I read with great pride and affection your front-page article April 15 about Thomas E. Delahanty II, who passed away recently. All of the comments were accurate, as he was a true giant in Maine law.

In college his brother John, also a lawyer and who passed away two months before him, was my first choice to join our fraternity. Just a few years later, I would be honored to be selected as the clerk to their dad, Thomas Delahanty the first, who was then chief justice of the Superior Court. His oldest son, Tom II, would become district attorney for three counties and then United States attorney, a very prestigious job, twice.

What I did not know is that this man would become, perhaps, the most influential judge in my life, as I tried several cases before him over the years. If there ever was a judge who could make a trial lawyer better, it was Justice Delahanty. He suffered no fools and expected preparation, civility and competence in his courtroom. Juries loved him because he had a charismatic presence and presided with confidence. Yet, one could tell he had also compassion, empathy and a sense of humor.

As a lion tamer controls his cats, Justice Delahanty controlled that courtroom. A stern look could put a lawyer back on track. His legal instincts, love of the law and love of people made him without question one of the best judges in Maine history.

Ellsworth T. Rundlett III
Cape Elizabeth

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: