Stacey Neumann, who was nominated to serve as a U.S. District Court judge in Portland, appears in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Image from Senate Judiciary Committee video

A Portland attorney who was nominated to serve as a U.S. District Court judge in Portland appeared in Washington, D.C., Wednesday for a Senate nomination hearing.

Stacey Neumann, who is currently a private attorney and partner at Murray Plumb & Murray in Portland, was nominated to the bench by President Biden in April. She would fill an opening left by U.S. District Judge Jon Levy, who last year announced his plans to retire this May.

“Receiving this nomination has been the honor of my career,” Neumann told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Sitting among four other nominees to federal benches in California and New York, Neumann spoke very little. Much of the hearing was taken up by Republican senators questioning the other nominees on their work in cases involving gender identity and immigration.

The hearing was adjourned after a couple of hours without a vote, which was postponed until next week.

Neumann briefly introduced the lawmakers to her family, including her four children and her husband, a professor of ornithology who drove their family from Maine to D.C. in their minivan.


She also thanked her parents for their support. She said her father served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and then spent 30 years working in the Social Security Administration. Her mother started a mediation business in the 1980s and put herself through law school.

“It is through her that I got my capacity for perseverance and love of the law,” said Neumann.

When asked how she feels about efforts to diversify the federal bench, Neumann cited her time as a clerk for a judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York who she said “made it a point to attract and hire a diverse set of clerks in the broadest sense.”

“He felt that that really helped his decision making process. I hope that if I’m so fortunate to be confirmed I can do the same,” Neumann said.

Neumann spent about four years as a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office Maine and two years as a federal public defender in Vermont. She has a law school degree from Cornell and has clerked for judges in both state supreme court and a federal appeals court.

In written letters submitted in her support, prosecutors, defense attorneys, civil litigators and investigators lauded her work.


“She is a person of solid character and possesses a keen sense of justice,” wrote former assistant U.S. attorneys Richard Murphy and Jonathan Chapman, who worked with Neumann in Maine. “She treats people with respect, goodwill and good humor.”

As a federal prosecutor, Neumann quickly assumed a large criminal caseload, focusing on the exploitation of children. After leaving for private practice, Neumann became known “as an acknowledged expert on criminal law and procedure,” they said.

Maine’s Independent Sen. Angus King praised her for a “breadth of experience that you rarely see in a judicial candidate,” citing her experience in both criminal law and in civil litigation.

Timothy Zerillo, a criminal defense lawyer in Portland who leads the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said in an interview Wednesday that he has observed Neumann practice in many different roles.

“She’s always fair, she’s always prepared, she always comes at a legal problem from a solid foundation, and she’s also got a great temperament and that’s really important too,” he said.

Zerillo said he believes Neumann’s broad experience shows how fairly and thoroughly she’ll consider the high stakes of criminal clients facing federal charges. She knows the seriousness of what they’re accused of, and also how severe the consequences can be.

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