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New chief justice of Maine Supreme Court ceremonially sworn in by Mills

Valerie Stanfill is Go. Janet Mills’ third appointment to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.
Credit: NCM

AUGUSTA, Maine — Joined by members of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, lawmakers, and others at the Blaine House Thursday, Gov. Janet Mills ceremonially swore in Valerie Stanfill as chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

According to Mills, Stanfill is the second woman to hold the position in Maine's history.

Mills nominated Stanfill, 63, to serve as chief justice on May 10. The Maine Legislature’s Judiciary Committee and the Maine State Senate voted unanimously to confirm Stanfill on June 1 and June 3, respectively. Mills officially swore in Stanfill as chief justice during a private ceremony in the Cabinet Room on Tuesday, June 8.

Prior to serving as chief justice, Stanfill served on the Maine Superior Court presiding over Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties, a position to which Mills nominated her. Prior to that appointment, she served on the Maine District Court from January of 2007 to February of 2020, according to Mills. Stanfill was first nominated to the District Court by Gov. John Baldacci and renominated by Gov. Paul LePage.

“Chief Justice Stanfill has had a remarkable career, spanning public service, private practice both in law firms and as a sole practitioner, academic instruction, and service on both the District and Superior Courts,” Mills said. “She has earned her reputation as an exceptionally smart and capable jurist with special skills, rising to meet the challenges of difficult, controversial, and precedent-setting cases. Highly respected by her colleagues and courageous throughout her career, Chief Justice Stanfill has proven herself worthy of leading the Judicial Branch of Maine State government.”

Prior to serving the State of Maine in the Judicial Branch, Stanfill worked as acting director of the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic and as visiting clinical professor of law at the University of Maine School of Law, following a lengthy career in private practice.

“I very much appreciate the trust and confidence Governor Mills, the Maine State Senate, and the people of Maine have placed in me,” Stanfill said. “I can imagine no greater honor, calling, privilege or responsibility than serving as Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court in this great state we are so fortunate to call home. I promise I will serve with the utmost integrity and commitment to the administration of justice in the State of Maine.”

Stanfill has served as the chair of the Judicial Branch Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence and Protection Orders and as a member of the Maine Commission on Domestic and Sexual Abuse, the Judicial Branch Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics, and the Maine Domestic Homicide Review Panel, according to Mills. She has also served as a volunteer mock trial coach for Lewiston High School, Mills said.

She graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of Maine School of Law and received her bachelor of arts degree from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. According to Mills, she currently lives in Wayne.

Stanfill is Mills’ third appointment to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Associate Justices Catherine Connors and Andrew Horton were nominated by the governor in 2020 and confirmed unanimously by the Legislature.

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