February 22, 2004 - New Haven Register: For 25 years, Colombia RPCV William F. Dow III has been one of a handful of area lawyers high-profile people in trouble turn to

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Colombia: Peace Corps Colombia : The Peace Corps in Colombia: February 22, 2004 - New Haven Register: For 25 years, Colombia RPCV William F. Dow III has been one of a handful of area lawyers high-profile people in trouble turn to

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-13-69.balt.east.verizon.net - on Sunday, February 22, 2004 - 9:01 pm: Edit Post

For 25 years, Colombia RPCV William F. Dow III has been one of a handful of area lawyers high-profile people in trouble turn to

For 25 years, Colombia RPCV William F. Dow III has been one of a handful of area lawyers high-profile people in trouble turn to

When the trouble mounts, William F. Dow IIIís phone rings

Michelle Tuccitto , Register Staff
NEW HAVEN ó One word keeps coming up when people describe the man who will guide Gov. John G. Rowland through his ongoing legal troubles: apolitical.

Rowland hired local lawyer William F. Dow III to represent him in the late spring of 2003. About that time, Rowland was fined nearly $9,000 for violating state ethics laws by accepting gifts of vacation lodging from major state contractors.

The heat has intensified since then for Rowland, who now faces a federal grand jury probe into corruption in his administration and a legislative impeachment inquiry.

Attorney Jonathan J. Einhorn, also of New Haven, called Dow the perfect choice to represent the governor, both now as an adviser and later in court if Rowland is indicted.

"Because he is not a politician, he is usually able to see through issues using common sense that often escapes politicians," Einhorn said.

Even Dow, 62, a partner in the law firm of Jacobs, Grudberg, Belt & Dow, points out his lack of involvement in politics.

"Iím apolitical, I didnít know (Rowland) personally beforehand," Dow said. "Any time any client chooses you to represent him or her, it is a wonderful compliment, as they are choosing you from a sea of lawyers."

Rowland has admitted accepting gifts from state contractors, employees and friends for improvements to his summer cottage and lying about it. Although he admits it was wrong to accept the gifts, the governor also insists he has broken no laws and he refuses to resign.

Dow, who is often willing to talk about his clientsí ongoing cases, remains silent about Rowlandís case, citing the governorís status as a public figure. He said he was recommended to Rowland by the governorís former legal counsel.

Dow, a graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, is no stranger to handling high-profile cases. For 25 years, Dow has been one of a handful of area lawyers high-profile people in trouble turn to. In New Haven, itís a small club: Members include attorneys Hugh F. Keefe, Norm Pattis and John Williams.

Dow at one time represented former Yale University Professor Antonio Lasaga, who was arrested on charges of sexual assault and possession of child pornography.

He now handles the case of Jennifer OíConnor, a Branford mother who is accused of murdering her 7-year-old daughter in April 2003. That case is still in the pretrial stage.

He represented two employees of Islander East Pipeline Co. after their arrest on trespassing charges. Police arrested the men after they took test borings in a Branford oyster bed to prepare for a controversial proposed natural gas pipeline. The charges were dismissed in 2002.

One of the cases that stands out in Dowís memory is his successful defense of an East Haven woman named Emily Papuga, who was acquitted of manslaughter in 1982, after being charged with the shooting death of her 14-year-old neighbor. Papuga claimed she acted in self-defense.

He has represented politicians before, although he doesnít name names ó some were the subject of investigations but not arrested, he said.

Dow has experience as a prosecutor also, as he was an assistant U.S. attorney for Connecticut from 1974 to 1976. While in that office, he helped prosecute those charged after the March 1, 1975, bombing of the Sponge Rubber Co. factory in Shelton.

Dow started out in criminal defense, and worked in the public defenderís office in Washington, D.C. He is included in the publication The Best Lawyers in America for criminal defense representation.

Fellow lawyers on both sides ó prosecutors and defense attorneys alike ó speak highly of Dow.

New Haven Senior Assistant Stateís Attorney David Strollo, who has dealt with Dow several times since 1988, called him an excellent criminal defense attorney.

"Iíve had numerous cases with him, like Antonio Lasaga and countless others," said Strollo. "He knows what he is doing and is very experienced."

Attorney Hugh F. Keefe, who has known Dow for three decades, said he has several qualities that make him a good choice to represent Rowland.

"He is apolitical, which will help him," Keefe said. "He has no record of political involvement. He is an exceptionally good lawyer, with unquestioned integrity and an exceptionally healthy sense of humor.

"A lawyerís word is extremely important, and the pressure and stakes are so high (in this case), a sense of humor is important too."

Einhorn, who has known Dow for 30 years, said he works obscenely long hours.

"He is the right lawyer, and will work hard at this case and understand the issues," Einhorn said. "In terms of any case, this particular one requires a high degree of sensitivity ó itís a case that will be remembered for a long time."

Einhorn described Dow as well respected and someone who doesnít like to make himself the center of attention at trials.

"I think he holds the record for hung juries in my memory, which is a credit to his skill," Einhorn said. "He is someone the governor can respect as an advocate."

Dow, a father of seven and husband of New Haven public school teacher Diane Dow, was born in New Haven and grew up in Stony Creek in Branford. A former Peace Corps volunteer, Dow now resides in New Havenís Westville section.

Michelle Tuccitto can be reached at mtuccitto@nhregister.com or at 789-5615.

©New Haven Register 2004

William F. Dow, III served as the T-Ball Commissioner of the Andy Papero League in New Haven for ten years. Born and raised in New Haven, Mr. Dow played baseball throughout his school and college years, graduating from Yale University in 1963 before joining the Peace Corps as a volunteer in Colombia. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School, graduating in 1968. Between 1970 and 1974, Mr. Dow was with the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia and from 1974 to 1976, served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

For twenty-five years, Mr. Dow has been a lecturer in trial practice at the Yale Law School. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has been appointed by the Governor to the Judicial Selection Commission and is a member of the Connecticut Judicial Branch Criminal Division Task Force. Mr. Dow has served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Section for the Administration of Criminal Justice of the Connecticut Bar Association and President of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He also served on the Drafting Committee of the Evidence Code adopted by the Judges of the Superior Court.

Mr. Dow is included in The Best Lawyers in America in connection with criminal defense representation. He is heavily involved in the trial and appeal of cases in both state and federal courts, including homicide and other crimes of violence, drug offenses and theft, as well as personal injury claims and other civil matters. He has argued numerous appeals in the Connecticut Supreme and Appellate Courts and the federal courts of appeals in New York, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. Mr. Dow is a member of the Connecticut-Pskov Rule of Law Project and has traveled to Russia and participated there in seminars focusing on jury trials.

Willie and his wife, Diane, live in the Westville neighborhood of New Haven and are the parents of seven children of whom, at any given time, at least three maintain amicable communications with their parents. Diane Dow is a First Grade teacher at Katherine Brennan School in New Haven.

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Story Source: New Haven Register

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