Civil Discourse Program








November 25, 2019



Civil Discourse Program

On Thursday, November 14, 2019, the District of Maine welcomed young women from the Long Creek Youth Development Center into the Edward T. Gignoux Courthouse to participate in the Civil Discourse and Difficult Decisions Program in Portland. The students debated the scope of the First Amendment in the context of online bullying through a simulated oral argument and jury deliberation before Chief Judge Jon D. Levy. The program gave the students, who have experienced the juvenile justice system firsthand, an opportunity to share their unique perspective on important issues that affect their lives, and to envision themselves as advocates and jurors. The students also engaged in a discussion with volunteer lawyers of what civil discourse means and why it is so important, both in our personal lives and in the operation of our democracy. Their teacher described the program this way: “The girls really enjoyed the experience and it was really empowering for them to be in the role of an attorney and get a different perspective on the court system. I think it will be a day that they remember for a long time.” Volunteer Attorneys Karen Frink Wolf, Zach Heiden, and Valerie Wicks participated in the program and guided the students through the process.




Criminal Justice Act Committee

The Court is pleased to announce that Jamesa Drake, Esq., has been appointed to sit on the Court’s Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Committee effective November 2019. The Court’s CJA Committee advises the Court on its CJA plan, on CJA policy and on the size and membership of the Court’s CJA Panel. The CJA Panel is a pool of attorneys who are appointed to represent indigent defendants charged in criminal matters before the Court. 

Jamesa Drake is an attorney at Drake Law LLC, where she specializes in criminal appeals. She has represented hundreds of clients in state and federal court. Jamesa has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, various U.S. Courts of Appeal, and six appellate courts in four states. When she is not in court, Jamesa works as an adjunct professor at the University of Maine School of Law, where she has taught courses in state constitutional law, appellate litigation and criminal procedure. Jamesa serves as the President of the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.





No later than December 2, 2019, registered ECF filers MUST:


  1. Create an individual PACER account or confirm you already have an individual PACER account.


  1. Upgrade your existing individual PACER account or confirm you already have an upgraded PACER account.


  1. Know your District of Maine CM/ECF username and password.


  1. Know your individual upgraded PACER account username and password.


CJA Panel Attorneys please visit our website to view instructions on the PACER exempt “toggle” function.


To view step-by-step instructions on preparing for NextGen, visit our website at


If you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact Michele Mitchell at (207) 922-6426 or and Jennifer Driscoll at (207) 922-6444 or