Maine lawmakers OK judicial nominee, praise intellect

Posted Aug. 18, 2010, at 12:19 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. John Baldacci’s chief legal counsel Patrick Ende was praised for his intellect and problem-solving skills before a legislative committee voted unanimously to approve his appointment as a District Court judge.

Ende, of Hallowell, who’s been on Baldacci’s top legal aide for two years, won a 13-0 endorsement of the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, setting the stage for almost-certain Senate confirmation next week.

Attorney General Janet Mills said she came forward to speak in favor of Ende without being asked. She said Ende, a longtime attorney for the low-income advocacy group Pine Tree Legal Assistance, has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the law.

The Judiciary Committee is reviewing a dozen judicial nominees this week in advance of next Wednesday’s Senate session. The Senate will also vote on numerous nominations other state boards and commissions.