Gordon R. Smith

Counsel
T: (207) 253-4926
  • Georgetown University (J.D., 2006)
  • University of California, Berkeley (B.A., 1998)

Highlights

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ENVIRONMENTAL BLOG
Analysis and discussion of legal issues pertaining to the environment and natural resources.
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ENERGY BLOG
Keep current on energy-related laws and trends.
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Ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
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Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018.

Biography

“Gordon Smith comes recommended for his work with renewables clients on development and permitting matters, as well as handling environmental litigation. Clients are impressed with his ability to ‘think deeply and not superficially.’”

- Chambers USA 2017

Gordon brings together legal experience and a results-oriented, common sense approach to provide clients with regulatory solutions, court victories and strategic advice on a range of environmental and land use issues. At a time when science-based decision-making and sound environmental policy are under siege, Gordon fights to achieve sane and beneficial outcomes for his clients.

His practice includes particular experience in:

  • Renewable energy development
  • Infrastructure permitting, financing and operation
  • Shoreland and coastal land use issues
  • Federal and state wildlife protection statutes
  • Civil, administrative and appellate litigation related to environmental, land use and real estate disputes in state and federal courts

In the words of one litigation client:

“I worked with Gordon Smith on a landmark case involving property rights. This case was 15 years in the making and quite complex, involving science, history, property law, economics and very old legal cases. I have worked with other lawyers in the past and my stomach would be in a knot walking into their office. Working with Gordon, on the other hand, has been a great experience. He is patient, compassionate, incredibly smart (he quickly picks up on information outside his own field) and he is a great listener. He works efficiently, not wasting time or money, but thoroughly. He sees a path to the correct strategy and pursues it with integrity. If I ever have another legal matter for which I need help, I will run, not walk to his office and hope he has time to take it on.

Gordon also counsels developers on the best ways to navigate the regulatory process in order to get projects built. In particular, Gordon has represented wind and solar power developers in all phases of project development, from land acquisition, to obtaining local, state and federal permits, to supporting project finance and successfully defending projects against litigation in state and federal courts.

In the words of one wind power client:

“Gordy has helped us develop multiple grid-scale wind energy projects over the course of almost a decade. I always appreciate Gordy’s counsel. Permitting strategy can be tricky, and he has continually guided us in the right direction time and time again. Legal experience aside, Gordy is naturally very intelligent and pragmatic. He often points out nuances that would probably be overlooked by most people, and this talent is especially useful when it comes to strategic planning. In addition, when a project has not been getting the attention it needed, Gordy has jumped in and acted as a de facto project manager. Gordy’s great on the ground too – I have seen him calmly diffuse irate opponents at public meetings on multiple occasions. The bottom line: Gordy has played a crucial role in getting our projects built and operational and has been an essential member of our permitting team for years.

Gordon serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Maine School of Law, where he has taught Real Estate Transactions and Land Use Law.

When not being an attorney, Gordon likes to rebuild houses with his own two hands, garden, play tennis, hike, bike, ski, smoke meat and drink whiskey. Most important, Gordon is lucky enough to go home to his wonderful wife Caitlin, their perfect daughter Scarlet and the family cat who answers to both Scout and Cuddles.

Public Service

Member, Portland Zoning Board of Appeals
Volunteer Attorney, Maine Homeless Legal Project
Pro Bono Legal Counsel Provider, The Nature Conservancy

Education

  • Georgetown University (J.D., 2006)
  • University of California, Berkeley (B.A., 1998)

Bar Admissions

  • Maine, 2006

Court and Other Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, 2011
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, 2012

Honors

Recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business under 
    Environment
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© under Environmental Law
Selected by peers for inclusion in New England Rising Stars© under
     Environmental and Land Use/Zoning