Cathy Connors is an appellate lawyer, handling civil and criminal litigation matters in federal and state courts, as well as petitions for review of administrative decisions. Cathy has argued more than 100 appeals, primarily in the United States Courts of Appeals and the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Cathy also leads Pierce Atwood's partnership with the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and filed an amici brief in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of 23 historians and the American Historians Association in support of striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

As an appellate lawyer, Cathy's litigation practice runs the gamut from representation of corporations to individuals, such as Senator Susan Collins. The breadth of subject areas she has addressed is equally broad. Cathy joined Pierce Atwood after serving as a Law Clerk for Chief Judge John F. Grady of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

Honors & Distinctions

  • Listed since 2007 in Best Lawyers in America® for Appellate Law and other areas
  • Named 2018 "Lawyer of the Year" in Portland, Maine by The Best Lawyers in America® for Administrative/Regulatory Law
  • Recognized by Chambers USA for Commercial Litigation
  • Named a First Circuit Litigation Star in Benchmark Appellate
  • Elected a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers in 2005 and to the Board in 2015
  • Rated AV® Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell

Professional Activities

  • Member, First Circuit Advisory Committee on Rules, 2009-2012
  • Fellow, Maine Justice Foundation
  • Maine Board of Bar Examiners, 1998-2006 (Chair in 2005)


  •, a blog about appeals and appellate law in Maine. The blog discusses developments in the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and First Circuit Court of Appeals, including recent cases, rule changes and other events.
  • Transgender Youth, Medical Professionals, and the LawWhat You Should Know, Adolesc Med 029 (2018) 131-151 (co-author chapter with Jennifer L. Levi)
  • Water, Tribal Claims, and Maine’s Not-So-Settled Settlement Acts, Natural Resources & Environment, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, Vol 31, Number 2, Fall 2016 (co-author with Matthew D. Manahan)
  • A Practical Guide to Land Use Practice in Maine (MCLE New England 2016) (co-author chapter on takings law with Elizabeth M. Frazier) 
  • A Practical Guide to Superior Court Practice in Maine (MCLE New England 2015) (co-author chapter on appeals in Superior Court with Nolan L. Reichl)
  • The Appellate Practice Compendium, Maine Chapter (ABA Book Publishing 2012)
  • Transmission Preemption - Federal policy trumps state siting authority, Public Utilities Fortnightly (November 2010) (co-author with Deborah L. Shaw)
  • Developments and Trends in the World of Electronic Discovery, "Electronic Records Management and E-Discovery" (2010) (co-author with Mark E. Porada)
  • Free Markets and Their Umpires: The Appeal of the U.S. Regulatory Model, World Policy Journal. (Summer 2005) (co-author with Isabel Bjork)
  • Culture and Crime: Kargar and the Existing Framework for a Cultural Defense, 47 Buffalo L.Rev. 829 (1999) (co-author with Nancy Wanderer)
  • Creation of A National Disaster Court: A Response to Judicial Federation in Action, 78 Va. L. Rev. 1753. (1992) (co-author with Ralph Lancaster)
  • Appalachian Electric Revised: The Recapture Provision of Federal Power Act After Nollan and Kaiser Aetna, 40 Drake L. Rev. 533. (1991)
  • Back to the Future: The Nuisance Exception to the Just Compensation Clause, 19 Cap. U.L. Rev. 1. (1990)

Civic Activities

  • Board of Directors, Animal Welfare Society, West Kennebunk, Maine
  • Member, Town of Kennebunk Dog Advisory Committee (2007-present)
  • Committee Member, Committee to Review Regulatory Takings (2011) (appointed by Speaker of the House to represent private attorneys)

