William C. Knowles

William C. Knowles: Attorney with Verrill Dana LLP
  • Partner at Verrill Dana LLP (132 Attorneys)
  • One Portland Square, P.O. Box 586, Portland, ME 04112-0586
    View William C. Knowles's office location
  • Bill Knowles has maintained a general civil trial practice, with an emphasis on civil rights, commercial, personal injury, probate, and real estate litigation, for 29 years. Bill has tried over 50 cases, representing both plaintiffs and defendants, in state and federal courts, where his success rate is over 75% before Maine juries. Bill is admitted to practice in the states of Idaho and Maine, and is admitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Biography

Bill Knowles has maintained a general civil trial practice, with an emphasis on personal injury, probate and real estate litigation, for 30 years. Bill has tried over 50 cases, representing both plaintiffs and defendants, in state and federal courts, where his success rate is over 75% before Maine juries. He is admitted to practice in the states of Idaho and Maine, and is admitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Bill is Co-Chair of the Probate Litigation Group and Vice Chair of the Litigation Department.

Bill has published articles in the Maine Bar Journal and has lectured extensively, including local seminars on civil litigation, and lectures at the University of Maine School of Law, the People's University of China, and the Georgetown Law Center. Bill received the 1999 Justice Louis Scolnik Award, presented by the Maine Civil Liberties Union and the 2002 Annual Award presented by the Disability Rights Center. Bill holds an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and has been distinguished by his peers as a New England Super Lawyer in the area of civil litigation. He is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Commercial Litigation, Land Use & Zoning and Litigation - Trusts & Estates.

Bill serves as Verrill Dana's General Counsel and Loss Prevention Partner. As such, he advises the firm and its members on legal ethics and professionalism, supervises the firm's educational programs on those subjects, and counsels the firm on loss prevention matters.

View a selection of matters handled by William Knowles.

Clerkships

•Chief Judge Ray McNichols, U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho

Honors

Member, American Board of Trial Advocates
AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Recognized by Best Lawyers as the 2015 Portland, Maine Litigation - Land
Use and Zoning Lawyer of the Year
Recognized by Best Lawyers as the 2013 Portland, Maine Litigation - Trusts &
Estates Lawyer of the Year
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America under Commercial Litigation, Litigation -
Land Use and Zoning, Litigation - Trusts and Estates, Personal Injury
Litigation - Defendants
Selected by peers for inclusion in New England Super Lawyers under
General Litigation, Personal Injury Plaintiff: General, Estate & Trust Litigation
Recipient of the Maine Civil Liberties Union Justice Louis Scolnik Award (1999)
Recipient of the Disability Rights Center's Annual Award (2002)

Public Service

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Pine Tree Legal Assistance
Former Board Member and Legal Director, Maine Civil Liberties Union
Board of Directors, Maine Justice Action Group
Board of Governors, Maine Trial Lawyers Association (past)

Highlights

AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Experience

Class Action: Federal-State Medicaid Program

Rancourt, et al. v. Concannon, et al., 175 F. Supp. 2d 60 (1st Cir. 2000). Successfully brought class action on behalf of developmentally disabled individuals who were eligible for various services and treatment under Maine’s Joint Federal-State Medicaid Program, alleging that rather than being provided treatment and services in a timely fashion, eligible individuals have been placed on long waiting lists for those needed services.

Colonial Ordinance Interpretation

Bell v. Town of Wells, 557 A.2d 168 (1989). Represented Town of Wells in lawsuit interpreting the Colonial Ordinance and defining rights of public over intertidal zone of Moody Beach for recreational purposes.

Constitutional Challenge: Ballots

League of Women Voters v. Gwadowsky, 966 F. Supp. 52 (D. Me. 1997). Represented Plaintiffs in successful constitutional challenges to Maine legislation requiring that a candidate’s position on term limits appear on the ballot beside the candidate’s name.

Constitutional Challenge: Campaign Finance

Richard E. Kennedy v. William Gardner, et al., No. C-96-574B, (D. N.H. 1998). Represented Plaintiff in a successful constitutional challenge to New Hampshire election laws on campaign financing.

