Remembering Charlie Miller

A black-and-white headshot-style photo of a man with light skin, a dark mustache and dark hair with hints of gray. He is wearing glasses, a suit jacket, and tie, and is smiling at the camera.


It is with deep sadness that Pine Tree Legal Assistance mourns the passing of Charlie Miller, a legal luminary and staunch advocate for access to justice. Charlie passed away on Friday, August 4th surrounded by his family.
We will remember Charlie for his joyful personality and his inspiring commitment to make the world a better place. Charlie had a deep and meaningful impact on our organization and in our community. Charlie played an immeasurable role helping Pine Tree grow into a thriving civil legal aid program, playing a leading role in establishing the Muskie Fund for Legal Services and the Frank M. Coffin Family Law Fellowship, and leading, with Ellie Miller and Bill Knowles, Pine Tree’s historic endowment campaign. 
Charlie once said, “I believe access to justice is more than an aspirational concept. As long as people can rely on getting high-quality legal representation at critical moments in their lives, our judicial system succeeds. Absent that access, people feel helpless and our system fails.”

One of the many ways Charlie acted on this sentiment was through his enthusiastic service as the Coffin Family Law Fellowship's driving force for many years. Coffin Fellows to date have worked on over 2,000 cases serving low-income people in Cumberland County who had no other way to seek the protections from abuse and harassment and other legal relief they needed. Next month, the 27th Coffin Fellow will start working at Pine Tree.

Charlie's decades-long leadership will have an enduring legacy ensuring that state and federal laws protecting poor people are upheld and addressing systemic barriers to justice. He will be deeply missed.
Our hearts go out to our dear friend and ally, long-time Pine Tree colleague and Board member, Ellie Miller, and to her and Charlie's entire family.

A color photo of a smiling couple, a man and woman. The man on the left has light skin, dark hair and a dark mustache that are graying, and is wearing glasses. The woman on the right has light skin and medium-length dark hair.