Supreme Court Justice Biographies

Hon. Leigh Ingalls Saufley
Chief Justice, Maine Supreme Judicial Court

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.  Chief Justice Saufley is a member of the Conference of Chief Justices, 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.

Hon. Donald G. Alexander

Senior Associate Justice Donald G. Alexander was appointed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in 1998 by Governor Angus S. King.  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 (2014 ed.) and Maine Appellate Practice (4th. ed. 2013), a contributing editor to Uniform Maine Citations (2013 ed.), and a principal editor of the Maine State Bar Association publication Maine Rules of Civil Procedure with Advisory Committee Notes and Practice Commentary (2008).  He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maine School of Law 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 Committee on the Maine Rules of Evidence, the Maine State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Committee, and the Cleaves Law Library.

Hon. Warren M. Silver

Associate Justice Warren M. Silver was appointed to the Court by Governor John E. Baldacci in 2005.  Justice Silver is a graduate of Presque Isle High School and Tufts University.  He received his law degree from the Washington College of Law at American University in 1973 and opened his private practice in Bangor in 1977.  In addition to an active trial practice, Justice Silver served on the Board of Governors and as President of the Maine Trial Lawyers Association and as chair of the Court's Civil Rules Committee and the Governor's Judicial Selection Committee.  He was also active in many community activities.  After arriving on the Court, Justice Silver was Chair of the Planning Committee for the new Bangor Courthouse.  He is also the Court liaison to the Board of Bar Examiners, Board of Overseers of the Bar, and the Lawyer's Fund for Client Protection.  In July 2008, he was appointed Chair of the Court Finance Committee.

Hon. Andrew M. Mead

Associate Justice Andrew M. Mead attended the University of Maine and New York Law School.  He has been a member of the Bangor law firms of Paine, Lynch & Weatherbee and Mitchell & Stearns.  He 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.  He 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 JAG Collaboration on Innovation, Technology, and Access to Justice and is active in the Lawyers in Libraries initiative.  He has been active in a number of court technology and jury reform initiatives.  He is a former member of the University of Maine adjunct faculty.

Hon. Ellen A. Gorman

Associate Justice Ellen A. Gorman is a 1977 graduate of Trinity College, Washington, D.C., and a 1982 graduate of the Cornell Law School.  Justice Gorman practiced law as an associate with the firm of Richardson, Tyler and Troubh from 1982 until she was appointed to the Workers' Compensation Commission by Governor Brennan in 1986.  In 1989, Governor McKernan appointed her to the Maine District Court, where she worked for eleven years.  In 2000, Governor King appointed her 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.

Justice Gorman is the Court's liaison to the Cumberland County Unified Criminal Docket Project, the Maine Lawyers' Assistance Program, the Standing Committee on Criminal Rules, the Criminal Rules Advisory Council, the Foreclosure Diversion Project, the Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, and the Limited English Proficiency Advisory Committee.

Hon. Joseph M. Jabar

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, DC.  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.

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.