Practice Areas

Representative Experience

  • Antitrust: Davric Maine Corp. v. Rancourt, 216 F.3d 143 (1st Cir. 2000); Diversified Foods, Inc. v. First Nat. Bank of Boston, 985 F.2d 27 (1993)
  • Banking: Lovell v. Peoples Heritage Savings Bank, 14 F.3d 33 (1994 unpub.); Bradbury v. GMAC, LLC, 780 F.Supp.2d 108 (D.Me. 2011); Bank of America, N.A. v. Cloutier, 2013 ME 17, 61 A.3d 1242 (2012); Bradbury v. GMAC Mortg., LLC, 2012 ME 131, 58 A.3d 1054 (2012)
  • Bankruptcy: Ex. California Dept. of Water Resources v. Calpine Corp., 337 B.R. 27 (SDNY 2006)
  • Civil Rights Act: Penn v. Escorsio, 764 F.3d 102 (1st Cir. 2014) (plaintiff); Fox Islands Wind Neighbors v. Department of Environmental Protection, 2015 ME 53, 116 A.2d 940 (defendant); Alexander v. First Wind Energy LLC, No. 12-1488 (1st Cir. 2012) (defendant); Bangs v. Town of Wells, 834 A.2d 955 (Me. 2003) (plaintiff)
  • Condominium Law: America v. Sunspray Condomium Association, 2013 ME 19, 61 A.3d 1249
  • Constitutional Takings: Drake v. Town of Sanford, 643 A.2d 367 (Me. 1994) (representing amici curaie)
  • Criminal Law: State v. Kargar, 679 A.2d (Me. 1996); State v. Harper, 613 A.2d 945 (Me. 1992)
  • Defamation: Fiacco v. Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, 528 F.3d 94 (1st Cir. 2008)
  • Energy: Black Oak Energy LLC v. FERC, 725 F.3d 230 (D.C. Cir. 2013); Conservation Law Foundation v. F.E.R.C., 216 F.3d 41 (D.C. Cir. 2000); Industrial Energy Consumer Group v. Public Utilities Commission, 773 A.2d 1038 (Me. 2001)
  • Election Law: National Organization for Marriage v. McKee, 699 F.3d 34 (1st Cir. 2012), National Organization for Marriage v. Daluz, 654 F.3d 115 (1st Cir. 2011) (representing amicus GLAD); Finks v. Secretary of State, 647 A.2d 402 (1994) (representing Susan Collins)
  • Environmental Law: State of Maine v. Johnson, 498 F.3d 37 (1st Cir. 2007); Conservation Law Foundation v. Hannaford Bros. Inc., 139 Fed.Appx. 338 (2d Cir. 2005); Watts v. Board of Environmental Protection, 2014 ME 91, 97 A.2d 115; Nestle Waters North America, Inc. v. Town of Fryeburg, 2009 ME 30, 967 A.2d 702; Rangeley Crossroads Coalition v. Land Use Regulation Commission, 2008 ME 115, 955 A.2d 223
  • Equal Protection: Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. US DHHS, et al., 682 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2012); Golinski v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 680 F.3d 1104 (9th Cir. 2012); and U.S. v. Windsor, 699 F.3d 139 (2d Cir. 2012), aff’d (U.S. 2013) (representing coalition of family law historians and the American Historians Association to strike down Defense of Marriage Act)
  • ERISA: Vander Luitgaren v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 765 F.3d 59 (1st Cir. 2014); Merrimon, et al v. Unum Life Insurance Company, 758 F.3d 46 (1st Cir. 2014);
  • Ethics: Board of Overseers of the Bar v. Warren, 2011 ME 124, 34 A.2d 1103 (upholding attorney client privilege)
  • The False Claims Act: U.S. ex rel. Springfield Terminal Ry. Co. v. Quinn, 14 F.3d 645 (D.C. Cir. 1994) (plaintiff); U.S. ex rel. Loughren v. Unum Group, 613 F.3d 300 (1st Cir. 2010) (defendant)
  • Family Law: Nolan v. LaBree, 2012 ME 61, 52 A.2d 923 (repesenting amicus curiae coalition of Maine family lawyers); Adoption of Patricia A. Spado, 2009 ME 76; 912 A.2d 578
  • First Amendment: National Organization for Marriage v. McKee, 699 F.3d 34 (1st Cir. 2012), National Organization for Marriage v. Daluz, 654 F.3d 115 (1st Cir. 2011) (representing amicus GLAD); Central Maine Power Co. v. Public Utilities Commission, 734 A.2d 1120 (1999); Verizon New England, Inc. v. Public Utilities Commission, 866 A.2d 844 (2005)
  • Freedom of Information Requests: Penobscot Nation v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., 254 F.3d 317 (2001); Great Northern Paper, Inc. v. Penobscot Nation, 770 A.2d 574 (2001); Scola v. Town of Sanford, 695 A.2d 1194 (Me. 1997) Bangor Pub. Co. v. Town of Bucksport, 682 A.2d 227 (Me. 1996)
  • Insurance: AutoEurope, L.L.C. v. Connecticut Indemnity Co., 321 F.3d 60 (1st Cir. 2003); Conumsers for Affordable Health Care, Inc. v. Superintendent of Ins., 809 A.2d 1233 (Me. 2002)
  • Labor Law: N.L.R.B. v. LaVerdiere’s Enerprises, 933 F.2d 1045 (Me. 1991)
  • Land Use: Duffy v. Town of Berwick, 2013 ME 105, 82 A.3d 148; Lewis v. Town of Rockport, 2005 ME 44, 870 A.2d 107
  • Maine Constitutional Law: Delogu v. State, 1998 ME 246, 720 A.2d 1153 (Me 1998) (represeting amici curiae Maine Chamber & Business Alliance, Maine Municipal Ass'n, Maine Pulp & Paper Ass'n; the Cities of Auburn, Brewer, Lewiston, Portland, South Portland and Saco; and 22 corporations or other business entities)
  • Real Estate: Dowling v. Salewski, 2007 ME 78, 926 A.2d 193 (representing amicus curiae Real Estate section of the Maine State Bar Association)
  • Tax: Commissioner of Revenue v. AT&T Corp., 11-P-1462 (Mass. Ct. App. 2012)
  • Telecommunications: Sprint Spectrum, L.P. v. Town of Ogunquit, 175 F.Supp. 77 (D. Me. 2001)
  • Torts: Coyne v. Peace, 2004 ME 150, 863 A.2d 885 Anderson v. Hannaford Bros. Co., 659 F.3d 151 (2011) Rhode Island v. Lead Industries Ass'n, 951 A.2d 428 (R.I. 2008); McLaughlin v. Superintending School Committee of Lincolnville, 832 A.2d 782 (Me. 2003); Colford v. Chubb Life Ins. Co. of America, 687 A.2d 609 (Me. 1996); Peters v. Saft, 597 A.2d 50 (Me. 1991) (representing amicus curiae Maine Trial Lawyers Association)
  • Venue: Iragorri v. International Elevator, Inc., 203 F.3d 8 (1st Cir. 2000)