Laurie Gibson – Ave atque vale


A good friend, Laurie Gibson, just passed away.

Her service, or more accurately, a celebration of her life, will be Saturday at 2 pm at her alma mater, Bowdoin.  I'm not going to repeat here what the speakers will be saying, or try to describe her myriad traits and actions that made her such an amazing person.  Instead, since this is an appellate blog, let me focus on her contribution to the Maine bench and bar, from an appellate perspective.

After clerking for Justice Clifford, Laurie came to focus her practice on legal research and writing.  You may never have seen her name on a brief, or have seen her argue in court, but she was responsible for a lot of good briefs and arguments, mostly on the plaintiff side.  I think the only oral argument she actually did herself before the Maine SJC  was in the Husson College matter,, where she was representing the Board of Bar Examiners, on which she served for many years.  She was also the Reporter for the Maine civil rules of procedure. 

In short, Laurie did a lot of great and necessary work, on the Bar Examiners, as the civil rules reporter, researching, divining arguments, and in general contributing greatly to the quality of our law and how we practice in Maine.  You won't see her name on any plaques.  She wasn't in it for the glory.  We talk sometimes in a general way about unsung heroes.  Laurie was the poster child for this position.  She did these things because she loved the law, and because someone had to do it – keep the Board of Bar Examiners from making mistakes, accurately reporti the rules committee efforts, and help the attorneys she worked with avoid missteps.  She was tenacious about doing the right thing and making sure the job got done. 

I lost a great friend, but so did everyone in the Maine bar, even if they never knew her personally.