Gov. Janet Mills addresses a joint session of the Legislature at the State House in Augusta on Feb. 11, 2019.

Gov. Janet Mills on Wednesday appointed nine attorneys to serve on her Judicial Nominations Advisory Committee, which screens candidates for judicial appointments.

Mills’ appointees include three women, one more than Gov. Paul LePage initially appointed to his committee in April 2011, and no prosecutors.

Mills on Wednesday appointed the following people to her committee: John A. Hobson of Portland, Joshua A. Tardy of Newport, Dawn Pelletier of Bangor, Gerard P. Conley Jr. of Portland, Jodi L. Nofsinger of Lewiston, Melissa Hewey of Portland, Walter McKee of Augusta, Daniel Rapaport of Portland and Derek P. Langhauser of Augusta, who serves as Mills’ chief counsel.

Hobson, who was appointed chairman, led a similar committee when John Baldacci was governor. He continued to serve on the advisory committee under LePage, but Tardy was the chairman under LePage.

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The attorneys have a wide range of experience. McKee is a well known criminal lawyer, while Pelletier has a family law practice. Hewey has handled high-profile cases involving school districts, and Nofsinger has represented families in personal injury cases.

Conley, a former legislator, also served on Baldacci’s judicial selection committee. He practices criminal, personal injury and public employee disability law. Rapaport is a veteran litigator and mediator.

Before joining Mills’ legal team, Langhauser was president of the Maine Community College System.

Factors the committee considers in interviewing candidates include: judicial temperament, knowledge of the law, analytical skills and communication skills, Pelletier said.

“Personally, I like to look for lawyers/judges who don’t take themselves too seriously and have a sense of humor,” she said. “Used appropriately, humor can go a long way to defuse courtroom tension.”

Being on the committee for some can be a path to a judgeship. Geoffrey Rushlau of Dresden, the former district attorney in the midcoast region, is now a District Court judge, and Harold Stewart II of Presque Isle is a Superior Court justice. Both were on LePage’s committee.

Mills urged attorneys interested in being considered for judicial appointments to visit the new judicial selection tab on the governor’s website for information about the process. The committee will review applications previously submitted by attorneys on or after Jan. 1, 2017. Attorneys who filed applications before Jan. 1, 2017, and remain interested should update their materials following the process outlined on the website.

“I take seriously my responsibility to nominate experienced and qualified individuals to the bench because these individuals will serve as stewards of Maine’s judicial system for decades to come,” Mills said in a statement. “That is why I have selected for the Judicial Advisory Committee well-respected individuals who have decades of experience in Maine’s judicial system. I welcome their recommendations of candidates for consideration.”

Judicial appointments are for seven years. Nominees must appear before the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee at a public hearing and be confirmed by the Maine Senate.