Maine Justice Foundation Leadership
Board of Directors - Executive Committee
William D. Robitzek, President
Maine Lawyer Services
Bill Robitzek was a successful trial lawyer for over 35 years before starting his current practice as a mediator, arbitrator and trial consultant. After graduating from Williams College, he did a short stint as a teacher and then attended Boston University School of Law. He is a former President of the Maine State Bar Association and the New England Bar Association. He has served on Maine’s Professional Ethics Commission and been a frequent speaker at Maine State Bar Association seminars on trial practice subjects. He is a Maine Justice Foundation Bar Fellow.
Sally N. Mills, Immediate Past President (Co-Chair, Bar Fellows Committee)
Hale & Hamlin, LLC
Sally Mills grew up in Blue Hill, Maine and is a graduate of George Stevens Academy.
She graduated magna cum laude/phi beta kappa from Wellesley College (with a junior year at the London School of Economics and Political Science) and received an MPhil in Russian Language and Literature from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies/University College London. She trained as a solicitor in England, receiving her CPE and LPC from the University of the West of England, and worked as an articled clerk with a large London firm. She then moved to the London branch of a large US firm where her practice focused on Project Finance, general banking, and corporate work in the CIS and Central Asia.
Since joining Hale & Hamlin, Sally’s practice has focused on Estate Planning, Trusts and Estates, Real Estate, Environmental Law, and Family Law. She is a member of the Maine State Bar, the John Waldo Ballou American Inns of Court, and the Law Society of England and Wales. Sally is also a Maine Justice Foundation Bar Fellow.
John W. Geismar, Treasurer (Chair, Finance & Investments Committee and Audit Committee)
Norman Hanson & DeTroy
John Geismar has lived in Minot, Maine and practiced in Lewiston, since 1982. John graduated from Colby College and New England School of Law, cum laude. John works with taxpayers in tax planning and structuring transactions, and represents businesses and individual clients in audit appeals to the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Tax Court. John's practice includes entity formation issues, governance, transactions, operations and asset acquisition finance. He integrates commercial real estate and tax planning in a practice that designs and serves as a qualified intermediary in connection with tax deferred exchanges under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code. John serves as general counsel to a health care system in Lewiston, Maine, which includes an acute care hospital, one of the largest nursing homes in the state, and an integrated physician practice. He advises the Board of Directors in corporate governance and compliance matters, and oversees contracting initiatives for the health system. John has served on numerous community and non-profit boards and chaired the Minot Planning Board for over 15 years.
Diana C. Scully, Secretary
Diana is responsible for overall management of MJF in order to maximize resources that support access to civil justice, including legal aid, pro bono legal services, and related law education.
Diana has been MJF’s Executive Director since June 1, 2013. She returned home to Maine to begin this work after a 15-month interlude in Washington, D.C., where she was Senior Director of State Services at the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities.
Diana served three stints in Maine State Government. In 2006, she was appointed Director of Maine’s Office of Elder Services. During the 1980s, she held key positions in Maine’s Department of Human Services: Director of Rehabilitation, Director of Welfare Employment, and the Commissioner’s Special Projects Director. During the mid-1970s, Diana was a nonpartisan Legislative Analyst for the Maine Legislature.
Diana has had extensive consulting experience. Throughout the 1990s until the mid-2000s and again during 2011, she operated her consulting firm Vantage Point. She served more than 60 private nonprofit and public clients, including the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission for whom she served as part-time Executive Director and the Maine Health Access Foundation for whom she was start-up consultant (and later served on the Board.)
Early in her career, Diana worked as a research assistant at the National Institute of Mental Health, a policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures, and a Peace Corps community organizer in the Philippines. She has a B.A. degree from Wellesley College and an M.S.W. degree from the University of Michigan.
Diana has served on many local, state and national boards. Her most recent volunteer service is as a board member of Hallowell’s Harlow Art Gallery. She enjoys reading, theater, travel, and her Sunday conversations with her son James who lives in the Washington, D.C. area.
