Maine high court denies petition from disbarred lawyer

Posted Nov. 24, 2010, at 9:33 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A former lawyer who took on high-profile cases before being disbarred has had his request denied to practice law again in Maine.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday denied Charles Williams III’s appeal seeking reinstatement to the Maine bar.

Williams made a name for himself when practicing in Lewiston nearly a decade ago as an advocate for victims of racial discrimination.

In 2002, Williams also represented Diane Cormier, the owner of the Bangor-based Diva’s Inc., in her bitter five-year legal battle with city officials over the Hammond Street location of her strip club. Cormier has since moved her establishment to Harlow Street.

He was disbarred in 2004 for numerous ethical violations, including forcing a former client to have sex, failing to file court documents, overcharging clients and skipping court dates.

The most serious charge against Williams was from a Minot woman who hired him for a child custody matter. The woman claimed she had sex with Williams on several occasions in his office and at her home because she felt that she could not refuse his advances.

Supreme court Justice Donald Alexander denied Williams’ reinstatement petition last spring, but Williams appealed that decision. The full court on Tuesday upheld Alexander’s decision.

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