SOUTH PORTLAND – Charles A. Harvey, Jr., 59, South Portland and Chebeague Island, died on Feb. 18, 2009, after a brief illness.

Chuck was born Sept. 28, 1949, in Beverly, Mass., the son of Charles A. and Phyllis B. Harvey, now of Gloucester. He graduated from St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, Mass., and with a degree in philosophy from Assumption College, where he served as the president of the Student Government Association. In 1974, he received his juris doctor degree from the University of Maine Law School, where he was the editor-in-chief of the Maine Law Review.

In 1985, he married Whitney Ann Neville, originally of New Canaan, Conn. They have two children, John Whitney Harvey, a senior at Bates College in Lewiston and Charlotte Baird Harvey, a freshman at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.

He was a highly skilled and respected trial lawyer. He practiced law with the firm of Verrill Dana from 1975 until 1995 when he formed Harvey & Frank with Robert S. Frank. In 1979, he was appointed associate chief counsel to the President’s Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island, created by President Carter to investigate the most serious nuclear power plant accident in the United States.

He was consistently listed in the top tier of Maine trial lawyers in the Chambers Guide to American Lawyers and in the Best Lawyers in America. In a multi-specialty recognition, he was listed in the 100 Superlawyers in New England in the current and past issues.

He was an elected member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, in which he served as chair of the Legal Ethics and Professionalism Committee. Until his illness, he served as the consultant to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court’s Advisory Committee on the rules of civil procedure and as chairman of the United States District Court’s Local Rules Advisory Committee.

He had previously served as chairman of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court Special Committee on Cameras in the courtroom, chairman of the Governor’s Select Committee on Judicial Appointments and chairman of the Grievance Commission of the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar. He was an author of the 1997 and 1981 supplements to the Maine Civil Practice treatise and at his death was completing the third edition of that treatise.

The trial justices and judges of Maine this month announced that he had been selected the recipient of the 2009 McKusick Award. The McKusick Award, named in honor of former Maine Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Vincent L. McKusick, was created by the justices and judges of Maine’s trial courts to recognize a person who has contributed substantially to the administration of justice and the delivery of judicial services to the people of Maine. The recipient must be nominated by justices, judges, or family law magistrates. In announcing the award, the judges stated, “Attorney Harvey has achieved the status of being ‘a lawyer’s lawyer.’ His expertise, professionalism, kindness and humor serve as a model to which all members of our profession should aspire.”

Bob Frank said of his law partner, “Chuck was the kind of lawyer that most of us who practice law aspire to be. His clients loved him for the confidence that he instilled in or restored to them. His colleagues in the bar respected and admired him deeply for his resourcefulness as an advocate. Judges and juries rallied to his humor and charm, appreciating his extraordinary talent for reducing the complex to the simple and understandable. He could capture in a few sentences and with uncanny clarity, what others might have taken an hour to say or pages to write. He had a sixth sense for seeing to the heart of the matter, for reading people and situations clearly and for illuminating the wisest course of action, all of which made him as effective a lawyer and problem solver as could be found, anywhere. He did everything – not only his law practice – with singular grace, aplomb and kindness. We were very fortunate to have him in our midst.”

In addition to the contributions he made to the legal profession, he was a strong supporter of the community and the arts. At the time of his death, he was an advisory trustee of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and of the Portland Stage Company. He had previously served as trustee and president of the board of the Portland Symphony Orchestra, trustee of the Portland Stage Company, trustee of the Waynflete School and as an advisory trustee of the Children’s Museum of Maine and the Maine Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

He was modest and self-effacing about his own considerable skills and was dedicated and supportive to his family, friends and clients. An unusually talented trial lawyer, he brought the qualities of compassion and wisdom to his work. Those who had the privilege of working with him remained devoted to him thereafter. He was one of a kind, with a judicial temperament and a comedian’s sense of timing. It was through his wonderful sense of humor and storytelling that he shared his wisdom, warmth and good heart with those around him. His knowledge and expertise on subjects ranging from opera to literature, politics to technology will be sorely missed by those who relied on his vast store of information and advice.

In addition to his wife, Whitney, and his children, John and Charlotte, he is survived by his parents, Phyllis and Charles Harvey; his sisters, Marcia Harvey and Joanne Gibbs of Gloucester and Carol Wilson of Magnolia, Mass.; and several nieces and nephews.

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