EEOC: Discrimination

EEOC v. Land Air Express of New England, Docket No. CV-02-036-B-S (D.Me. 2002). Successfully represented Plaintiff-Intervenor in an action brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ( EEOC ) under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. 12111, et. seq., as well as Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, pursuant to a charge of discrimination she filed against the Defendants with the EEOC.

Property Boundary Dispute

Landowners mired in a two decade long contest with their neighbors over several acres of land on the Presumpscot River turned to Verrill Dana to resolve the dispute.

Stalking

Stinson v. Slaughter, No. CV-93-998 (Me. Super. Ct., Cumb. Cty. 1993). Represented Plaintiff in Maine's first stalking case. Jury awarded Plaintiff $550,000 in damages.

News

July 27, 2017

Lawyer Up: Check Out These Excellent Legal Brewing Podcasts from the Attorneys at Verrill Dana

Media Mentions

Tawny L. Alvarez, Charles P. Bacall, Douglas F. Britton, Debra R. Cardinali, James I. Cohen, Kelly A. Donahue, Jonathan M. Dunitz, James G. Goggin, William C. Knowles, Jay Nutting, Kevin J. O'Connell, Michael V. Saxl

July 18, 2017

Tips on Tap for Breweries on the Journey from Passion to Profit

Press Releases

Tawny L. Alvarez, Charles P. Bacall, Douglas F. Britton, Kelly A. Donahue, Jonathan M. Dunitz, Mark K. Googins, William C. Knowles

September 21, 2015

As Craft Beer Industry Grows, Other Firms Expand With It

Media Mentions

Charles P. Bacall, William C. Knowles

August 21, 2014

Verrill Dana Attorneys in Nine Practice Areas Named “Lawyers of the Year”

Press Releases

Eric D. Altholz, Lisa S. Boehm, Juliet T. Browne, Roger A. Clement, Jr., Kurt E. Klebe, William C. Knowles, David E. Warren, Karen Frink Wolf

August 19, 2013

William Knowles Elected as Member of American Board of Trial Advocates

Press Releases

William C. Knowles

September 11, 2012

Verrill Dana Attorneys Earn Lawyer of the Year Status in Seven Areas

Press Releases

Christopher J.W. Coggeshall, Gregory S. Fryer, Mark K. Googins, William C. Knowles, Suzanne E. Meeker, Michael V. Saxl

September 23, 2011

Bill Knowles Elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Inc.

Press Releases

William C. Knowles

May 12, 2009

Verrill Dana Introduces Probate Litigation Group

Press Releases

William C. Knowles, Jacqueline W. Rider, Kurt E. Klebe

Publications

May 31, 2017

PODCAST - Lawyers on Tap: Tap Tips on Licensing

Published Works

William Knowles and Tawny Alvarez

May 16, 2012

Pine Tree at 45: Making Justice Happen One Client at a Time

Published Works

William Knowles

November, 1997

Summary Judgment Practice Since Harlow v. Fitzgerald

Published Works

William Knowles

March, 1986

Some Thoughts on Recent Developments in 1983 Jurisprudence

Published Works

William Knowles

Winter, 1982

Landowners Liability Toward Recreational Users: A Critical Comment

Published Works

William Knowles

Maine Bar Foundation
Member, American Board of Trial Advocates

Areas of Practice (5)

  • Litigation & Trial
  • Probate Litigation
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Breweries
  • Distilleries & Wineries

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
(207) 253-4604  Phone
(207) 253-4605  Fax
www.verrilldana.com/wknowles
University Attended:
Indiana University, B.A., 1975
Law School Attended:
University of Warwick, LL.B., with honors, 1978; University of Idaho, J.D., 1980
Year of First admission:
1981
Admission:
1994, U.S. Supreme Court; 1991, U.S. Court of Appeals (First Circuit); 1981, Idaho; 1982, Maine
Memberships:

Memberships

Maine State Bar Association
Past Member, Gignoux Inn of Courts
Maine Trial Lawyers Association
fellow, Maine Justice Foundation
Member, American Board of Trial Advocates

ISLN:
905808695

Peer Reviews

  • 5.0/5.0
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Client Reviews

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