PORTLAND — Lawyers agree that a judge’s ruling upholding Maine’s sex offender registry will probably be appealed to the state’s highest court.

Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy on Thursday granted the state’s motion dismissing a challenge to the sex-offender registry brought by 16 plaintiffs, who are known in the lawsuit as John Doe. Among other things, the plaintiffs argued that the law shouldn’t be applied retroactively to their cases.

Deputy Attorney General Paul Stern says he’d be “very surprised” if the case weren’t appealed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Attorney Walter McKee, who represented one of the plaintiffs, says an appeal is likely but that it will take time to fully analyze the 70-page ruling.