Superior Court Justice Valerie Stanfill has been nominated to become the next chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Superior Court Justice Valerie Stanfill has been nominated to be chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Gov. Janet Mills announced the nomination Monday. If confirmed by the Legislature, Stanfill will replace Chief Justice Leigh Saufley, who stepped down last year to serve as dean of the University of Maine School of Law. She would be the second woman to serve as chief justice.

Since February 2020, Stanfill has served on the Maine Superior Court presiding over Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin Counties. She served on the Maine District Court from January of 2007 to February 2020.

“Justice Stanfill’s sharp intellect, vast legal experience and expertise, and commitment to administering justice fairly and impartially make her an exceptional candidate to serve as Maine’s chief justice,” Mills said in a media statement released Monday.

Stanfill said Monday: “It is the honor of a lifetime to receive this nomination, and, if I am fortunate enough to earn the trust of the Legislature and be confirmed, to serve the people of Maine in this important role … I pledge to the people of Maine that I will serve them honorably and faithfully, that I will uphold the rule of law, and that I will work every day to deliver fair and impartial justice.”

Before becoming a judge, Justice Stanfill worked as acting director of the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic and as visiting clinical professor of law for the University of Maine School of Law.

She 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.

Justice Stanfill, 63, 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. She lives in Wayne.

Stanfill’s nomination is subject to confirmation by the Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary and the Maine State Senate.

Justice Andrew M. Mead has served as acting chief justice since former Chief Justice Leigh Saufley stepped down to serve as dean of the University of Maine School of Law.

Stanfill is Mills’ third nomination to the Maine supreme court since taking office. Associate Justices Catherine Connors and Andrew Horton were nominated by the governor in 2020 and confirmed unanimously by the Legislature.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.