Joshua D. Dunlap

Joshua Dunlap, a member of Pierce Atwood’s Litigation Group and co-chair of the firm's Appellate & Amici team, focuses his practice on civil litigation at both the trial and appellate levels. He appears in federal as well as state court, representing clients in various commercial litigation matters.

Joshua represents clients before federal and state appeals courts, and has argued and won appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. He has handled a variety of civil and administrative appeals, and amici representations. Joshua is a former federal court of appeals law clerk, having clerked for the Hon. Paul J. Kelly Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He is admitted in multiple courts of appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court, having served with three Special Masters appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court to oversee original jurisdiction proceedings. Joshua's appellate experience provides clients with key strategic insights at all stages of litigation.

Joshua also defends clients in complex litigation, including class actions and multidistrict litigation. Much of his practice has involved representing financial institutions, manufacturers, retailers, and other major institutional clients in state and national consumer class actions involving various issues, including bank overdrafts, products liability, and electronic data breaches. Joshua has also represented clients in administrative proceedings before various boards. He has extensive experience handling a wide variety of claims in state and federal court, including breach of contract claims, unfair trade practices claims, and constitutional claims.

Honors & Distinctions
  • Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® for Appellate Practice and Commercial Litigation (2023-present)
  • Joshua is a former member of the Edward T. Gignoux Inn of Court. He graduated first in his class at Notre Dame Law School and received the "Col. William J. Hoynes Award" for outstanding scholarship and achievement. He also received the "Faculty Academic Award" from Pensacola Christian College for academic excellence.
Professional Activities
  • Chair, Advisory Committee on the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure
  • State Chair, ABA Council of Appellate Lawyers

Practice Areas

Representative Experience
  • Member of litigation team that prevailed on a vested rights claim relating to a major development project, securing a favorable preliminary decision by the Maine Law Court and a unanimous jury verdict – NECEC Transmission, LLC v. Bureau of Parks & Lands, 2022 ME 48
  • Successfully argued on behalf of a coalition of municipalities and other river users in an en banc proceeding before the First Circuit regarding the Penobscot Nation reservation boundaries - Penobscot Nation v. Frey, 3 F.4th 484 (1st Cir. 2021)
  • Prevailed in First Circuit argument, securing denial of a preliminary injunction that would have precluded construction under a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps to a utility company - Sierra Club v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 997 F.3d 395 (1st Cir. 2021)
  • Successfully argued before the Maine Law Court in defending voters' exercise of a people's veto under the Maine Constitution - Payne v. Dunlap, 2020 ME 110
  • Successfully represented Maine's largest utility in an appeal to the Maine Law Court challenging an attempt to revoke a permit for a $1 billion power line by direct initiative - Avangrid Networks, Inc. v. Dunlap, 2020 ME 109
  • Obtained $1.7 million arbitration award in property tax dispute involving a paper mill
  • Defended a major agricultural sciences company in an employment class action
  • Represented a trade organization as an amicus challenging a municipal agency's proceedings before the Massachusetts Appeals Court - Cumberland Farms, Inc. v. Town of Yarmouth Bd. of Health, 97 Mass. App. Ct. 1111
  • Represented a political party in a First Amendment challenge to primary election laws
  • Successfully argued the unconstitutionality of ranked-choice voting before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court – Opinion of the Justices, 2017 ME 100
  • Defended multiple banks in consumer class actions regarding overdraft practices:
    • A national bank in proceedings in Maine state court
    • A state-chartered bank in proceedings in Massachusetts state court
    • A national bank in two multidistrict litigation proceedings in the Southern District of Florida and the District of South Carolina
    • A state-chartered bank in the District of Massachusetts
  • Submitted an amicus brief on behalf of a public interest organization in a criminal appeal in the Maine Law Court - State v. Sudsbury, 2016 ME 25
  • Defended a financial institution in a consumer class action relating to student financial aid accounts
  • Represented pro bono a non-profit organization providing rides to seniors in a case involving breach of contract claims and enforcement of a non-compete provision
  • Represented a condominium association in an appeal to the Maine Law Court - America v. Sunspray Condominium Assoc., 2013 ME 19
  • Defended a national bank in litigation involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty
  • Defended a window manufacturer in a products liability class action
  • Represented an insurance company in an administrative appeal to the Maine Law Court - Bankers Life & Cas. Co. v. Sup't of Ins., 2013 ME 7
  • Represented a hospital in an appeal to the First Circuit involving a multi-million dollar tax refund claim - Maine Med. Ctr. v. United States, 675 F.3d 110 (1st Cir. 2012)
  • Represented an insurance company in rate appeals to the Maine Law Court – Anthem Health Plans of Me., Inc. v. Sup’t of Ins., 2012 ME 21; Anthem Health Plans of Me., Inc. v. Sup’t of Ins., 2011 ME 48
  • Defended a major retailer in a class action relating to an electronic data breach, including appeals to First Circuit and Maine Law Court - Anderson v. Hannaford Bros. Co., 659 F.3d 151 (1st Cir. 2011); In re Hannaford Bros. Co. Customer Data Security Breach Litig., 2010 ME 93
  • Special Assistant to Judge Paul J. Kelly, Jr., Florida v. Georgia, No. 142 Original
  • Law Clerk for Special Master Ralph I. Lancaster, Jr., Florida v. Georgia, No. 142 Original
  • Law Clerk for Special Master William J. Kayatta, Jr., Kansas v. Nebraska & Colorado, No. 126 Original