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June 2009

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This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.


Maine Jurist Receives Devitt Award

Judge D. Brock Hornby (D. Me.) has been selected to receive the 27th Annual Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award. The award honors Article III judges whose careers have been exemplary, measured by their significant contributions to the administration of justice, the advancement of the rule of law, and the improvement of society as a whole. He will receive the award at a ceremony later this year.

Hornby has served on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine since 1990, and as chief judge of the district from 1996 to 2003. He currently chairs the Judicial Conference Committee on the Judicial Branch and the Ad Hoc Committee on Judicial Salary Restoration, and has served on numerous Judicial Conference committees. From 1988-1990, he served on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and from 1982-1988 as a U.S. magistrate judge. Earlier in his career, Hornby was in private practice in Maine and was a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. He earned his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1969.

Hornby was selected for the honor by Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain (9th Cir.) and Chief Judge Donetta W. Ambrose (W.D. Pa.), all of whom offered generous praise.

Kennedy called Hornby, “a model for all judges,” citing his “splendid judicial demeanor that demonstrates devotion to the law and confirms his own dignity and decency.” O’Scannlain noted that Hornby is “an articulate and respected spokesman for the United States Judiciary on the national level. And, while maintaining active status with a full trial docket, he has found time to educate judges in foreign countries as well.” Calling Hornby’s reputation within the Judiciary “stellar,” Ambrose observed that he is widely known and recognized for his integrity, legal ability, experience, and commitment to the rule of law.

In nominating Hornby for the award, Chief Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. (D. Me.) and Judge George Z. Singal (D. Me.) described him as “a man of extraordinary brilliance, whose insightful grasp of the complex is immediately apparent to all who meet him or appear before him.”

The Devitt Award is named for the late Judge Edward J. Devitt of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. It is administered by the American Judicature Society with funding provided by the Dwight D. Opperman Foundation.