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Robert W. Clifford
Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court

In office
August 1, 1986 – August 31, 2009
Appointed by Joseph E. Brennan
Preceded by Elmer H. Violette
Succeeded by Joseph Jabar
Chief Justice of the Maine Superior Court

In office
1984 – August 1, 1986
Justice of the Maine Superior Court

In office
June 8, 1979 – 1984
Appointed by Joseph E. Brennan
Member of the Maine Senate
from the 13th district

In office
January 3, 1973 – January 5, 1977
Preceded by William H. Clifford Jr.
Succeeded by Thomas M. Mangan
Mayor of Lewiston

In office
January 1971 – January 1973
Preceded by John B. Beliveau[1]
Succeeded by John C. Orestis[1]
Member of the Lewiston Board of Aldermen

In office
January 1968 – January 1970
President: 1969
Personal details
Born Robert William Clifford
May 2, 1937(1937-05-02) (age 84)
Lewiston, Maine, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Clementina
Children 2
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1962-1964
Rank Captain
Unit U.S. Seventh Army

Robert William Clifford[2] (born May 2, 1937) is an American politician, lawyer and retired justice on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. He was appointed to this position on August 1, 1986 by then-governor Joseph Brennan. He was reappointed to seven-year terms in 1993, 2000, and 2007. He retired in 2009.[3]


Clifford grew up in Lewiston, Maine and graduated from Lewiston High School in 1955.[1][4] He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1959, and earned a law degree from Boston College Law School in 1962. He then served in the United States Army from 1962 to 1964 with the U.S. Seventh Army in Germany,[4] attaining the rank of Captain. In 1998, he earned an LLM in Judicial Process from the University of Virginia School of Law.[5]


Upon leaving the armed forces, Clifford practiced law in Lewiston-Auburn for fifteen years with the firm Clifford & Clifford. He was also an alderman and a two-time mayor in this city.

During his legislative tenure, he represented the senate on the Commission to Revise Maine's Probate Laws, which drafted Maine's current Probate Code. In 1978 and 1979 he was the Chairman of the Lewiston Charter Commission, which drafted Lewiston's current city charter.

On June 8, 1979, former Governor Joseph Brennan appointed Clifford to the state's Superior Court. Another appointment by Chief Justice Vincent L. McKusick made Clifford the first Chief Justice of the Maine Superior Court in 1984, a position he would hold until his appointment to the Supreme Judicial Court on August 1, 1986 by Governor Brennan.

Justice Clifford served as the Court's liaison to the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure, and to the Maine Assistance Program. He also served as an adviser to the Criminal Law Advisory Commission.[5][6]

Prior to his judicial service, Clifford worked in the state's senate during the 106th and 107th Legislatures as a Democrat.[4][6]

Personal life[]

His wife is Clementina whom he married in 1964 and they have two children.[1]


Political offices
Preceded by
John B. Beliveau
Mayor of Lewiston, Maine
Succeeded by
John C. Orestis
Unrecognised parameter
Preceded by
William H. Clifford Jr.
Member of the Maine Senate from the 13th district
Succeeded by
Thomas M. Mangan
Legal offices
Preceded by
Joseph E. Brennan
Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Succeeded by
Joseph Jabar
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