Frank M. Coffin

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Frank M. Coffin
Frank M. Coffin (Maine Congressman).jpg
Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
In office
February 1, 1989 – December 7, 2009
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
In office
Preceded byBailey Aldrich
Succeeded byLevin H. Campbell
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
In office
October 2, 1965 – February 1, 1989
Appointed byLyndon B. Johnson
Preceded byJohn Patrick Hartigan
Succeeded byConrad K. Cyr
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1957 – January 3, 1961
Preceded byCharles P. Nelson
Succeeded byStanley R. Tupper
Personal details
Frank Morey Coffin

(1919-07-11)July 11, 1919
Lewiston, Maine
DiedDecember 7, 2009(2009-12-07) (aged 90)
Portland, Maine
Political partyDemocratic
EducationBates College (AB)
Harvard Business School (IA)
Harvard Law School (LLB)

Frank Morey Coffin (July 11, 1919 – December 7, 2009) was an American politician from Maine and a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Education and career[edit]

Born on July 11, 1919, in Lewiston, Maine, Coffin received an Artium Baccalaureus degree in 1940 from Bates College. He completed graduate instruction in Industrial Administration in 1943 from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Laws in 1947 from Harvard Law School. He was a lieutenant in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946. He was a law clerk for Judge John David Clifford Jr. of the United States District Court for the District of Maine from 1947 to 1949. He was corporation counsel for Lewiston from 1949 to 1952. He was in private practice in Lewiston from 1946 to 1953. He was in private practice in Portland, Maine from 1953 to 1956. He was a United States representative from Maine from 1957 to 1961. He was the Managing Director of the Development Loan Fund in 1961. He was the Deputy Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development from 1961 to 1964. He was United States Representative to the development assistance committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development from 1964 to 1965.[1]

United States representative[edit]

Coffin served as chairman of the Maine Democratic state committee from 1954 to 1956 and was elected as a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives in 1956. He was elected to the 85th and 86th Congresses, serving from January 3, 1957 until January 3, 1961. He did not seek re-election in the 1960 election, choosing instead to embark on an unsuccessful campaign for Governor of Maine.[2]

Federal judicial service[edit]

Coffin was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 15, 1965, to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit vacated by Judge John Patrick Hartigan. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 1, 1965, and received his commission on October 2, 1965. He served as a board member of the Federal Judicial Center from 1971 to 1972. He was a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States from 1972 to 1983 He served as Chief Judge from 1972 to 1983. He assumed senior status on February 1, 1989. He took inactive senior status in the fall of 2006. His service terminated on December 7, 2009, due to his death.[1]


Coffin died on December 7, 2009 at Maine Medical Center in Portland from complications following surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.[3]


Coffin is the author of four books: Witness for AID (Houghton Mifflin 1964); The Ways of a Judge: Views from the Federal Appellate Bench (Houghton Mifflin 1980); A Lexicon of Oral Advocacy (National Institute of Trial Advocacy 1985); On Appeal: Courts, Lawyering and Judging (W.W. Norton 1994).[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Frank Morey Coffin at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ United States Congress. "Frank M. Coffin (id: C000589)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  3. ^ Sara Lepro and Tim Paradis, Maine federal appeals Judge Coffin dies at 90 Archived 2009-12-13 at the Wayback Machine Nashua Telegraph. Retrieved on December 8, 2009.


External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Governor of Maine
Succeeded by
Maynard Dolloff
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Succeeded by