Photo of Joe O’Connor provided by Jennifer Sullivan

PARIS — Expert litigator, walking case law encyclopedia, and animated story-teller; according to his colleagues, Oxford County Assistant District Attorney Joe O’Connor has seen it all  in his 30-year-career.

O’Connor is retiring at the end of May, and according to his boss, District Attorney Andrew Robinson, he’s been an invaluable resource to the office during his career.

“He was willing to help any time, which means a heck of a lot when you’re just starting out, and even more when you’re his boss and you’re relying on him. He’s keeping everybody afloat and making good decisions. In his role, all of that in addition to being a wonderful prosecutor and litigator. He’s tied to significant cases; it’s that willingness to help and still serving that basic function in such a wonderful way,” said Robinson.

According to Oxford County Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Winter, O’Connor helped her when she was first hired five years ago.

“We’ve all gone to Joe for obscure issues, and he’s been able to find it and answer them. He has absolutely been a mentor to me, a great friend, resource and colleague,” said Winter.

O’Connor started his career in the Oxford County office after serving as a medic in the military and working for a brief period as a journalist for the Sun Journal. He decided to go to law school, and interned at the Androscoggin County office before being hired at Oxford County.

Since then, according to Robinson, he’s tried high profile cases, and brought his wide berth of professional experience to his everyday work.

“When I came on board Joe was already an experienced prosecutor who would always make himself available to answer questions, and to talk about decisions and trial tactics. I always relied on Joe to have all the knowledge about case law and law court,” said Robinson.

Alexandra Winter describes O’Connor as a walking encyclopedia.

“He’s had quite a career, what astounds me about Joe is the amount of information he knows. You’ll go into his office and ask him one particular issue, and he knows that off the top of his head. Not only does he know the answer to the issue, but he knows the case law, and the year of the case law, and the precedent that came after it, the opposing case law. He is an incredible fountain of knowledge,” said Winter.

Robinson said O’Connor leaves behind an important legacy with the office.

“He’s done it all, seen it all, but remained a humble fellow who’s willing to help,” said Robinson.

 

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