Welcome to the website of the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

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  • To promote the study and research in the field of criminal defense law and related areas.
  • To disseminate and advance by lecture, seminars and publications the knowledge of the law relating to criminal defense practice.
  • To promote the proper administration of justice.
  • To foster, maintain and encourage the integrity, independence and expertise of the defense lawyer in criminal cases.
  • To foster periodic meetings of defense lawyers and to provide a forum for the exchange of information regarding the administration of criminal justice, and thereby:
  • To protect individual rights and improve the criminal law, its practices and procedures.

The Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers was founded in in 1992. Stephen Schwartz, the first president, and Lenny Sharon the second president were the driving forces behind creation of the organization. Maine has no public defender and all defense of those charged with crimes, be they indigent or not, falls on the shoulders of a small group of private defense lawyers. Steve and Lenny were passionate in their desire to bring the defense bar together through an organization dedicated to the needs of criminal defense lawyers and their clients.

state_emblemToday, MACDL counts among its members almost all of the criminal defense lawyers in Maine.  We meet as a group at an annual legal seminar held the first Friday in June. We publish a quarterly newsletter, the Maine Defender, hold training sessions and meetings around the state assisting our members through a sharing of ideas and resources.  Please browse through our site for more information about the association.

For membership information, call our Executive Director Jennifer Lechner, 207-865-1457 or click here to create an account.

Download the MACDL brochure.


Each year the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys presents two awards at its annual meeting in June.

President's Award - This award will be given each year to the one criminal defense attorney who best exemplifies the goals and values of the Association and the legal profession.
Past recipients: Steve Schwartz, Neale Duffett, David Beneman, Walt McKee, Tim Zerillo,  Ed Folsom and Virginia Villa, and Matthew B. Nichols.

Unsung Hero Award - This award will be given each year to the one criminal defense attorney who best exemplifies the highest level of commitment, passion and tireless pursuit of justice in the representation of indigent defendants.
Past recipients: Sherry Tash, Rob Ruffner, Amy Fairfield, Jeremy Pratt, Robert A. Levine,  Lisa Whittier, Joe Mekonis, and Ned Chester.

To submit a nomination, please send a letter outlining the candidate's qualifications based on the criteria above. Nominations should be submitted to:

Jennifer Lechner
Executive Director
P.O. Box 434
Freeport, ME 04032