Gov. Janet Mills has nominated three women to positions on the bench in Maine.

Susan Driscoll

Mills, a former attorney general and the first female governor of Maine, announced a total of six judicial nominations Tuesday. Her choices still need to be reviewed by the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee and confirmed by the Maine Senate. In addition to the three new appointments, she nominated three people for reappointment.

“These individuals are eminently qualified, highly experienced, and well respected,” Mills said in a written statement. “They have demonstrated a fidelity to the law and a commitment to render justice faithfully and impartially. I am confident that their proven abilities will serve the people of Maine well from the bench.”

The new nominations include two positions on the Maine District Court and one on the Maine Superior Court.

The governor selected Susan Driscoll of Biddeford for the Maine District Court. Driscoll has been a private practice attorney for more than 30 years, and she has previously served as president of both the Maine State and York County Bar associations. The governor’s office said Driscoll has experience in a wide range of civil litigation at all levels of state and federal courts.

Driscoll is currently a partner at Bergen Parkinson Attorneys, and her biography on the firm’s website describes her as “a passionate advocate driven by a desire to help clients navigate through the costs, emotion and stress of the legal process.”

Mills also nominated Jennifer Archer of Falmouth to the Maine District Court. The governor’s office said Archer has practiced general commercial and civil litigation for nearly 20 years in private practice and then in the Office of the Attorney General.

Jennifer Archer

She is a former adjunct professor at the University of Maine School of Law, and she previously clerked for Justice Donald Alexander on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, as well as three justices on the Maine Superior Court.

Driscoll and Archer would replace judges Beth Dobson and Michael Cantara, respectively, who have both retired.

The governor’s third new appointment is Judge Valerie Stanfill of Wayne, who would fill a vacancy on the Maine Superior Court created when U.S. District Judge Lance Walker moved to federal court.

Stanfill has served on the Maine District Court since 2007, and the governor’s office said she regularly sits on the Kennebec County Unified Criminal Court where she has presided over criminal jury trials.

“Gov. Mills strives to appoint the most qualified people to these positions and, in this case, the most qualified candidates were women,” spokeswoman Lindsay Crete wrote in an email. “She welcomes the diversity they add to the bench.”

Mills also nominated three judges for reappointment to their current positions.

Judge Kevin Stitham of Dover-Foxcroft would be reappointed to his fourth term on the state District Court. He has served since 1998 and previously practiced law in Piscataquis County.

Judge John Lucy of Orono would also be reappointed to the state District Court for a second term. He has served since 2012 and sits primarily in Bangor. He has presided over criminal, civil and juvenile proceedings, as well as the Family Recovery Court. He previously was a trial attorney with statewide practice.

Justice Thomas Warren of Brunswick has been nominated for a fourth term. He has presided over civil and criminal cases across the state since he was first appointed to the Maine Superior Court in 1998. Warren has also served as the superior court representative on the Civil Rules Advisory Committee and a member of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics.

The Maine District Court hears civil, criminal and family matters. Those cases never involve a jury. The Maine Superior Court hears all jury cases, both civil and criminal. State judicial appointments are for seven years. There are 39 Maine District Court judges, and 11 who have active retired status.

The 50 judges listed on the Maine Judicial Branch website include 15 women, or 30 percent.

The Maine Superior Court has 17 justices. The state’s online list of 23 justices, including those who are active retired, has five women, or 22 percent.

The American Constitution Society, a national progressive legal organization, found significant racial and gender disparity in the judiciary across the country based on data as of December 2014.

The researchers listed Maine at No. 18 on a list of states by percentage of female judges compared to female population. The state also ranked No. 48 on the list for the percentage of people of color on the bench compared to the population.

Comments are not available on this story.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.