Gordon R. Smith

Gordon R. Smith: Attorney with Verrill Dana LLP
  • Counsel at Verrill Dana LLP (132 Attorneys)
  • One Portland Square, P.O. Box 586, Portland, ME 04112-0586
    View Gordon R. Smith's office location
  • Gordon is part of the leading environmental practice in the state. Gordon’s work is focused on wind energy development, land use, green building, and administrative litigation. In particular, Gordon has represented wind power clients in all phases of project development, from federal, state and municipal permitting to appellate work before local boards of appeals, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection, state Superior Court, and the Maine Supreme Court.




    Gordon has also represented clients on a range of permitting and litigation matters related to both conservation and development concerns. In his administrative appellate work, Gordon has successfully brought lawsuits to block environmentally damaging industrial and commercial development. Gordon has advised a major conservation consortium on common law and statutory riparian rights issues related to the removal of three dams in the Penobscot River to restore the state’s native anadromous fish populations. Gordon has also worked on establishing CERCLA liability against an international mining company for the cleanup costs at one of two Superfund sites in Maine.

  • Peer Reviews
    No Reviews
    Client Reviews
    No Reviews
  • Profile Visibility [ i ]

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.

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

Public Service

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

Highlights

ENVIRONMENTAL BLOG
Analysis and discussion of legal issues pertaining to the environment and natural resources.

ENERGY BLOG
Keep current on energy-related laws and trends.

Ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2018.

Events

March 13, 2017

Land Use Law: Current Issues in Subdivision, Zoning and Development

Speaking Engagements

Gordon R. Smith

March 23, 2016

AWEA Wind Project Siting and Environmental Compliance Conference

Speaking Engagements

Gordon R. Smith

Experience

Defending Constitutionality of the Wind Energy Act

Verrill Dana successfully defended permits in which the constitutionality of the Wind Energy Act was challenged as well as numerous decisions involving the interpretation and application of sound and scenic standards that govern wind energy developments.

Generator Lead Lines - Wind Power Projects

Verrill Dana’s energy group has permitted more than 15O miles of 115 kV electric transmission lines for wind power projects in Maine.

Independence Wind: Wind Power Development

We represented Independence Wind in the development of its Record Hill Wind project in Roxbury, Maine. The Record Hill Wind project is a 22-turbine, 50-megawatt facility located along the ridgelines of Record Hill, Flathead Mountain, and Partridge Peak.

Major Wireless Telecommunications Company: Integration of Acquired Competitor

We represented a major wireless telecommunications company in a reconfiguration of telecommunications infrastructure to allow the integration of recently acquired competitor.

Major Wireless Telecommunications Company: Network Build-Outs

We represented a major wireless telecommunications company in 3G and 4G network build-outs in Maine.

Ownership of Intertidal Rockweed

Verrill Dana represents coastal landowners in Ross v. Acadian Seaplants, a landmark case pending before the Maine Supreme Court that will determine whether attached intertidal rockweed is private or public property.

Patriot Renewables: Wind Power Development

We represented Patriot Renewables in the development of several wind power projects in western Maine.

Shoreland Zone Development and Land Use

Verrill Dana represents landowners and developers in siting structures in the shoreland zoning and ensuring ongoing compliance with the restrictions that govern clearing and development in the shoreland zone.

Waste Management: Solid Waste and Air Permitting

We represented Waste Management on the solid waste and air permitting associated with its landfill in Norridgewock, Maine, including the permitting of its Crossroads landfill gas to energy facility located there.

Wind Power Development

We have represented Maine's major wind energy developers, including TransCanada, First Wind, Patriot Renewables, Independence Wind, Novatus, Pattern Energy and Everpower, in the development, permitting, construction and operation of their wind power projects in Maine. Our Environmental Group has been instrumental in wind power development since its inception in Maine, not only because we represent over 90 percent of the wind power capacity in the State, but because we have shaped the legislation, regulation and judicial precedent that will make it possible for wind energy development to continue to flourish in the future.

