BANGOR — Gov. John Baldacci on Tuesday nominated Bangor lawyer Bruce Mallonee to serve as a District Court judge.
Mallonee, 55, is expected to preside in Ellsworth and replace former District Court Judge Bernard Staples. Staples, 77, of Hulls Cove in Bar Harbor retired in July after more than two decades on the bench.
The governor also nominated Judge Christine Foster of Portland for reappointment. She first was appointed in 1996.
Judicial appointments are for seven years.
The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the nominations Thursday, Nov. 18, in Augusta. The governor’s office is working with leaders of both parties on dates for a special Senate confirmation session, according to a press release issued Tuesday. The session is expected to be held before the new Legislature is sworn in Dec. 1.
“I am particularly thrilled to have the opportunity to follow my fellow Kansas transplant, the late Jack O. Smith, onto the bench,” Mallonee said Tuesday afternoon in the offices of Rudman and Winchell, where Mallonee has worked for three decades.
Mallonee was born in Wichita, Kan., and Smith, of Ellsworth, was born in Kingman, Kan., according to a story published in 1997 when Smith died in Phoenix at the age of 65.
“When I came here in January 1981 as a new lawyer, he was on the District Court bench in Hancock County,” Mallonee said. “He went on the Superior Court bench in the mid-1980s.”
Mallonee is the fifth judge to be plucked from Rudman and Winchell by a governor. Founder Abraham Rudman, his son Paul Rudman, Gene Carter and Robert Murray all worked at the firm before their appointments.
“I’m looking forward to being a neutral arbiter of legal disputes,” Mallonee said of being a judge. “I will miss my colleagues [at the firm] and miss working with them.”
Mallonee has been recognized by the Maine Bar Foundation and the Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project for his pro bono, or volunteer, work as an attorney. He is active in the Bangor community, having served as former director for Downeast Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Bangor Education Foundation.
He also has been a board member for the American Folk Festival in Bangor since its inception and serves on the board of the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestra Musicians in Hancock. In addition, Mallonee has served on the vestry of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Bangor and sings in two local choirs.
Mallonee received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. He is married to LeeAnne Mallonee, a calligrapher and graphic artist. They have two children, Brennan Mallonee, 27, of Boston and Corey Mallonee, 25, of Pittsburgh.