U.S. Senate Confirms Pierce Atwood Attorney, William J. Kayatta, Jr., to Serve on First Circuit Court of Appeals

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Portland, ME
Pierce Atwood is pleased to announce that William J. Kayatta, Jr., Special Counsel, has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a Circuit Judge on the First Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. Mr. Kayatta was originally nominated by President Obama in January 2012 and was re-nominated on January 3, 2013.

In reaction to the confirmation news, Gloria Pinza, Managing Partner, said “While we are sorry to lose Bill Kayatta, as lawyers and citizens we are happy that the First Circuit Court of Appeals is getting a first rate person who is an excellent lawyer, highly regarded for his judgment and ethics.  As much as we will miss Bill, we have continued to attract, retain and inspire a large group of similarly talented lawyers who will continue our proud tradition of helping our clients create opportunities and meet challenges.  Bill has been a key player in these efforts and we are a stronger firm as a result of his tutelage and coaching."

"In addition to the depth of his legal skills and the professional respect he has earned over the years,  Bill is a devoted mentor and  coach to others in the firm and the legal profession.   At Pierce Atwood, he devoted a considerable amount of time to recruiting and training attorneys who are now top trial and appellate counsel in their own right, with proven records of handling complex high stakes litigation both in New England and across the country. He is also one of the most conscientious and caring professionals when it comes to client service and tending to the particular needs of individual clients.  As a result, he has their complete confidence and trust.  Nowhere has this been more apparent than his counsel and guidance to our clients over the past year to assure that they are comfortable with this transition, and I know that all of those clients wish him the very best in his new endeavor."

Because Pierce Atwood is home to a significant number of nationally recognized professionals, part of its tradition is to have its lawyers called upon for public service of this type.  Among the firm’s honors and distinctions, two of its lawyers have served as Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court,  three have served as Special Master to the United States Supreme Court, and one served as Special Prosecutor under President Clinton.  

About William J. Kayatta, Jr.

Mr. Kayatta has been a partner at Pierce Atwood for more than 27 years.  He currently serves by special appointment of the Supreme Court of the United States as Special Master in Kansas v. Nebraska and Colorado, an action involving an interstate water rights dispute.  While at the firm, his practice focused on complex trial and appellate litigation.  He has argued two cases to the Supreme Court of the United States and approximately thirty-five cases in state and federal appellate courts. 

A resident of Cape Elizabeth, Mr. Kayatta was raised in South Portland, Maine. He received his B.A. magna cum laude in 1976 from Amherst College and his J.D. magna cum laude in 1979 from Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor and officer of the Harvard Law Review

Mr. Kayatta is a regent in the American College of Trial Lawyers, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a member of the American Law Institute.  In 2010, the Maine Bar Foundation presented him with the Howard H. Dana Award for his career-long pro bono efforts on behalf of low-income Maine citizens.  He has also received special recognition awards from the Disability Rights Center of Maine, the Maine Equal Justice Partners, and the Maine Children’s Alliance for his pro bono representation of disabled Maine children.  Mr. Kayatta is also a former Chair of the Professional Ethics Commission for Maine lawyers.

About the Firm

Pierce Atwood LLP is one of the leading regional law firms in New England and the largest in northern New England with 135 attorneys who serve regional, national and international clients from offices in Portland and Augusta, Maine; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Boston, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; Stockholm, Sweden; and Washington, D.C.  Follow us on Twitter @PierceAtwoodLLP.