Maine Justice Foundation Welcomes Four New Board Members; Announces 2019 president and officers

30 January 2019 , Posted in: Press Release

The Board of the Maine Justice Foundation has elected Bill Harwood of Verrill Dana as President and elected four new Directors: Grady Burns, Jerroll Crouter, Thaddeus Day and Gerald F. Petruccelli.

The Foundation, formerly the Maine Bar Foundation, is the state’s leading funder of civil legal aid for poor and vulnerable Mainers.


Bill Harwood of Verrill Dana, LLP begins a two-year term as the President of the Board.

“We are extremely fortunate to have the service of a President with Bill’s profound commitment and decades of experience,” said Diana Scully, Executive Director of the Foundation. “He knows first-hand, from his experience as a pro bono advocate, how important legal aid can be in the life of a Maine family. He also enormous knowledge of the entire landscape of legal aid.”

A graduate of Harvard University (B.A., 1974) and Fordham University School of Law (J.D., 1978), Bill has been a partner at Verrill Dana since 1984. He has devoted most of his 38-year career to representing public utilities before state and federal regulatory agencies. He has represented electric, gas, water and telecommunications companies in more than 50 major cases before the Maine Public Utilities Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Bill has served as a pro bono attorney in civil cases for hundreds of low-income Mainers. He received the 1991 “Outstanding Victim Advocacy Award” from Family Crisis Services for his pro bono representation of victims of domestic violence; the 1994 “Howard H. Dana, Jr Award” from the Maine Justice Foundation; and, in 1999, the Pro Bono Publico Award from the American Bar Association.

From 1986 – 1993, Bill served on the Board of the Maine Justice Foundation (then known as the Maine Bar Foundation). He played a key role, as President, in implementing recommendations from Senator Muskie’s Maine Commission on Legal Needs. Bill helped found the Muskie Fund for Legal Services, Justice Action Group and Frank M. Coffin Family Law Fellowships.

Scully also said, “We owe a great deal of thanks to our outgoing President Bill Robitzek, who carried out, with distinction, double-duty as co-chair of a very successful Campaign for Justice in 2018 and served as our President for two years.”


Jerroll Crouter, Drummond Woodsum

Jerry Crouter has 30 years of experience as a civil trial attorney in both federal and state courts, including employment, commercial and construction litigation. He has extensive experience as a mediator and arbitrator. He regularly appears on behalf of public utilities and interested parties in water, electric, and gas proceedings before the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Jerry concentrates his trial practice on commercial, employment and construction cases.

Listed in Best Lawyers in America in the categories of Commercial Litigation, Construction Litigation, Labor and Employment Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Arbitration and Mediation, Jerry has also been named by Best Lawyers as Maine’s 2010 “Lawyer of the Year” in the category of Alternative Dispute Resolution, the first year the award was given. In addition, He has served as an adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Maine School of Law.

Jerry received his JD from George Washington School of Law.


Gerald F. Petruccelli, Petruccelli, Martin & Haddow, LLP

Gerry has decades of experience in civil trials and appeals in state and federal courts across Maine, including work in the fields of business litigation, insurance law, product liability, administrative law, environmental law, intellectual property, professional liability, contract and commercial law, and corporate law and business organization. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.

He has taught for many years at the University of Maine School Of Law. He is an Honorary Life Director and Past President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine. In 2014, he received the National Service to Youth Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. He is past Chair of the Campaign for Justice and past Treasurer and President of the Maine Equal Justice Partners Board of Directors.

Gerry received his JD from Boston College School of Law.


Grady Burns, University of Maine School of Law

Grady has been elected as the next law student member of the Maine Justice Foundation Board of Directors. Grady is a 2013 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington, receiving a BA in history and a BA in Education. He has worked as a Legal Assistant at Tarbell and Brodich (Auburn) and as a Summer Legal Clerk at Gosselin and Dubord (Lewiston.) In Auburn, Grady has served as a City Councilor (At-Large) and as Chair of the Economic & Community Development Committee, and was nominated for Uplift L-A’s 2017 “40 under 40”. He is a ’18-’19 Teaching Fellow (Civil Procedure & Constitutional Law) and has been accepted to the Maine Law Review.


Thaddeus Day, Law Offices of Thaddeus V. Day, PLLC

Thaddeus graduated from Clarkson University with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Distribution, Pennsylvania State University with a Master of Management/Business Administration, and the Maine School of Law with a Juris Doctor. He joined Maine’s Bar in 1997 when he worked at the State of Maine Bureau of Taxation, Bureau of Financial Institutions and Bureau of Insurance. In 2002 he opened his own firm in North Yarmouth as a general practicing attorney.

Thaddeus is active in North Yarmouth as an appointed member of the Zoning Board of Appeals and elected vice chair of the Budget committee from 2014-2016. He serves as the Vice President of the Maine State Bar Association. He is a Lieutenant Colonel with the 157thAir Refueling Wing and Vice Commander of American Legion Post #164 in Falmouth, ME.


Serving again as officers are John Geismar of Norman, Hanson & DeTroy, LLC (Treasurer) and Foundation Executive Director Diana Scully (non-voting Secretary).