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Obama Nominates Mainer to Appeals Court
By Office of Rep Michaud
Jan 24, 2012 - 12:52:52 AM

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President Obama has nominated William Kayatta, Jr. of Cape Elizabeth to be a Circuit Court Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Last May, Representatives Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree forwarded the names of William Kayatta, Jr. and Justice Jon Levy to President Obama for consideration to replace Judge Kermit Lipez, who is taking active retired status. More information on Kayatta supplied by the White House can be found below.

"We're pleased the President is moving forward with this nomination," said Michaud and Pingree. "We know he's chosen an extremely qualified candidate who will be an excellent addition to the court."

William J. Kayatta, Jr. has been a partner at the law firm of Pierce Atwood LLP, located in Portland, Maine, for over 25 years. He is also currently serving by special appointment of the Supreme Court of the United States as Special Master in Kansas v. Nebraska and Colorado, an action involving an interstate water rights dispute.

Kayatta was raised in South Portland, Maine. He received his B.A. magna cum laude in 1976 from Amherst College and his J.D. magna cum laude in 1979 from Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor and officer of the Harvard Law Review.

After graduating from law school, Kayatta clerked for the Honorable Frank M. Coffin of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. After his clerkship ended in 1980, Kayatta joined Pierce Atwood LLP as an associate, becoming a partner in 1986. While at the firm, his practice has focused on complex trial and appellate litigation. He has argued two cases to the Supreme Court of the United States and approximately thirty-five cases in the state and federal appellate courts. Kayatta is a regent in the American College of Trial Lawyers, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a member of the American Law Institute. In 2010, the Maine Bar Foundation presented Kayatta with the Howard H. Dana Award for his career-long pro bono efforts on behalf of low-income Maine citizens. He has also received special recognition awards from the Disability Rights Center of Maine, the Maine Equal Justice Partners, and the Maine Children's Alliance for his pro bono representation of disabled Maine children. Kayatta is also a former Chair of the Professional Ethics Commission for Maine lawyers.

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