John M.R. Paterson of Bernstein Shur Elected President of Maine Civil Liberties Union

Affiliate: ACLU of Maine
January 18, 2011 12:00 am

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PORTLAND – John M.R. Paterson, shareholder and trial attorney at the law firm of Bernstein Shur, has been elected president of the Maine Civil Liberties Union (MCLU). In his role as president of MCLU, Paterson will be responsible for overseeing fellow members on the board of directors, ensuring that MCLU is upholding the belief that the freedoms of press, speech, assembly, religion and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy are upheld through actions that include litigation, education and lobbying.

“John Paterson has served the MCLU tirelessly as a fearless volunteer lawyer and an enthusiastic teacher of the Bill of Rights,” said Shenna Bellows, MCLU Executive Director. “In these challenging times, we are fortunate to have his calm leadership, clear vision, and courage to defend the Bill of Rights and the Constitution against all challenges.”

Paterson has been involved with MCLU as a volunteer lawyer since 2006 and has served on the MCLU’s legal panel and the development, membership and investment committees. He joined MCLU’s board in 2007 and was elected vice president of the board in 2010. Paterson has also been active in providing high school workshops on the Bill of Rights on behalf of MCLU.

“My work with MCLU has afforded the opportunity to work on cases that are extremely important to me as an attorney and as a citizen,” said Paterson. “We live in a society in which constitutional freedoms will continually be challenged. It means a great deal to me that I can help protect these freedoms through my work with MCLU.”

A resident of Freeport, Maine, Paterson is a member of Bernstein Shur’s litigation practice group. He has a wide-ranging trial practice, with a focus on complex, commercial and business litigation matters. Paterson has litigated many First Amendment cases and is listed in Best Lawyers in America for his Media/First Amendment, Antitrust and Appellate practices. He is currently vice president of the Maine Civil Liberties Union and is a contributing author to the Maine Media Law Guide: A Guide for News Reporters and Journalists and to the ABA State Antitrust Manual.

Before joining Bernstein Shur in 1981, Paterson served as Chief of the Environmental Division of the Maine Attorney General’s Office and Deputy Attorney General in Charge of Civil Litigation. He received his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1969 and his B.A. from Bowdoin College in 1966. A photo is attached.

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