|Former York County Probate Court Judge Robert Nadeau.|
The court’s 34-page decision, handed down Tuesday, is the latest setback for Nadeau. He was suspended 30 days last summer while he was still on the bench, then lost his bid for re-election in November.
Nadeau has been operating a law practice in Biddeford, but will not be allowed to practice in Maine for two years beginning Aug. 1. He also must pay a $5,000 fine.
“This is now the fourth time that Judge Nadeau has appeared before us for ethical violations and the third time for conduct that occurred while serving in a judicial capacity,” the court’s ruling states. “Here, his actions were often carried out in an intemperate and vindictive fashion against former colleagues of his law practice and their associates. Attorneys’ reputations were harmed, and litigants before him were pressured to support his efforts to increase court resources and his compensation.”
Despite the ruling, Nadeau defended his record in a statement Tuesday night.
“I am proud to have made a positive difference in the lives of nearly 20,000 children, adult incapacitated persons, and their parents, grandparents, adult children and others during my 16 years of service for York County and its probate court,” Nadeau said in an email. “This is so, despite the probate court’s woeful lack of adequate support and exercise of substantial interference by its county commissioners and despite the unfortunately high degree of politicization of Maine’s elected private judges by those commissioners, their uninformed manager and probate register, the York County bar, and others who oppose an elected judiciary.”
Nadeau was first elected as probate judge in York County in 1996. He served three four-year terms before losing re-election in 2008. However, he won back his seat in 2012.
The most recent allegations against him were detailed in a report filed Jan. 16, 2016, by the state’s Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability, which governs members of the bar.
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Law license of former York County probate judge suspended for 2 years