Edwin (Ned) Chester, has been practicing law since 1977. For the last 35 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.
In 2012, Ned was honored with national recognition from the American Bar Association as that year's recipient of the Livingston-Hall Award for his contributions to the field of juvenile justice at the local, state and federal levels.
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; and probate and decedent’s estates, including wills, guardianships, adoptions, powers of attorneys, advance health care directives, and similar estate planning matters. 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.
Amber Miller received her Masters of Special Education from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington in 2007. Amber taught Special Education at the middle school level for over ten years, specializing in teaching students with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities. She also provided district-wide trainings for teachers striving to utilize inclusive supports for students who present challenging behaviors in the classroom. She moved to Maine in 2016 to attend the University of Maine School of Law, and was admitted to practice law in Maine in 2020. She has participated in educational rights issues in Maine over the last few years in a variety of capacities, and gets great satisfaction from ensuring that students are appropriately supported within the classroom and outside of school. Her volunteer activities reflect her background as a certified foster parent, adoptive parent and education specialist, including being the founder of a foster/adoption support group, being the founder of an after school program providing students with disabilities opportunities to socialize with their non-disabled peers, and acting as a mentor for middle school students.
Amy Phalon has over 15 years of experience advocating for students with disabilities as an educator and attorney. As a licensed Maine attorney since 2013, Amy has worked primarily on behalf of children with disabilities and their families to obtain special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Amy has handled cases at all levels from advocacy at IEP team meetings to due process hearings, judicial review, and federal court appeals. Recent cases have involved representing families of students with learning disabilities, students facing disability discrimination in school sports; students facing racial discrimination in school; disability rights cases involving college students, and cases involving families with disabled children facing housing discrimination.
Amy is currently the Vice President of the Board of Disability Rights Maine, the state protection and advocacy organization protecting the rights of Maine citizens with disabilities. She is also a member of the Council of Parents, Attorneys, and Advocates (COPPA), a national organization dedicated to protecting the rights of students with disabilities.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Amy was an English teacher teaching college English and adult education literacy courses. During that time, she assisted several students with learning disabilities and other special needs to access available accommodations; and delivered training seminars to faculty on how to implement students' disability accommodations in the college classroom.
Amy is a 1996 graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine. She earned a Master's degree from Middlebury College's Breadloaf School of English in 2001, and her law degree from the University of Maine School of Law in 2013.