It is unfortunate that the Maine Law Court decided that I violated judicial standards concerning my separate job as the York County probate judge while representing myself in a private lawsuit when I opined in a communication to my opponent’s lawyer that the litigation would end unfavorably for my opponent’s side of the case if it weren’t amicably resolved.

However, it must be and is accepted and respected by me. All of the members of Maine’s judiciary, including me, take our judicial standards of service and ethics very seriously, and I always will.

It is important to note that in that private communication, however, I did not mention, nor would I have mentioned or intended, that my job as the probate judge would have ever in any way negatively impacted the treatment of my opponent, her attorney or her attorney’s boss, who, incidentally, is Gene Libby, the attorney for York County. It is unfortunate that the court disagreed.

Mr. Libby, who has been an antagonistic political opponent for many years, knows very well that I have routinely disqualified myself from hearing any contested cases involving any member of his law firm, and that I shall continue to do so and to transfer his firm’s cases to a different judge to ensure the appearance of complete impartiality in all matters filed in our probate court.

I am separately pleased that the court recognized the advancements in social media permitting my past use of an internet website and Facebook to provide greater information and service to the users of the probate court, despite the challenge to them by Libby and the Maine Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability.

I am determined that the court’s discipline concerning the private communication matter will not negatively impact the continued delivery of the usual case processing and dedicated, thoughtful service and decision-making to which I have dedicated my career. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve through the election and into the next four-year term in the most cost-effective, ethical, continually responsive manner.

Robert M.A. Nadeau

York County judge of probate

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