William J. Kayatta, Jr. a senior partner at Pierce Atwood LLP–an NEC member–is heading to the Federal Bench after the U.S. Senate voted on February 13th to approve his nomination to be a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Kayatta was first nominated for the position back in January 2012, and was reported out of the committee in April, but the Senate did not act upon his nomination prior to the end of the year. Senators have typically withheld the approval of judicial nominees in the months leading up to a Presidential election to ensure a possible new president would have the option of nominating a different individual to fill judicial positions.
With President Obama winning re-election, Mr. Kayatta was re-nominated to the bench in January 2013. The seating of a brand new Congress, and the backing of Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) as well as Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Mike Michaud (D-ME), gave the impetus to the Senate to act quickly, considering and approving Mr. Kayatta’s nomination by a vote of 88-12. Every Senator from the six New England states voted to elevate Mr. Kayatta to this important position. With the Senate confirmation vote completed, Mr. Kayatta received his commission on February 14, 2013.
Mr. Kayatta holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and has been prominent in Maine’s legal community since the 1980’s. He is admitted to the bar in Maine and in more than a handful of federal jurisdictions, has a number of legal distinctions, and was, in 2004, the head of the Maine Bar Foundation. In 2010, he received special recognition by the Maine Bar for his pro bono work on behalf of Maine’s less fortunate.
The New England Council would like to congratulate Judge William Kayatta on this outstanding achievement.