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In Memoriam Alexander Avery MacNichol

Published on July 6th, 2013

Alexander Avery MacNichol
1935 -2013

Alexander (“Al”) MacNichol loved the law.  Born in 1935 in Eastport, Maine, his life was changed by World War II.  His father entered the service, rising to the rank of Colonel. He was in charge of the repair shop for the entire port of New York and was also stationed in Santa Monica, California.  Following the war, he was posted to Hamburg, Germany where he served as Chief of the Port until 1949.

Living with his family in Germany, Al developed a love for classical music and German opera.  After the family returned to the United States, Al entered the military as soon as he was out of high school, volunteering to be a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division.  After a term in the service he decided not to follow a military career but retained a life long love of firearms, becoming an avid sport shooter and reloader for the rest of his life.

He then attended St. Francis College in Biddeford, Maine (since better known as the University of New England).  During his studies he met his future bride, Loreen Whitehouse, at the nearby St. Joseph’s College. They married in 1963. 

After graduation from St. Francis, Al attended the University Of Maine School of Law, graduating in the class of 1964.  He was one of the first attorneys hired to form Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Inc. of Maine, the Maine legal assistance program for people who could not afford to hire an attorney.  He was later recruited to work in the County Attorney’s office in Portland as an assistant prosecutor.  After a stint as a prosecutor, he returned to private practice. 

He formed the law firm of Nisbet & MacNichol in South Portland (later Nisbet, MacNichol & Ludwig).  He worked as a trial lawyer enjoying the many challenges of criminal trial work, including handling several high profile murder cases. He also served on the governor’s Pardons and Commutations Board.  In 1985 he was appointed as a District Court Judge by Governor Brennan.  After a twelve year career on the bench he retired, returning once more to private practice.

With Francis Jackson, who had been his associate at Nisbet, MacNichol & Ludwig, he formed the firm of Jackson & MacNichol. There he continue to practice criminal trial work with some civil and bankruptcy work.  Because of his extensive knowledge of firearms, he was hired in several criminal cases not as an attorney but as a firearms expert.  He testified in several cases. After deciding to end his active trial practice at 72, he returned to Pine Tree Legal Assistance as a part time volunteer, helping those who were faced with evictions or pursued by creditors.

 Throughout his professional life he was known for his dry sense of humor and his willingness to help the underdog, often taking on seemingly hopeless cases, sometimes with spectacular results.  He will be sorely missed.


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