Katahdin Counsel Recognition Program

Summer 2011

I am very pleased to announce the upcoming launch of the Katahdin Counsel Program by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. This program is designed to allow us to more formally and publicly acknowledge the extraordinary generosity of Maine lawyers in providing pro bono services to those in need.

Our pride in the Maine legal community is well founded. Maine is among the very top States in lawyer generosity, both in time and real dollars donated pro bono publico, "to the public good," to assure real and meaningful access to justice in a State that has so many people with moderate and low incomes.

The Program is described in the accompanying article by Justice Jon Levy. The bottom line is this: Maine lawyers need simply to certify when they have personally completed 50 or more pro bono hours in a year. They will then receive the acknowledgement and gratitude of the Supreme Judicial Court, and the right to use the designation "Katahdin Counsel" on their letterhead and publications. We anticipate that the identification of an attorney as receiving the Katahdin Counsel designation will bring better recognition and public attention to the good work of Maine lawyers.

The Court is currently forming the Commission on Katahdin Counsel to put the final details in place. I am pleased to announce that Attorney Ralph Lancaster has agreed to serve as the first Chair of the Commission. With input from the Commission, we will publish the details of the Program, along with user-friendly forms, for lawyers who wish to participate.

We are looking forward to working with the Maine Bar on this joint venture to support and improve the public's access to justice in Maine.

Leigh I. Saufley
Chief Justice