PORTLAND — Gov. Janet Mills presented an award Thursday to a Lewiston lawyer who “exemplifies the same selfless spirit as Peter DeTroy, a beloved lawyer in Maine who passed away in 2016.”

Sheldon Templer, a lawyer with Hardy Wolf & Downing, has worked for decades with Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brother Big Sisters of Mid-Maine, the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, New Beginnings and Seeds of Peace, according to information provided by the governor’s office.

Templer has also served as “lawyer of the day” to protect low-income people from eviction and homelessness every other Wednesday at 8th District Court in Lewiston.

“Templer has been a tireless advocate for the most underserved populations of Maine for decades,” according to the governor’s office.

Mills bestowed the award on Templer at a ceremony at the U.S. Custom House in Portland.

In prepared remarks, Mills said: “People like Sheldon prove that you can champion the causes of others in need who have no power, influence or wealth and still be successful both in business and in life. Sheldon’s compassion, devotion and wholehearted commitment to the people of Maine echo Peter’s and should serve as a model for us all.”

Peter John DeTroy III of Portland died in 2016 after suffering a heart attack. He was 68.

He was a founding partner at the Portland law firm Norman Hanson DeTroy.

His obituary described DeTroy as a tireless advocate for his clients.

“Over the course of his extraordinary career as a lawyer, (he) earned a reputation as one of the state’s leading criminal defense attorneys, one of the state’s leading plaintiff’s attorneys in civil actions, and a leading defense lawyer,” the obituary reads.

“An active member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Peter’s reputation extended beyond Maine as a masterful advocate. Near the end of his career, he volunteered as a practitioner-coach to the Harvard Law School trial practice course.”

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