After three decades as a judge, Superior Court Justice G. Arthur Brennan will retire this summer.

Brennan, who is based in York County, will retire Aug. 26, leaving a vacancy on the Superior Court bench.

“He’s really going to be sorely missed,” said Barry Hobbins, a lawyer in Saco who is Maine’s Senate minority leader. “He’s a very special person.”

Hobbins praised Brennan for his fairness and his ability to bring together the four components of the criminal justice system – retribution, restraint, deterrence and rehabilitation – in his decision-making.

Brennan also has proven to be a very good mediator in complicated civil cases, he said.

Brennan is known for his involvement in drug court and his particular interest in youth. That interest was clear in his dealings with young defendants in the courtroom and his work with a speech scholarship contest with the York County Bar Association. Walter Smith, another Saco-based lawyer, said it’s wonderful to appear before Brennan, whom he described as “a real gentleman.”

“He’s a wonderful human being,” Smith said. “He really cares and really tries to be fair to both sides.”

Before becoming a judge, Brennan was an assistant attorney general and York County’s district attorney. He was nominated to the District Court bench in 1981 and elevated to the Superior Court in 1984 by Gov. Joseph Brennan.

Gov. Paul LePage’s Judicial Selection Committee will accept applications for candidates until July 12. The seven-member committee will screen the applicants and interview some before making recommendations to the governor, who will interview the finalists.

LePage swore in his first judicial appointment, Gregory Campbell, to the District Court last week. In that process, the committee interviewed seven applicants before forwarding two recommendations to the governor, said Dan Billings, chief counsel to LePage.

The governor’s picks are reviewed by the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, then are subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Billings expects the Superior Court nominee to be named around Labor Day and the confirmation proceedings to happen during a special legislative session in September.

Brennan has applied for “active retired” status, in which judges are assigned work by the chief justice and paid on a day-by-day basis. The status requires approval from the governor’s office and must go through the legislative confirmation process.

 

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at: [email protected]