Justin Andrus was born and grew up in New Jersey, then attended high school in New Hampshire. He attended and graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine in 1997. In 2002, Justin graduated from the University of Maine's School of Law in Portland, Maine. While in law school, Justin participated in the Moot Court program in which he learned the art of preparing and presenting cases on appeal for consideration by the Supreme Court. He received the prize for best oral advocate in an international moot court competition in the fall of 2001. He also served as a student attorney at the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic in 2001 and 2002. As a member of the clinic, Justin represented low income clients as the attorney of record under the tutelage of experienced clinical practitioners. This program serves much the same function as physician's residency, permitting the student attorney to practice law in an environment in which the student gains experience while providing high quality legal services to people who would not otherwise have access to justice.
After graduating from the School of Law in the Spring of 2002, Justin was licensed to practice in the Courts of the State of Maine, and then in the Federal Courts for the State of Maine including the Bankruptcy Court. He is also licensed to practice before the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Justin worked for several years at a small firm in Brunswick, Maine, and then opened a private practice which he operated successfully until December, 2011. Beginning in December, 2011, Justin joined Shankman & Associates from our Topsham, Maine office. By joining Shankman & Associates, Justin has been able to continue his practice providing top shelf legal services to clients in contested civil and criminal actions in the State and Federal Courts without the distraction of administering his own firm.
Justin's practice focuses on resolving disputed matters in both civil and criminal actions, as well as providing services for clients whose cases are on appeal. Justin provides expertise in civil matters, including personal and business cases, for both Plaintiffs and Defendants; in Family Matters for both married and unmarried parties, including exceptional experience with nontraditional families such as multigenerational family issues and same sex partner disputes; and, criminal matters from drunk driving to manslaughter representation. Justin is experienced and comfortable at both the trial level and with appeals from his cases and referral appeals from other lawyers. Justin has participated in several high profile appellate cases that have become landmarks in Maine's legal framework including: Ballard v. Wagner, which involved defamation against a Naval officer; Davis v. Anderson, in which the Maine Supreme Court announced new restrictions on the ability of third-parties to interfere with a parent's rights; and State v. Bilynsky, which came before the Maine Supreme Court for argument 3 times.
Justin is the vice-president of the Bath Brunswick Bar Association and is a member of the governing committee, and previously chairman of, the Maine Bar Association's Lawyer Referral and Information Service. He is married and lives on the Mid Coast. When he's not working, Justin can be found racing cars and sailboats, and taking his dog to the beach with his wife.