D. Brock Hornby

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David Brock Hornby
D. Brock Hornby.jpg
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maine
Assumed office
May 1, 2010
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maine
In office
Preceded byGene Carter
Succeeded byGeorge Z. Singal
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maine
In office
April 30, 1990 – May 1, 2010
Appointed byGeorge H. W. Bush
Preceded byConrad K. Cyr
Succeeded byNancy Torresen
Personal details
David Brock Hornby

(1944-04-21) April 21, 1944 (age 74)
Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
EducationUniversity of Western Ontario (B.A.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)

David Brock Hornby (born April 21, 1944) is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maine.

Early life and education[edit]

Hornby was born in 1944 in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, and was raised there and in London, Ontario. Hornby received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1965. From 1965-66, he was enrolled in the Near Eastern Languages and Literatures department of the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He received a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School cum laude in 1969 and served as the Supreme Court Note and Developments Editor of the Harvard Law Review.[1][2][3][4]

Professional career and activities before judicial service[edit]

Following law school, Hornby was a law clerk for Judge John Minor Wisdom of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans (1969–70).[1][2][3][5]

Hornby taught law at the University of Virginia School of Law (1970-1974), becoming an Associate Professor and receiving tenure in 1973. He became a naturalized United States citizen in Abingdon Virginia.[2][5]

Hornby engaged in the private practice of law at Perkins, Thompson, Hinckley & Keddy in Portland, Maine (1974–82; partner from 1975). He held various officer and board positions including that of President (1977–79) at the Portland Society of Art (1975–84), which then operated both the Portland Museum of Art and the Portland School of Art (now Maine College of Art) during a period when the School attained national accreditation and the Museum embarked on its ambitious expansion program engaging Henry M. Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners to design the new Museum building with the support of Charles Shipman Payson. Hornby served as trustee and member of various committees (including the Executive Committee) of Westbrook College (1979–85, 1986–90) (now part of University of New England). He served on the board of the Chamber of Commerce of the Greater Portland Region (1979–82). He also served on the boards of various other charitable and civic endeavors.[5][6]

Judicial service[edit]

Hornby was the first full-time United States Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maine (1982-1988).[1][3][5] He was succeeded by Magistrate Judge David M. Cohen.

In 1988, Maine Governor John A. McKernan appointed Hornby an Associate Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to fill a seat vacated by Justice David Nichols. Hornby served there until 1990 and was succeeded by Justice Morton A. Brody.[7]

President George H.W. Bush appointed Hornby a United States District Judge in the District of Maine in 1990 to fill a seat made vacant by the appointment of Conrad Cyr to the First Circuit. Hornby was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 27, 1990. He assumed senior status on May 1, 2010. Hornby was succeeded in the position by Nancy Torresen. Hornby served as chief judge of the court from 1996 to 2003.

Awards for judicial service[edit]

In 2009, Hornby received the 27th Annual Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award. The Devitt Award is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a federal judge.[2][5][8][9][10]

In 2014, Hornby received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree and the Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award from Colby College, given to a judge "who embodies the qualities of integrity, compassion, humanity, and judicial craftsmanship exhibited by Judge Brody."[5][11][12][13] In April 2014, the Maine Legislature passed a resolution recognizing Hornby's achievement.[14]

Other activities during judicial service[edit]

Writing and speaking

As a judge, apart from judicial opinions, Hornby has focused his writing on less formal genres.[3][5] He is a frequent contributor to the Green Bag, an "entertaining journal of law" dedicated to good legal writing.[15] Hornby's writing has also appeared in publications such as Judicature, The ALI Reporter, the Maine Bar Journal, The Federal Lawyer, The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, In Camera, FCCA Journal, Judges' Journal, Litigation, and FJC Directions.[5] While the federal judiciary was seeking salary restoration, Hornby also wrote and spoke on that topic.[16][17]

The Green Bag has published "Beatitudes and Jeremiads" as well as several chapters of Hornby's "Fables in Law: Legal Lessons from Field, Forest, and Glen," Aesopian legal fables for lawyers, judges, and law professors. Judicature has published three "imagined conversations" among fictitious former law school classmates now well along in their careers, on the topics of judicial opinion writing, the decline in federal civil trials, and public attention to federal judges. Hornby uses his characters, including the federal trial lawyer Talagud Storey and the general counsel Manny G. Risk, to canvas the major issues surrounding these topics. Hornby has also written about criminal sentencing and summary judgment.

Hornby has taught other judges in the United States and in foreign countries.[3][18] He has spoken publicly at commencements and ceremonies honoring other judges and lawyers.[19][20][21][22] For many years he updated pattern jury instructions for district courts within the First Circuit Court of Appeals (now updated by Judge Torresen)[3][23][24] and a case-based manual for opening statements and closing arguments in jury trials.[25]

Committees and boards

Hornby has served on numerous committees and boards.[3][5] When Hornby became a United States District Judge, Chief Justice Rehnquist appointed him to the Judicial Conference's Committee on Court Administration and Case Management (CACM) (1990-2000; chair 1997-2000) and as chair of the FJC's Committee on District Judge Education (1995–98). Hornby served on the Judicial Conference itself from 2000-03. The Chief Justice appointed him to the Executive Committee (2002–03), the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act Study Committee (2004–06), and as chair of the Committee on the Judicial Branch (2005-2012). In 2007, Chief Justice Roberts appointed Hornby chair of an ad hoc committee to secure federal judge salary restoration.[16][17] Hornby's committee duties have included testifying before Congress.[26]

Judge Hornby was elected to the Council of the American Law Institute in 1996 (ALI member since 1979), and took emeritus status in 2017. He was an Adviser on the Restatement of the Law (Third), Restitution and Unjust Enrichment and Chair of the Awards Committee.[27]

Hornby was a Member of the National Academies' Standing Committee on Science, Technology, and Law (2006–13).[5]

Selected publications[edit]

"Over Ruled," vol. 21, no. 1 Green Bag 2d 17 (Autumn 2017).[28]

"Fables in Law," many chapters, vols 17-20, Green Bag 2d, often reprinted in Maine Bar Journal and ALI Reporter.

