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

News

Verrill Welcomes Jeffrey A. Smagula, Experienced Health Care and Life Sciences Attorney, Former Health Plan Compliance Executive

(May 12, 2021) – Verrill is pleased to welcome Jeffrey A. Smagula to the firm’s Boston office as Counsel in its nationally recognized Health Care & Life Sciences Group. Jeff Smagula brings to Verrill...

Matter

Copyright Litigation: Software

Defended equipment manufacturer in copyright dispute involving firmware for digital subscriber line access multiplexers (“DSLAMs”). Case resolved favorably.

Blog

Prop 65: Will the “Short-Form” be Short Lived?

Enacted as part of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”) requires businesses with ten or more employees that sell products in the state of California to...

News

Verrill Partner to Lead Firm’s Energy, Telecommunications, and Natural Resources Group

(May 14, 2021) – Verrill is pleased to announce that Jim Cohen has been appointed chair of the firm’s Energy, Telecommunications, and Natural Resources Group. Cohen, a former Mayor of Portland, is a long-time...

Blog

Verrill Attorney Gordon Smith Comments on Lawsuit Claiming Ownership of Maine Coastal Property

Event

Understanding Your Fiduciary Responsibilities Under ERISA

Employers have long understood the importance of fiduciary compliance with respect to 401(k) plans and other retirement plans subject to ERISA, and most have sound processes and governance structures in place to ensure the...

Event

Global Virtual Legal Project Management Summit

Matter

Trademark Litigation: Software

Represented trademark owner in litigation with foreign software company. Successfully defeated motion to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds, which was affirmed on appeal. Also successfully defeated summary judgment motion, which resulted in case settling before...

Publication/Podcast

Policies to Guide Employee Conduct and Respond to Misconduct

Scott Connolly, partner in Verrill’s Employment & Labor Group, has authored the chapter “Policies to Guide Employee Conduct and Respond to Misconduct” in MCLE’s book, Drafting Employment Documents in Massachusetts (4th Edition 2021). The...

Publication/Podcast

Portland Maine Business Podcast with Tawny Alvarez

On this week's Portland Maine Business Podcast , a podcast with Shelby Turcotte of Shelby Trained, he interviews employment and labor attorney Tawny Alvarez who shares stories that contributed to shaping her as a...

Contact Verrill at (855) 307 0700