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Pierce Atwood LLP

Main Office Address

Merrill's Wharf
254 Commercial Street
Portland, Maine 04101 
United States

Office Locations

Portland, ME
Boston, MA
Portsmouth, NH
Augusta, ME
Washington, DC
Providence, RI
Stockholm, SE

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Personal Background

Jim is the Chair of the firm's Employment Group. He has extensive state and federal litigation experience in a wide range of substantive areas at the trial, appellate, and administrative levels. In the employment area he has successfully defended sexual harassment, age, disability, retaliation, defamation, and discharge cases, prosecuted and defended trade secret, non-competition and other restrictive covenant cases, and obtained contempt findings and a fine against a union for strike violence.

A former member of the Maine Human Rights Commission, Jim counsels employers on employment and labor issues, appears before the Maine Legislature on legislation affecting employment issues, conducts training sessions on sexual harassment and other workplace issues, and investigates harassment claims for employers.

Jim joined Pierce Atwood in 1987. Before that he served for five years as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maine. In that capacity he prosecuted homicides statewide and advised multiple state agencies on law enforcement matters.

Jim graduated with honors from Phillips Exeter Academy (1971). He received his A.B. from Dartmouth College ( Cum Laude , with High Distinction in English, 1975) and his J.D. from Boston University School of Law (1978). He also completed the National District Attorneys Association Career Prosecutor Course at the University of Houston (1982).

Professional Activities
Jim is a member of the board of directors of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance for Maine's Future and a former director of the American Counsel Association.  He is also a member of the United States Chamber of Commerce Labor Relations Policy Committee.

Jim is an editor and chapter author of has authored chapters for the ABA Section of Litigation's, "Model Jury Instructions: Employment Litigation, Second Edition" and a chapter author for the "Employment Litigation Handbook." He has authored numerous articles and op ed pieces for Maine newspapers and business journals.

Honors and Distinctions
Jim is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.  He is also recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, 2010 edition, and Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers for labor and employment law.

Bar Admissions
Jim is admitted to practice in the State of Maine, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, and the First Circuit.

Firm Background

Pierce Atwood LLP is a leading New England law firm, recognized nationally and internationally for comprehensive expertise in legal and public policy issues affecting businesses. We strive to deliver the highest level of service and meet the changing and increasingly complex needs of our clients, who range from entrepreneurs and individuals to members of the Fortune 500 and foreign governments, and span a variety of traditional and emerging business sectors. Clients derive superior value from the firm's location and high level of sophistication.

The Pierce Atwood Employment Group provides employers with comprehensive legal services pertaining to the employment relationship. Our goals are to:

  • foster effective human resource practices
  • enhance our clients' own expertise through information and training
  • improve the legal and economic environment for employers
  • minimize risk
  • when necessary, provide zealous advocacy

We provide policy development; advice and counseling; training and investigations; advocacy in litigation, administrative claims, arbitrations, public policy, and collective bargaining; business immigration and transaction-related services. We have an active practice before state and federal agencies and trial and appellate courts in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Firm Practice Areas

Alternative Dispute Resolutions, Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Commercial Finance & Bankruptcy, Corporate/Tax, Employee Benefits, Employment, Energy, Environmental, Governmental Relations, Immigration, Intellectual Property, International, Litigation, Real Estate, Retail Financial Services, State & Local Tax, Trusts and Estates.