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Jonathan Handelman

I specialize in Criminal Defense; it is the only type of law I practice.

I have been practicing law since 2005. In August 2013 after years of renting office space, I purchased a building and moved my office to 16 Union Street in Brunswick. 

I represent people charged with crimes in Maine state courts in a number of coastal counties. My practice regularly brings me to Androscoggin, Cumberland, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, and York counties. My clients typically have cases in Superior Court and District Court. The people I help range from juveniles to adults. Everyone deserves a vigorous defense, every case is important, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect. 

I do not judge my clients, I defend them.

After more than a decade teaching English (at a high school in Boston, at Texas A&M University where I earned a PhD in English Literature, then at the University of New England in Biddeford) I went back to school for my law degree. 

When I was a law student in Portland I interned at the United States Attorney’s office researching white collar crime, Federal firearms violations, and Federal drug crimes for the Federal prosecutors. I was also on the Law School trial team. This experience showed me that the excitement and challenge of courtroom work, trial work, criminal defense work was right for me. Never have I regretted my decision to practice law – it is a privilege to stand up for the people who come to me for help.

So when I graduated from the University of Maine School of Law in 2005, I immediately opened my own law office. At first I ran a general practice, but I quickly realized my true interest and abilities were in criminal defense. That is the only type of law I practice now, and this specialization lets me focus all my professional energies on constant improvement of my skills.

Every spring I teach a class at University of Maine School of Law, and not just so I can get someone to call me “Professor.” Teaching at the law school keeps my skills fresh in a way different from courtroom practice. Teaching law students gives me a perspective and a group of critics who sharpen my skills in ways not available to most courtroom lawyers. My students challenge me to constantly upgrade and reexamine my skills and techniques. 

This past spring, I converted my office to a digital format. All my files are scanned and accessible on a tablet I bring with me to court. By streamlining my office management I can spend more time working for my clients and less time shuffling papers. Also, the benefits of speaking to a jury without the burden and mess of papers spilling from a file is a clear example of the care I put into each case and client.

When not in court, much of my time is spent enjoying the beauty of coastal Maine. I spend as much time as I can on the water, in sailboats. In the winter, I hibernate and dream of summer.