Janis Cohen (Co-Chair, Development Committee)
Janice is a retired attorney, formerly vice-president and managing counsel of the investment lawyers at Unum Group where her work focused on commercial real estate. In addition to working at Unum, she was in-house counsel at a non-profit educational and social services corporation, served as compliance director for the State of Maine on a right-to-treatment consent decree case, and was in private practice. She spends part of the year in Sarasota, FL where she is president of the board of directors of Pierian Spring Academy, a life-long learning program that is in the process of merging with Ringling College of Art and Design. She has served on a number of boards and commissions, including the Maine Civil Legal Services Fund Commission, the Justice Action Group, the Maine Turnpike Authority, the Finance Authority of Maine and the Maine Milk Commission. Before going to law school, she worked as a psychologist and a police officer. She is a Maine Justice Foundation Bar Fellow.
Virginia Davis (At-large Executive Committee member)
Bio coming soon!
William S. Harwood (Co-Chair, Bar Fellows Committee)
Verrill Dana, LLP
Bill Harwood has devoted most of his 30 year career to representing public utilities before state and federal regulatory agencies. He has represented electric, gas, water and telecommunications companies in more than 50 major cases before the Maine Public Utilities Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, including rate cases, prudence investigations, management audits, merger approvals, requests for certificates of public convenience and necessity and rulemaking proceedings. Bill counsels utilities on proactive strategies to both anticipate regulatory developments and efficiently manage the regulatory process.
Bill was actively involved in the restructuring of the Maine electric utility industry, including representing utilities in the sale of their generating assets, recovery of stranded costs and providing standard offer (default) service. More recently Bill has represented developers of new transmission lines in securing Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity and wind developers in negotiating Interconnection Agreements and securing adequate transmission capacity for delivery of the output. Bill has served as Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Maine School of Law, teaching utility regulation and administrative law.
Ari Solotoff (Chair, Governance Committee)
Having provided more than a decade of executive leadership in the performing arts, Ari offers a nuanced appreciation for the many legal and business issues that face businesses, nonprofits, and creative clients. With this unique perspective, Ari focuses his practice on tax-exempt organizations, entertainment law, copyrights, and music licensing.
Whether stewarding general corporate transactions or legal compliance within a broader strategic framework, Ari provides reasoned and practical guidance to help his clients realize their business goals. He counsels clients in a wide range of areas, including the nonprofit, music, publishing, literary, health care and telecommunications industries. As a Consulting Advisor for Bernstein Shur World Stage Advisors, LLC, Ari also provides consulting services to creative clients seeking assistance with branding, endorsements, and revenue-growth strategies.
Prior to studying law, Ari worked in the classical music industry, where he served as Executive Vice President of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and before that, Executive Director of the Portland and Pensacola Symphonies. Drawing on this depth of experience, Ari is equally comfortable managing complex transactions with multiple stakeholders as he is working one-on-one with exceptionally talented and widely-recognized artists.
Katherine Tierney (Chair, Grants & Programs Committee)
Bio coming soon!
Albert G. Ayre
Ainsworth Thelin & Raftice
Mary Kathryn Brennan
Law Office of Smilie G. Rogers
H. Lowell Brown
Gross, Minsky & Mogul, P.A.
Hon. Howard H. Dana, Jr.
Virginia E. Davis
Susan B. Driscoll, Ex-Officio
Bergen & Parkinson, LLC
Benjamin S. Fowler
Fowler Law Office
John Geismar, Treasurer
Norman, Hanson and Detroy, LLC
William S. Harwood
Verrill Dana, LLP
Aaron P. Kouhoupt
Bangor Savings Bank
Michael J. Levey
Levey, Wagley & Putman, P.A.
Sally Mills, Immediate Past President
Hale & Hamlin, LLC
Stephen D. Nelson, Ex-Officio
Severson Hand & Nelson, P.A.
Harold C. Pachios
Ariel Pardee (Levangie)
University of Maine School of Law
Willian D. Robitzek, President
Maine Lawyer Services
School of Social Work, University of Maine Orono
Ari B. Solotoff
Judith A. Fletcher Woodbury
Pierce Atwood LLP