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.