Campus News

Trustee John A. Woodcock Jr. '72 Recommended for Federal Judgeship

Story posted December 06, 2002

John A. Woodcock Jr., a Bowdoin College trustee and member of the class of 1972, has been recommended to President George W. Bush for a federal judgeship by Maine's two senators.

Following is the news release sent out jointly by Senators Snowe and Collins.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 5, 2003) - U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins announced today that they will recommend that President Bush nominate John A. Woodcock Jr., of Bangor, as federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Maine in Bangor. The Senators said Woodcock would fill the vacancy precipitated by Judge Gene Carter's decision to take senior status in January.

The Senators said their recommendation is bolstered by the support of a bipartisan judicial advisory panel they convened to review candidates for the post. The advisory panel completed its work last month, and forwarded their recommendations to Senators Snowe and Collins.

"We are proud to forward to President Bush our recommendation that John Woodcock be appointed to the vacancy on the federal bench in Bangor. He exemplifies the tradition of fairness and integrity this important post demands, and his more than 25 years of experience as an attorney in Bangor helped him emerge as the best qualified candidate for the post," said Senators Snowe and Collins in a joint statement. "Now, we will work closely with the White House and the Justice Department to speed this nomination, and with our colleagues to assure careful and swift confirmation by the Senate."

John A. Woodcock Jr., 52, is a Bangor native and a partner in the Bangor law firm of Woodcock, Weatherbee, Burlock, and Woodcock. For the past 25 years, Woodcock has maintained a litigation practice with a focus on civil law. He has extensive experience in both federal and state courts, and has briefed or argued 46 cases before the Maine Supreme Court. Woodcock has served as co-chairman of the Federal Practice Section of the Maine State Bar Association; served on the U.S. District Court Local Rules Advisory Committee; and served on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court Advisory Committee on Professional Responsibility. He is a fellow of the Maine Bar Foundation, and a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Maine School of Law.

Woodcock is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the University of Maine School of Law, and completed his Masters education at the London School of Economics. He has been a member of the Eastern Maine Health Care System Board of Directors, the Eastern Maine Medical Center Board of Trustees, the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees, the Bangor Children's Home Board of Managers, and the Board of Directors for Maine School Administrative District #22. He and his wife, Beverly, live in Bangor with their three children.

"After a careful review of top candidates for the bench, John Woodcock stood out among candidates on the basis of his substantial and broad legal and courtroom experience, as well as his keen intellect, solid character, and outstanding reputation. As the lone federal judge in Bangor, he has the ability to manage a challenging docket, and his service in Bangor and throughout Maine make him an outstanding choice for this post," said Senator Snowe. "This is a lifetime appointment - just the 16th such vacancy in Maine's 213-year history - so it is important we choose wisely. I am confident that John will serve with honor, empathy and fairness, and look forward to advocating his appointment both to the President, and to my Senate colleagues."

"The combination of John's integrity, belief in public service, and 25 years of litigation experience make him an excellent choice for this position," said Senator Collins. "I am especially pleased that we are recommending someone who has shown such a commitment to his home town of Bangor. The people of Maine will be well served by John Woodcock."

Senators Snowe and Collins are making the recommendation to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court precipitated by Judge Gene Carter's announcement earlier this year that he will take senior judicial status in January. At that time, Judge George Z. Singal of Bangor will assume the duties of Chief Judge of the District of Maine and transfer to Portland, the central administrative office for the federal trial courts in Maine. These changes will result in the Bangor vacancy, requiring a nomination by President Bush and confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

As Maine's senior senator, Senator Snowe will make recommendations to the President on potential nominees for the judicial vacancy, and Senators Snowe and Collins agreed to make recommendations jointly. With their recommendation, Woodcock's background and qualifications will be reviewed by the Office of the White House Counsel and the U.S. Department of Justice prior to his formal nomination by the President.

Once the nomination is forwarded to the Senate, Snowe and Collins will spearhead efforts to confirm Woodcock to the federal bench. They said they will work with Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 108th Congress, to speedily confirm the nomination and fill the vacancy on the bench in Bangor.

"With the anticipated heavy caseload in Maine, we believe it is important to promptly fill the vacancy created by Judge Carter's retirement. Once the President makes his formal nomination, we will work to assure a careful and speedy review by the Senate Judiciary Committee, so the full Senate can vote on this nomination and, hopefully, confirm John Woodcock to the bench," said Senators Snowe and Collins. "We believe the people of Maine deserve to have their cases heard in a timely manner, without unduly burdening our remaining federal judges."
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