John Sedgewick, a longtime lawyer and managing director at the Berman & Simmons law firm, retired on July 3.
Sedgewick played a key role in transforming Berman & Simmons from a small general practice trial firm into the leading personal injury and medical malpractice firm in Maine. Along with law partners including Jack Simmons, Steven Silin, and Julian Sweet, Sedgewick is credited with developing the supportive environment and collaborative approach to lawyering that have become hallmarks of Berman & Simmons.
A graduate of Tufts University and the University of Maine School of Law, Sedgewick joined Berman & Simmons in 1979. He built a successful practice in the areas of personal injury, products liability, and workplace injury. Sedgewick became known statewide for his expertise in automobile accident reconstruction, product design and defect, construction site safety, and other complex cases. He has been recognized as a top lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell, SuperLawyers, Best Lawyers in America, and other publications.
Sedgewick served as the firm’s managing director from 1988 until 2014. In that role, he oversaw business strategy, hiring, marketing and other key aspects of operations for Berman & Simmons. The growing firm celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, and now employs 16 attorneys and more than 40 staff members in offices in Lewiston, Portland, and Bangor.
“My career at Berman & Simmons was rewarding on so many levels. Professionally, I’m proud to have been able to help individuals and families through some of the most difficult times in their lives,” Sedgewick said. “It was an honor to stand up for people who had been wronged, and who needed an advocate. Personally, I had the privilege of working alongside truly excellent lawyers and staff members, who were as kind as they were talented. I will miss them all.”
In honor of Sedgewick, Berman & Simmons has made a donation to the Tree Street Youth Center in Lewiston. The nonprofit organization supports the youth of Lewiston-Auburn through academics, the arts and athletics.
“John’s contributions are beyond measure. He mentored attorneys, connected with our staff, provided strategic vision, and managed major transitions, all while running a successful practice of his own,” said Craig Bramley, who assumed Sedgewick’s role as managing director. “Without John’s wisdom, guidance, and steady leadership, the firm would not be where it is today.”