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Grad Heads To Maine's Highest Court

Grad Heads To Maine's Highest CourtTufts graduate and longtime Maine lawyer Warren M. Silver was recently appointed to fill a vacancy on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [08.03.05] Warren M. Silver (A'70) has the reputation of being a smart, aggressive attorney – especially for his most notable client, novelist Stephen King. But the Tufts graduate has ascended to new legal heights, namely the bench of Maine's Supreme Judicial Court, where he was sworn in as the court’s newest justice at the end of July.

"I'm really looking at this as an opportunity to serve the citizens of Maine," Silver told the Bangor Daily News. "It's something I really have strong opinions about and know well and think that I can have some kind of an impact."

Upon nominating the Tufts graduate in April, Maine Gov. John Baldacci praised Silver as an accomplished attorney who is “highly regarded in the Maine legal community.”

Despite years of arguing before the bench, Silver never imagined himself sitting behind it.

"I never thought that I would be a judge," Silver recalled to the News. "When the governor spoke to me about this the first time, I said no. Then I started thinking about it. I'm 57 years old. It takes the sun, the moon and the stars to line up for one of these opportunities to occur. So I started thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my legal life, and I want to do good public service."

" Warren may be smiling now. He may not be smiling when he arrives at his office Monday and sees the files piled up," Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley joked to the News at Silver's swearing-in.

Silver's colleagues believe he is an invaluable addition to the bench.

" Warren's a well-known trial attorney and someone who has a razor-sharp intellect," John Hobson, a Portland attorney who now chairs the governor's judicial advisory committee, told the News.

"Even those who have opposed Warren in hard-fought cases have nothing but the highest praise for him," Hobson added. "That speaks volumes about an individual."

In his nomination hearing before the Maine Legislature's Judiciary Committee, Silver vowed to live up to the high standards of the bench.

"I pledge to you today that I will prejudge no legal issue," he said. "If confirmed, I will review all facts and the law as passed by the Legislature and will do my best to understand and interpret the intent of the Legislature in passing those laws. If confirmed, I will work collaboratively with the other six judges on the court, and I look forward to open and honest communication with my colleagues."

In recognition of Silver's northern Maine heritage, Saufley told the News, the court will hold its October session in Aroostook County.

After graduating from Tufts in 1970, Silver went on to receive his law degree from American University and set up a law practice in Bangor. Silver previously served on the board of governors of the Maine Trial Lawyers Association and chaired the state supreme court's civil rules committee. He also sits on the board of directors of the Bangor Museum and Center for History.

By taking the seat, however, Silver has to give up his most famous client.

"[King] wants what's best for me," Silver told the News. "He agreed with me that this was a wonderful opportunity, so, we're going to have to work on new representation for him and his wife."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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