Robert Checkoway


State of Maine

Robert Checkoway (B.A. Brown Univ., 1973; J.D. cum laude Univ. of Maine School of Law, 1976) has been a licensed Maine attorney for over 40 years, admitted to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. He retired from the US Department of Justice's Office of US Trustee, and in 2013 was one of a group of lawyers who volunteered to defend dozens of tribal citizens charged with illegal harvesting of elvers after a dispute over state licensing. He successfully petitioned the Governor's Board on Executive Clemency and Governor Mills for a pardon in 2020 setting aside posthumously the 1968 cannabis conviction of Donald Gellers, the lawyer who first challenged the State of Maine's land dealings with the Wabanaki.  In 2021 he represented the Commission pro bono as an amicus in proceedings before the full U.S. Court of Appeals en banc rehearing in Penobscot Nation v. Frey, and similarly participated in the 2022 petition for certiorari to the US Supreme Court. As a concerned citizen he has shown an active interest in the work of MITSC for many years.