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Judge Frank M. Coffin: …Icon and friend to Maine Law dies at age 90

It is with profound sadness and grief that we report the death of Judge Frank M. Coffin. Loved and respected throughout Maine and throughout the nation, Judge Coffin had a long and distinguished career in public service. He was appointed to the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in 1965 and served on the bench until 2006, when he retired from active judicial service. He served as Chief Judge of the First Circuit from 1972 to 1983. Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Coffin practiced law, served in Congress for two terms, and advanced foreign aid programs in the administrations of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

Judge Coffin, a lifelong leader in promoting access to justice for people in need, was deeply committed to his wife of 67 years, Ruth Coffin, and their family. He also was an accomplished sculptor, painter, and writer. He was friend and advisor to the University of Maine School of Law, actively involved as a member of our Board of Visitors. The Law School’s annual Frank M. Coffin Lecture on Law & Public Service in his honor has attracted a long list of notable lecturers to Portland, Maine, over the past two decades.

Judge Coffin leaves an inspiring legacy to the lawyers of tomorrow. His wisdom and intelligence, his commitment to social justice and public service, his kindness and wit, his personal warmth — we remember and aspire to all these attributes. We mourn the loss of a dear friend and celebrate his amazing life.

A public celebration of the Judge's life will be held May 8, 2010, at 1:30pm in the Abromson Community Education Center at the University of Southern Maine, 88 Bedford Street in Portland.