Hjelm nominated to Maine's highest court

May 07, 2014

Augusta — Gov. Paul R. LePage announced May 7 he will recommend the nomination of The Honorable Jeffrey L. Hjelm to the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine and Deputy Attorney General William R. Stokes to Superior Court.

“As governor, I have the utmost respect for and have been impressed with the high quality work of the judicial branch,” said LePage in a news release. “In selecting judges, my focus is on the qualifications, demeanor and integrity of the candidates — not politics. Justice Hjelm and Deputy Attorney General Stokes reflect those priorities. I am confident that they both will live up to the high standards we expect from Maine judges.”

Hjelm, of Camden, is a Superior Court justice for the Knox County Superior Court. He was appointed to the District Court in 1992 by Gov. John McKernan. He was first nominated to the Superior Court by Gov. Angus King in 1998 and was reappointed by Gov. John Baldacci in 2005. Gov. LePage nominated him again for the Superior Court in 2012.

Prior to becoming a judge, Hjelm served as an assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division and in private practice at Vafiades Brountas & Kominsky. A graduate of Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., he earned his law degree at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio.

William R. Stokes, a resident of Augusta, is the chief of the Criminal Division of the Maine Attorney General's Office. Stokes began his career with the Maine Attorney General’s Office in 1977 and has served under nine Attorney Generals.

As chief of the Criminal Division, Stokes is responsible for the homicide unit, welfare fraud, financial crimes and victims’ advocates. He oversees drug prosecutors, as well as appellate and corrections attorneys. Attorney Stokes is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Boston and Suffolk University Law School in Boston. He is also the mayor of Augusta.

Judicial nominees must be reviewed by the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary and confirmed by the full Senate.

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