The Windham Eagle
Friday, January 6, 2017
Please read the full article at The Windham Eagle Business Spotlight
Todd Crawford has a passion for justice and serving others. Through his law practice on Route 302 in Raymond, Crawford helps his clients with estate planning, family law and criminal law cases. He believes in getting all of the facts and informing his clients of the process they will face with their cases, whether the case is over custody or an alleged criminal offense.
Crawford spent 28 years in the military split between the Navy submarine force and the Army National Guard. He received his law degree in 1997 and has practiced at various firms over the years until he had to step away because of his commitment to the military. Three years ago, he decided to retire from the military and re-open his practice.
“I had to retire so I could open my practice to get back to what I love to do,” he said. “I love being able to provide a service to people. I’m passionate about the law and passionate about justice.”
He was driven to be a lawyer by a need to oversee the justice system. The first part of his job is to explain to clients what’s going to happen, what the process will be. In a criminal case, it’s his job to protect his client’s rights.
Crawford’s father was an attorney. Crawford spent his youth doing some filing for his dad’s practice and he’d hear him talking on the phone being kind to people, helping them. It was then he knew he wanted to be in a position that he could help people. Through his practice, he forms a connection with people then provides them with a service.
Crawford does a lot of landlord/tenant issues, criminal and family law, wills, powers of attorney, business formations and non-profit paperwork. He also does a lot of court appointed work and child protective work representing parents.
“Getting people through those bad times is rewarding,” he said. He sees a lot of family problems stemming from drug addiction. “It’s phenomenally devastating and painful to watch.”
He will meet people at locations that are convenient to them. They can’t always get to his office so he’ll meet them at Burger King on Forest Avenue in Portland for example.
Each case is evaluated on its own merits and facts, Crawford said. “I don’t assume anyone is guilty. I don’t make that assessment. I just look at the facts. Turn over the stones.”
He’d like to see more people who are interested in doing estate planning, including wills and powers of attorney. “They need to think of it when they’re young,” he said.
He’d also like to work with people forming businesses.
“I love doing criminal law. It’s the service side, helping someone who’s in trouble,” he said. He wanted to insure that their rights and liberties are protected.
Additionally, he does divorces, child support cases or post-divorce issues.
Crawford is fair and competitive in his pricing. His work is more reasonable than going into Portland to a big firm, he said.
Volunteering is also important to Crawford. He works with the Volunteer Lawyer Program’s Courthouse Assistance Programs (CHAP). Once a month he spends an afternoon in Portland providing free law advice on family law issues. They are the most challenging interviews and he loves it, he said. There are language barriers, cultural differences and he works through all of those challenges to get the people the help they need.
He has been recognized by Katahdin Council Recognition Program for his volunteer work in 2014, 2015 and 2016. He also has a passion for working with veterans. He is on the board for Veterans Count of Easter Seals of Maine. He has carried remembrance stones for two soldiers he service with through The Summit Project and he works with Team Rubicon, which fills in the gap between a natural disaster and when FEMA arrives.
Crawford is married to a prosecutor in Portland so he does not take juvenile cases in Cumberland County. He does do other cases in Portland. He also goes to Bridgton, Oxford County, York County and Augusta. He’ll travel anywhere in the area.
Administrative assistant Carolyn Helwig has 27 years of experience in the Bridgton Courthouse. She is Crawford’s right hand when it comes to fielding call and helping clients when he is with someone else.