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May 30, 2023 < BACK
Fifty Years’ Worth of Observation on the Local Area, the State, and the Nation with James Tierney 1:00 PM Curtis Memorial Library , Brunswick

James Tierney Jim will speak about a range of contemporary social issues including the polarization of our society, the pernicious impact of dark money in our electoral system and the increased importance of state government as opposed to the federal government. In doing so he will leave plenty of time for questions and use our own Town of Brunswick and the changes Jim has seen in it as a metaphor to analyze our current challenges and what they portend for our future. Jim Tierney is a first generation American and a graduate of the Brunswick public schools after which he attended the University of the Maine where he graduated with Highest Honors. After two years of high school teaching in Auburn and moving to Durham, Tierney graduated from Maine Law School during which time he was elected to the Legislature where he served for eight years. He soon opened the law firm initially titled McTeague, Higbee and Tierney where he and his partners represented labor unions and injured workers. From 1980 to 1990 he was our Attorney General. After leaving office Tierney developed a unique practice where he teaches and advises state attorneys general on a wide variety of ethical and structural issues. In the 1990s he was a high placed adviser to the attorneys general who sued the tobacco industry and in 2000 was Special Counsel to the Attorney General of Florida in the case of Bush v. Gore. Tierney began his teaching career at Columbia Law School and then moved on to both Yale and Harvard Law Schools where he now teaches along with Harpswell resident and former Maine Solicitor General Peter Brann. Tierney remains active in the counseling of attorneys general and during the summer of 2020 was in virtually daily contact with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison during the trials arising from the murder of George Floyd. Tierney is currently under contract with the newly elected Attorney General of Arizona. Tierney lives in Brunswick with his wife novelist Elizabeth Strout and remains in daily contact either in person or virtually with his closest friends from the Brunswick High School Class of 1965.

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