"Chief Justices of the United States in Maine," vol. 19, no. 3 Green Bag 2d 239 (Spring 2016).

"Beatitudes and Jeremiads," vol. 17, no. 2 Green Bag 2d 483 (Autumn 2014).

"Speaking in Sentences," vol. 14, no. 2 Green Bag 2d 147 (Winter 2011).

"Summary Judgment Without Illusions," vol. 13, no. 3 Green Bag 2d 273 (Spring 2010).

"The Business of the U.S. District Court," vol. 10, no. 4 Green Bag 2d 453 (Summer 2007).

"Federal Judges and Opinion Writing," vol. 101, no. 3 Judicature 40 (Autumn 2017).

"Federal Judges and Public Attention," vol. 100, no. 3 Judicature 64 (Autumn 2016).

"The Decline in Federal Civil Trials," vol. 100, no. 1 Judicature 37 (Spring 2016).

"Stepping Down," vol. 8, no. 2 The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process 265 (Fall 2006).

"How Jurors See Us," vol. 14, no. 3 Maine Bar Journal 174 (July 1999).

"Higher Education Admission Law Service" (Educational Testing Service, 1973-1982) (loose-leaf treatise updated annually).

"Delegating Authority to the Community of Scholars," 1975 Duke Law Journal 279 (1975).

"Constitutional Limitations on Admissions Procedures and Standards" (with Ernest Gellhorn) 60 Virginia Law Review 975 (1974).


Hornby is married to Helaine Cora (Mandel) Hornby, a management consultant in human services. They have two children and five grandchildren.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Hornby, David Brock - Federal Judicial Center". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Reiss, Christina. "Learning from the Best, the Brightest, and the Kindest: An Interview with the Honorable D. Brock Hornby" (PDF). 25 Maine Bar Journal 197 (2011). Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Portrait Unveiling Ceremony for Judge D. Brock Hornby". United States District Court, District of Maine. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Court History, District of Maine". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Almanac of the Federal Judiciary. Westlaw: 2018 WL 246294. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  6. ^ Coffin, Frank (June 11, 1990). "Remarks at the Induction of United States District Judge D. Brock Hornby" (PDF). Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court of the State of Maine, 1820 to 2009". Cleaves Law Library. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Dwight D. Opperman Foundation - The Devitt Award". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  9. ^ Harrison, Judy (September 14, 2009). "Hornby gets top honor in federal judiciary". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Maine Jurist Receives Devitt Award". The Third Branch: Newsletter of the Federal Courts. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award: D. Brock Hornby". Colby College. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  12. ^ "Goldfarb Award Past Recipients. 2014: D. Brock Hornby". Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  13. ^ "The Honorable D. Brock Hornby Receives 2014 Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award" (PDF). Goldfarb Magazine: 9. 2013–2014. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Senate Legislative Record, One Hundred and Twenty-Sixth Legislature" (PDF). Maine State Legislature. pp. 69–70.
  15. ^ "Green Bag literature". Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  16. ^ a b Hornby, D. Brock (September 1, 2007). "Judicial Compensation and the Quality of the Judiciary". Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  17. ^ a b Hornby, D. Brock (October 2009). "Judicial Salaries: An Urgent Need Unmet" (PDF). The Federal Lawyer. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Maine Life Fellow D. Brock Hornby". American Bar Foundation. June 22, 2009.
  19. ^ "U.S. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby to Speak at Maine Law's Commencement". University of Southern Maine. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  20. ^ "Judge Hornby Asks Maine Law Graduates to Value and Preserve Constitutional Democracy". University of Southern Maine. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Remarks at Ceremony for the Honorable Sandra Day O'Connor By the Honorable D. Brock Hornby, Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maine and ALI Council member". Proceedings of ALI Annual Meetings: 83rd Annual Meeting, Proceedings 2006. The American Law Institute: 248. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  22. ^ "Presentation by Judge D. Brock Hornby of John Minor Wisdom Award to Guy Miller Struve, Esquire, Life Member of the American Law Institute". Proceedings of ALI Annual Meetings: 88th Annual Meeting, Proceedings 2011. The American Law Institute: 58. May 16, 2011.
  23. ^ "Portrait Unveiling Ceremony for Judge D. Brock Hornby". American Law Institute. August 31, 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  24. ^ "District of Maine 2017 Revisions to Pattern Criminal Jury Instructions for the District Courts of the First Circuit, Preface to the 1998 Edition" (PDF). Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  25. ^ Hornby, Brock (June 15, 2017). "Summary of First Circuit Authority and Local Rules Concerning Opening Statements and Closing Arguments" (PDF). Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  26. ^ "Statement of Judge D. Brock Hornby on Behalf of the Judicial Conference of the United States Before the Committee on the Judiciary, Hearing on Judicial Security and Independence" (PDF). United States Senate.
  27. ^ "ALI Members - The Hon. D. Brock Hornby". The American Law Institute. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  28. ^ "Over Ruled" (PDF). The Green Bag. Retrieved 2018-06-24.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Conrad K. Cyr
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maine
Succeeded by
Nancy Torresen
Preceded by
Gene Carter
Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maine
Succeeded by
George Z. Singal