and to the Maine Superior Court in 1998. He was reappointed to the Superior Court in 2005 and 2012. On August 1, 2014, Justice Hjelm was sworn in by Governor LePage to become an Associate Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.
Hon. Thomas E. Humphrey
Associate Justice Thomas E. Humphrey graduated from Boston College and Boston College Law School, where he was a member and editor of the Boston College Law Review. He was appointed to the District Court in 1993, and served as its Deputy Chief Judge from 1997 to 1998. In 1998, he was appointed to the Superior Court, served as its Deputy Chief Justice from 2003 to 2004, and served as its Chief Justice from 2004 to 2015. He was appointed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in 2015 by Governor Paul R. LePage.
Justice Humphrey chaired the team responsible for implementing the Family Division of the District Court, and helped design and implement the Business and Consumer Docket, also known as the Business Court. He is co-editor of A Practical Guide to Superior Court Practice in Maine; a contributing author to A Practical Guide to Evidence in Maine; a member of the Maine Bar Association; and a member of the Maine Bar Foundation. He formerly chaired the Courts and Media Committee of the Judicial Branch and was a Past President of the Edward Thaxter Gignoux Inn of Court. He was a member of the Family Law Advisory Commission (FLAC); the Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability; the Judicial Branch Advisory Committee on Fees; the Judicial Resources Team; and the Commission to Improve the Sentencing, Supervision, Management, and Incarceration of Prisoners.