Edwin (Ned) Chester, has been practicing law since 1977. For the last 25 years, Ned’s practice has focused almost exclusively on juvenile clients, representing adolescents in all Maine courts and in school disciplinary hearings. Ned represents children in a variety of circumstances, including children who have been charged with juvenile offenses, children who are facing suspension or expulsion from school, and as a guardian ad litem for children who have been taken into the custody of the State of Maine as a result of child maltreatment. In many cases, Ned is privately retained by parents seeking experienced representation for their child. In other cases, Ned is retained by the Department of Health and Human Services to represent a child in its custody, or is appointed by a court to represent a child of an indigent family or to represent a child whose parent is the victim of the alleged offense. Ned regularly appears in courts in Springvale, Biddeford, York, Portland, Bridgton, Bath, Lewiston and Rockland, but has also appeared in almost all of Maine’s juvenile courts.
Ned graduated from a dual-degree program at the University of North Carolina in 1977, with a Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law and a Master of Regional Planning from the Department of City and Regional Planning. Ned was a member of the Law Review, writing on search and seizure issues. Ned was first licensed to practice law in Maine in 1977.
Ned’s community work has included service on many state-wide and national boards, including Maine’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (many years as Vice Chair), Maine’s Juvenile Justice Task Force, Maine’s Juvenile Justice Implementation Council (Education Stakeholders Group, addressing truancy, expulsion and suspension), the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice, and the National Coalition for Juvenile Justice. Ned was a co-founder of the New England Juvenile Defender Center and Kids Legal Aid, an initiative of Pine Tree Legal Assistance.
Ned, and his wife and law partner, Barbara Vestal, are the parents of two grown sons. Personal interests include friends and family, sailing, music, and traveling.
Barbara Vestal has been practicing law in Maine since 1977. Barbara’s practice focuses on real estate, including assisting clients with the purchase and sale of real estate, development projects, and condominium conversion and management; probate and decedent’s estates, including wills, guardianships, adoptions, powers of attorneys, advance health care directives, and similar estate planning matters; and Social Security disability. Barbara also serves as a guardian ad litem in child protective and probate cases, and as a mediator in real estate foreclosure matters. Her practice concentrates in Cumberland and York Counties.
As a member of the Law Review and Morehead Fellow in Law, Barbara received a Juris Doctor degree (with Honors) from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1977 and a Master of Regional Planning, also in 1977, from the Department of City and Regional Planning of the University of North Carolina. She was first licensed to practice law in Maine in 1977.
Barbara’s community work has included years of early involvement with the fledgling Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization and its afflilated Munjoy Hill Housing Association, including serving on their Boards of Directors; seven years as a Trustee of the Portland Ministry at Large; approximately ten years as a member of Portland’s Planning Board, including two years as its chair; six years on the Board of Trustees of Greater Portland Landmarks, and continuing involvement as an Advisory Trustee; and many years of involvement in a variety of municipal issues, particularly focused on Portland’s waterfront and historic preservation.
Barbara also served as a research associate and later the Associate Director of the Marine Law Institute of the University of Maine School of Law. Her research in that capacity involved subject areas such as management of the shoreline to preserve water-dependent uses, planning for sea-level rise, and regulation of cumulative impacts of development.
Barbara, and her husband and law partner, Edwin Chester, are the parents of two grown sons. Personal interests include friends and family, quilting, painting, gardening, and traveling.
Caitlin Ross Wahrer has been admitted to practice law in Maine since 2014. She is a lifelong Mainer who grew up in Canaan. Caitlin’s law practice is focused on juvenile defense, appeals, parents’ defense, and guardian ad litem work. She practices primarily in Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York counties. Caitlin joined Chester & Vestal, P.A. in 2016.
Caitlin graduated summa cum laude from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania in 2011, where she received B.A. degrees in criminal justice and marriage and family studies. During college, she worked as an intern at the Erie County Public Defender’s Office and spent a summer interning for Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Bangor. Caitlin received her law degree from the University of Maine School of Law in 2014 where she graduated magna cum laude. While in law school, Caitlin worked as a student attorney at the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, representing individuals in juvenile, family, criminal, and foreclosure matters. She also worked as a guardian ad litem during her time at the Clinic, advising the court in cases where young persons with juvenile charges risked removal from home. As a student attorney, Caitlin argued and won the first juvenile shackling motion in Maine.
In addition to her work as a student attorney, Caitlin served as a Comment Editor for the Ocean and Coastal Law Journal and as a Teaching Assistant for several first-year legal classes. She is the recipient of the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award for Criminal Law and Procedure, the Pro Bono Service Award, and the Honorable Daniel E. Wathen First-Year Legal Writing Prize. Before joining Chester & Vestal, P.A., Caitlin served as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Justice Donald Alexander of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for two years.
When she’s not practicing law, Caitlin enjoys fiddling in the kitchen, gardening (or, more realistically, desperately trying to keep her plants alive), and spending time with her husband Ben.