Pathways to the Bench: U.S. District Court Judge George Z. Singal

Pathways to the Bench: U.S. District Court Judge George Z. Singal

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The following program was produced by the United States Courts. It’s an unusual country where every door is open and all you have to do is get an education and work hard. We’re here today to hear from Council on the pending motion for summary judgment. I grew up in a home where the principle was that you didn’t accept your fate. In World War II, Germany invaded the eastern part of Poland and rounded up all the Jews. Rumors began that the Germans were going to round up everyone there and shoot them. One evening my mother heard that the roundup would be the next day. She told her family that they should leave many did, many didn’t. I lost almost all of my aunts and uncles, both sets of grandparents, and all members of my family who were still there. While still in Poland my father died. My mother and my sister decided they would have to go west while my mother was still pregnant with me. I was born in late 1945. We were able to get distant relatives to sponsor us. We ended up in Bangor, Maine. None of us knew a word of English. We had nothing. We literally came with with nothing from the refugee camp and started our new life. Education really was the key to the doors. My mother she was amazed that in this country you could go as far as you wanted free for the most part. Public schools took you right through high school and then I went on to state university and ended up with a scholarship to Harvard Law School. After I finished law school I came back to Bangor, Maine and practiced law in a small law firm for 30 years, and then I got a call from one of our congressmen who I really didn’t know and asked if I was interested in becoming a federal judge. All rise. The District or the United States is now in session. Your Honorable George Z. Singal presiding… In Portland where I preside now, we have a large immigrant community and often I can look at the new citizens, and I can tell them just like you I was a refugee here too, and I hold up my citizenship paper, and I show them that just as they that day would receive their citizenship certificate I also did. And all of a sudden I think they really understand what kind of opportunity they have in the land where they are.

2 thoughts on “Pathways to the Bench: U.S. District Court Judge George Z. Singal

  • j Horton Post author

    I read most everything about you in Internet, as you were the ONE who judged me, sentenced me. I realize you were refugee in this coutry? As I am fighting for my stay in here for the sake of my children! Let me stand in-front of you and justify myself as I should, I do not feel that my actions were right, I only wish to move on and not let innocent people to suffer any more again!

  • Golda Michelson Post author

    Hi George, 
    That was just so great to learn that about you!! You must be an incredible judge!
    Golda Michelson

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