News

April 25, 2018

In Maine, a Court Battle Over Slimy Fortunes

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith

June 30, 2017

Legal Seaweed: Shoreline Access Suit Caught Up in Details of Colonial MA Ordinance

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith

April 10, 2017

Court Battles, Conservation and a Cornered Market: Rockweed Industry in State of Flux

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith

March 21, 2017

Judge Rules that Rockweed Harvesters Need Landowners' Permission

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith

March 21, 2017

Judge: Landowners Can Prohibit Seaweed Harvesting on Private Property

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith

March 21, 2017

Rockweed Harvest Case is Win for Landowners

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith

March 16, 2017

Judge: Rockweed on Private Land Isn't Public Property

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith

March 9, 2017

No One Knows Who Owns Rockweed in Maine

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith

March 2017

Rockweed and the Public Trust in Court

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith

December 28, 2016

Verrill Dana Environmental Attorneys Contribute to “A Practical Guide to Land Use in Maine”

Press Releases

Juliet T. Browne, Scott D. Anderson, Gordon R. Smith

October 30, 2016

The Value of Rockweed is Rising - As Are Tensions Over its Ownership

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith

June 26, 2016

Commissioners Support Milton Township Wind Farm Proposal

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith, Sara Vanderwood

January 19, 2016

Washington County Landowners File Suit to Block Rockweed Harvest on their Shore

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith

January 8, 2016

Rockweed Lawsuit Escalates Debate Over Intertidal Ownership

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith

September 25, 2015

Rockweed Ownership Lawsuit Eyed

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith

June 17, 2015

Ten Wind Farms and Counting: Developers Defy Dogged Opposition

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith

March 6, 2015

Block Island Financing is Wind in Offshore Energy's Sails

Media Mentions

Gordon R. Smith

July 10, 2014

Verrill Dana’s Environmental Group Launches New Blog

Press Releases

Scott D. Anderson, Juliet T. Browne, Harlan M. Doliner, Martha C. Gaythwaite, Keith E. Glidden, Gordon R. Smith, Mathew J. Todaro, Calvin K. Woo

March 25, 2011

Maine Supreme Court Denies Appeals in Record Hill and Oakfield Wind Power Projects

Press Releases

Juliet T. Browne, Gordon R. Smith

June 4, 2010

Maine Board of Environmental Protection Rejects Abutters' Appeal of Oakfield Wind Power Project

Press Releases

Juliet T. Browne, Gordon R. Smith

April 6, 2010

First Wind's Stetson II Wind Energy Project Begins Commercial Operations

Press Releases

Juliet T. Browne, Anthony M. Calcagni, Gordon R. Smith

March 19, 2010

Board of Environmental Protection Rejects Abutters' Appeal of Record Hill Wind Permit

Press Releases

Juliet T. Browne, Gordon R. Smith

March 12, 2010

Maine Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal of Rollins Wind Power Project

Press Releases

Juliet T. Browne, Scott D. Anderson, Gordon R. Smith

Publications

October 28, 2016

A Practical Guide to Land Use in Maine

Published Works

Scott Anderson, Juliet Browne, and Gordon Smith

May/June 2015

Birds and Bats and Blades

Published Works

Gordon Smith

June 9, 2014

The Application of Migratory Bird Protection Statutes to Wind Power Projects

Published Works

Gordon Smith

Areas of Practice (6)

  • Environmental & Land Use
  • Energy
  • Energy - Judicial Appeals
  • Energy - Wind
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Coastal & Shoreland

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
(207) 253-4926  Phone
(207) 253-4927  Fax
www.verrilldana.com/gsmith
University Attended:
University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1998
Law School Attended:
Georgetown University, J.D., 2006
Year of First admission:
2006
Admission:
2012, U.S. Court of Appeals (First Circuit); 2011, U.S. District Court for the District of Maine; 2006, Maine
ISLN:
919785531

Peer Reviews

This lawyer does not have peer reviews.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Client Reviews

This attorney does not have client reviews.
Disclaimer

Documents ({{amountArticles}})

Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com
Other documents: ,

Portland, Maine

Contact Gordon R. Smith

Required Fields

Required Fields


By clicking on the "Submit" button, you agree to the Terms of Use, Supplemental Terms and Privacy Policy. You also consent to be contacted at the phone number you provided, including by autodials, text messages and/or pre-recorded calls, from Martindale and its affiliates and from or on behalf of attorneys you request or contact through this site. Consent is not a condition of purchase.

You should not send any sensitive or confidential information through this site. Emails sent through this site do not create an attorney-client relationship and may not be treated as privileged or confidential. The lawyer or law firm you are contacting is not required to, and may choose not to, accept you as a client. The Internet is not necessarily secure and emails sent though this site could be intercepted or read by third parties.