It is with great sadness that we share the news of legal luminary and longtime Verrill attorney Roger A. Putnam's passing on February 19. Roger joined Verrill on March 10, 1958, after serving seven years as an Assistant Attorney General of Maine. A veteran, Roger also served in the United States Army during World War II.
Roger played a large part in the history of Verrill, having dedicated 63 years to the firm. At the time of the firm's sesquicentennial in 2012, it was determined that of the 300 plus attorneys who had been associated with the firm since its founding, Roger had practiced with all but seven of them. His long service to the firm places him second in the firm's attorney longevity, behind only Harry M. Verrill, whose service extended for seventy-three years.
"Roger was a dedicated, capable and accomplished attorney, loved and respected by clients and colleagues, and had a prodigious work ethic," shared K.C. Jones, Verrill Managing Partner. "Roger was the last of a generation of Portland lawyers who had a significant role in building their firms and shaping the legal landscape in the state. He was truly a giant in the Bar and in the history of the firm. I, along with many others at the firm and throughout the Maine legal community, have learned a great deal from Roger. He continues to serve as an inspiration to us all."
When his practice was active, Roger focused on general litigation, public utilities and legal ethics. In later years, he served as special ethics counsel for the firm. He was an active member of the greater legal community, and served in leadership roles in and out of the firm. He was a Fellow of the Maine Justice Foundation, Maine State Bar Association, and American Bar Association. He served as Chair of the Judicial Ethics Committee of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and as President of the Maine Equal Justice Project, in addition to many others. Roger received many honors and accolades during his career, including both the Muskie Access to Justice Award and the Howard H. Dana Jr. Award of the Maine Bar Association.
In 2012, Verrill established the Roger A. Putnam Fund at the University of Maine School of Law, which funds a paid summer internship at the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, in Roger's honor.
In 2014, Verrill created The Roger A. Putnam Community Service Award to annually recognize one person from the firm who embodies the firm's spirit of community service, and to honor Roger's commitment to the community and legal profession. Roger was the first recipient of the annual award.