Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 296


Daniel E. Wathen was born November 4, 1939 in Easton, Maine to Wilda Persis and Joseph Jackson Wathen. He graduated from Easton High School and Ricker College in Houlton, Maine (1962), University of Maine School of Law (1965), and the University of Virginia School of Law (1988). He was appointed to the Maine Superior Court by Governor James Longley and served in that capacity for four years. He was then appointed Justice to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court by Governor John McKernan. He was a Justice for ten years, then Chief Justice for ten more years. Justice Wathen retired from the bench in 2001, and joined Pierce-Atwood law firm in Portland, Maine.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: Easton, Maine community; Aroostook County after the Great Depression; childhood during World War II; law career; finalist for Federal District Court judgeship; legal needs of Maine’s poor; Muskie’s passion for particular issues; role of the Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court; the changing role of the judiciary in the State of Maine; drug courts; IOLTA; Muskie Civil Legal Services Fund; Frank Coffin; Buzz Fitzgerald; Dirigo Project; Independents in Maine; Elmer Violette; Justice David Roberts; King Harvey; and the Equal Justice Project.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.