Biography

Bill serves as Verrill'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.

Bill's general civil trial practice focuses on personal injury, probate, and real estate litigation. He has tried more than 50 cases, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts, where his success rate is more than 75% before Maine juries.

Bill has published articles in the Maine Bar Journal and has lectured extensively, including in local seminars on civil litigation, and lectures at the University of Maine School of Law, the People's University of China, and the Georgetown University Law Center.

View a selection of matters handled by William Knowles.

Services/Industries

Education

  • University of Idaho  (J.D.)
  • University of Warwick  (LL.B.)
  • Indiana University  (B.A.)

Public Service

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

Bar Admissions

  • Idaho
  • Maine

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

Honors

  • Recipient of the Peter DeTroy III Award, presented by the Campaign for Justice (2018)
  • Recipient of the Janet Milley Award, presented by Pine Tree Legal Assistance (2015)
  • Recipient of the Annual Award, presented by the Disability Rights Center (2002)
  • Recipient of the Justice Louis Scolnik Award, presented by the Maine Civil Liberties Union (1999)
  • 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

To learn more about third-party ratings and rankings, and the selection processes used for inclusion, click here.

Clerkships

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

Court and Other Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Firm Highlights

Matter

Community Service

Portland Regional Chamber, Chair (2012-14) Trustee (2008-16; 2019- present) Portland Community Chamber of Commerce, President (2019- ) Trustee (2016-present) Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Trustee (2009 - present) Project Green Schools, Advisory Trustee (2017-present...

News

Paycheck Protection Program Focuses on Short-Term and Misses Long-Term Damages

On June 8, the Portland Press Herald published an article, "Revamped emergency loan program remains a short-term fix," discussing the Paycheck Protection Program's (PPP) extended deadlines and loosened restrictions, but lack of solutions to...

Publication/Podcast

FDA Issues Guidance on IRB Review of Non-Emergency Individual Patient Expanded Access Requests for Investigational Drugs and Biological Products to Treat COVID-19

Prompted by a substantial increase in requests for individual patient access to investigational drugs and biologics to treat COVID-19, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued guidance on June 2, 2020 that outlines...

Blog

IRS Allows Tax-Advantaged Leave Donation to COVID-19 Relief Organizations

Under new guidance, the IRS will give favorable tax treatment to employees who donate leave to COVID-19 relief organizations. In IRS Notice 2020-46 , the agency announced that employees who donate paid leave for...

News

Verrill Welcomes Esteemed Corporate and Securities Attorney Edward Rosenthal

(June 10, 2020) – Verrill is pleased to welcome corporate and securities attorney Edward Rosenthal to the firm as a member of the Business Law Group. Rosenthal brings with him more than 40 years...

Blog

Financial Institutions . . . In the News

Town & Country Federal Credit Union to host virtual money conference ( Mainebiz 6.23.2020) Connected Credit Union and Winslow Community Federal Credit Union ’s merger is effective June 27 and will be known as...

Matter

Political Service

Mayor, City of Portland (2005-2006) Portland City Council (2002-2008) Portland City Council Transportation Committee, Chair (2002-2005) Jetport Master Planning Committee, Chair (2005-2007) Greater Portland Transit District, Trustee (2002-2005) Narrow Gauge Rail Alignment Committee, Chair...

Publication/Podcast

PPP: How is Maine Faring?

Originally enacted on March 27, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) offers loan support and (potentially) loan forgiveness to qualifying small businesses – generally defined as those with not more than 500 employees. According to...

Event

2020 OHRP Exploratory Workshop

Health care attorney Emily Fogler will be presenting at the 2020 OHRP Exploratory Workshop in the third session, discussing sharing responsibilities and protecting participants - redefining roles in the single IRB era. Stay tuned...

Blog

IRS Issues New Guidance on CARES Act Retirement Plan Distributions and Loans

The IRS recently issued Notice 2020-50 , which expands relief provided for retirement plan distributions and loans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Distributions Under the CARES Act, a...