James I. Cohen

James I. Cohen



  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Banking & Financial Services
  • Energy
  • Food & Beverage

WSG Practice Industries


WSG Leadership

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Banking & Financial Services

Maine, U.S.A.


Jim practices at the intersection of law and politics. Based on decades of experience as a regulatory lawyer, mediator, and elected official — including as Mayor of Portland, Jim helps clients in heavily regulated industries achieve their legal and policy goals before state and local regulatory agencies and legislative bodies.

Jim's unique background allows him to provide clients not only with insightful legal advice, but also with creative solutions involving public relations, facilitation, and outreach to key government, business, and community leaders. His experience in public service and leadership positions on multiple business and nonprofit boards gives him a deep understanding of government and a broad range of connections within Maine's business and political community.

Applying these skills across a wide range of regulated industries, Jim has helped craft or modify laws and regulations, represented clients in adjudicatory proceedings before government agencies and the courts, assisted clients in complex business transactions, facilitated stakeholder groups, and provided a wide range of legal and public policy advice.

Jim is an avid runner, biker, skier, "golfer" (quotes intentionally added), and sometimes guitar player.

In addition to Jim's main services and industries, he also focuses on the following unique areas:

Bar Admissions

  • Maine

Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maine


  • Columbia University School of Law  (J.D.)
  • Princeton University, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs  (A.B., cum laude)
  • University of Southern Maine (Certificate Program in Mediation)
Areas of Practice

Alternative Dispute Resolution | Banking & Financial Services | Energy | Food & Beverage | Government & Public Relations | Natural Gas | Public & Government Relations —Energy | Telecommunications | Water & Wastewater Utilities

Professional Career

Professional Associations

    Maine State Bar Association
    Federal Communications Bar Association
    Maine Association of Mediators

  • Maine State Bar Association: Consumer and Financial Institutions Section, Chair (1999-2000), Member (1996-present)
  • Maine Association of Mediators, Board of Governors (2008-2010), Member (2007-present)
  • Federal Communications Bar Association, New England Chapter, Steering Committee Member
  • Maine State Bar Association, ADR Section, Member (2009-present)
  • Court Appointed Dispute Resolution Service, Roster of Mediators (2011-2014)


Natural Gas: The Best Path Forward for Maine? 10/10/2013
Public Utilities Regulation: The Best Path Forward, 12/14/2012
Maine Rural Water Association Conference 2012, 12/6/2012
Maine Telecommunications Users Group October Meeting, 10/3/2012
Alumni Faculty Forums at Princeton University 7/1/2012
Fair Lending Hot Topics, Maine Bankers Association Maine Bank Expo 2012, 4/11/2012
A Trustee's Whiteboard, Maine Water Utilities Association Conference, 2/7/2012
Gifts, Entertaining, and Education: Do's and Don'ts, Maine Government Relations, Election Law, November 18, 2011
Greater Portland Economic Development Corporation: A New Regional Approach to Business 4/14/2011
What is the Creative Economy: Lessons Learned in Portland 5/12/2010
Building the Local Creative Economy 11/13/2009
Federal Stimulus Opportunities 6/6/2009
Tax Reform in Maine 10/31/2007
School Consolidation in Maine...By the numbers 10/19/2007
Advocacy Before the Maine Legislature II 11/20/2005
Regional Planning and/or Consolidation of Systems 11/3/2005
The Maine Plan 4/1/2005

Professional Activities and Experience

  • AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business under Energy & Natural Resources Law
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© for Administrative/Regulatory Law, Government Relations Practice, Energy Regulatory Law in Portland, Maine
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in New England Super Lawyers© under Utilities, Banking and Government Relations
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers® as the 2020 Portland, Maine Energy Law Lawyer of the Year
  • Neal W. Allen Award for Leadership in the Public Sector (2009)
  • Ruth M. Shaper Memorial Award, Maine Public Health Association (2008)
  • Public Service for the Environment Award, Sierra Club, ME Chapter (2006)

To learn more about third-party ratings and rankings, and the selection processes used for inclusion, click here.


Energy Law Update

Energy Law Update is a source of news and analysis relevant to the world of energy law: major court and regulatory orders, event announcements, breaking news in the world of renewable energy, and novel legal issues. The blog is edited by Katie Gray and Nora Healy, and features contributions from...

Law of the Land (and air and water)

If the legal issue involves land, air, water, waste, wind, wildlife, trees, or anything else in the natural world, the attorneys in Verrill Dana’s Environmental Law Group have it covered. Seasoned by decades of experience, our legal team recognizes that one of the few constants in our field is...

Lawyers on Tap

The attorneys of Verrill Dana’s Breweries, Distilleries & Wineries Group are here to help your business navigate the complex world of craft beverage production. Our attorneys have the experience necessary to tackle the legal issues and allow you and your company to focus on doing what it does best,...

You Might Be a Winner

Promotion marketing law covers many different topics, such as sweepstakes, contests, games, giveaways and coupons. It also includes cause marketing, an area that has proliferated in recent years, which includes commercial co-ventures, flat donations and sponsorships designed to raise money for...