Neal Pratt is a skilled, experienced trial lawyer with more than 28 years of experience trying high-profile cases before juries, judges, arbitrators, and administrative authorities. He is known for his strategic planning and meticulous preparation that often produces a favorable result for his client without the need for protracted litigation.

Neal specializes in complex civil and commercial litigation, including shareholder/partnership disputes, product liability and tort cases, and school disputes and disciplinary matters. He also has substantial experience handling construction disputes, cell tower litigation, and intellectual property cases.

During his six terms as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Cumberland County Civic Center, Neal led the successful bond referendum campaign in which voters approved a $33 million modernization initiative, and successfully navigated extensive media coverage and secured the eventual dismissal of a lawsuit waged by Portland’s professional hockey team.

Maine's largest newspaper has praised Neal as having "earned the reputation as a skilled trial lawyer and top-notch litigator," and clients have stated "he is an excellent attorney" and "he is full of energy and fights the way you would want your brother to."

Honors & Distinctions

  • Recipient of Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce “Robert R. Masterton Award for Leadership in Economic Development (2012)
  • Appointed by Chief Judge of US District Court to serve on Federal Local Rules Advisory Committee
  • Named a "Local Litigation Star" in Maine by Benchmark Litigation, the definitive guide to America’s leading litigation firms and attorneys, in the area of General Commercial Litigation (2011-present)
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America® for Commercial Litigation, Construction Litigation, Product Liability Defense, and Insurance Law (2010-present)
  • Included in New England Super Lawyers for Business Litigation (2008-present)
  • Recognized by Chambers USA for Commercial Litigation (2007-present)

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Maine State Bar Association
  • Cumberland County Bar Association
  • Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Edward T. Gignoux Inn of Court
  • Fellow, Maine Bar Foundation

Civic Activities

  • Director, Maine Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors (2015-present)
  • President, Scarborough Baseball Boosters Club (2016-present)
  • Trustee and six-term Chair, Cross Insurance Arena (formerly Cumberland County Civic Center) (2002-2017)
  • Director, Maine Convention and Visitors Bureau (2011-2013)
  • Director and coach, Scarborough Little League (coached SLL All-Star team to three consecutive district and state titles and two regional tournament appearances) (2006-2013)

Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation

  • Won complete dismissal of a multimillion dollar suit brought against a client in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for want of derivative standing. Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors v. Rod Fisher, et al., Bk. No. 15-10715, Adv. Proc. No. 16-1020.
  • Prevailed before local Board of Appeals in overturning Planning Board’s denial of clients’ application to develop and construct cellular tower. Global Tower Partners, LLC, et al., v. Town of Vienna, Maine, 2015.
  • Secured dismissal of trademark infringement action brought under the Lanham Act involving outdoor apparel “brand” utilized in catalog and web marketing. JL Powell Clothing, LLC v. Brownells Inc., et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. Dkt. No. 13-CV-160-NT (D.Me.).
  • Won arbitration hearing arising out of dispute between general partners and related entities over distribution and allocation of proceeds of $79 million timberland sale. Blanchet Woodlands, LLC v. Pelletier Woodlands, LLC, Arb. No. 50 180 T 00274 08.
  • Won complete dismissal by Federal Court of 185-page complaint seeking $25 million in damages for alleged violations of “RICO” statute stemming from telemarketing of prescription medications. MyFreeMedicine.com, et al., v. Alpine Investors, LP, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. Dkt. No. 08-CV-362-JAW (D. Me.).
  • Obtained stipulated judgment and favorable settlement on behalf of client arising out of series of related lawsuits in state and federal courts involving multiple parties and multimillion dollar claims of fraud, breach of contract, unfair competition, civil conspiracy, fraudulent transfers and defamation. SN Commercial LLC v. Guptill Farms, Inc., et al., Wash. Cty. Sup. Ct. Dkt. No. RE-04- 02.
  • Won summary judgment in federal court in defense of corporate client in multimillion dollar civil rights suit alleging conspiracy among court-appointed Receiver and several public and private entities to put construction company out of business. Downeast Ventures v. Washington County, et al., Dkt. No. CV-05-87 (D. Me.).
  • Successful defense at arbitration and in Texas Federal Court of underground fuel storage tank leak-detection system manufacturer against $20 million product liability, fraud and breach of contract claims. Intelligent Controls, Inc. v. Practical Tank Management, Inc., Arb. No. 11-181- 00454-00; FFP Operating Partners, L.P. v. Intelligent Controls, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 4:01-CV- 00577 (N. D. Tex.).

Product Liability & Tort Defense

  • Won jury verdict on behalf of Sunday River ski area against multimillion dollar damage claim arising out of injuries to passenger who fell from chairlift due to alleged negligent operation in dangerous weather conditions. Sutton v. Sunday River Skiway Corp., Oxford Cty. Sup. Ct. Dkt. No. CV-09-76.
  • Won jury verdict in federal court for appliance manufacturer in product liability action alleging that defective exhaust fan caused building fire. Canning v. Broan-NuTone, LLC, Dkt. No. 05-CV-15-B-JAW (D. Me.).
  • Won summary judgment and successfully defended appeal before Maine Supreme Court in wrongful death action on behalf of a wood products manufacturer following a workplace fatality of third-party trucking company employee. Estate of Joseph Nichols v. Huber Engineered Woods, LLC, Aroostook Cty. Sup. Ct. Dkt. No. CV-06-142; Law Ct. Dkt. No. ARO-09-505. Also
  • Won summary judgment in related insurance coverage dispute in North Carolina. Huber
  • Engineered Woods, LLC v. Canal Insurance, Mecklenburg County Superior Court Dkt. No. 08-CVS-4611.
  • Won jury verdict in federal court on behalf of appliance manufacturer in product liability action alleging that defective coffeemaker caused building fire. Finley v. Mr. Coffee, Dkt. No. 95-CV-167-B (D. Me.).
  • Won jury verdict in federal court as co-trial counsel for automobile manufacturer in defense of claim that design defect caused door misalignment that led to passenger ejection and resulting brain injury. Dube v. American Isuzu Motors, Inc., Dkt. No. CV-96-80 (D. Me.).
  • Won jury verdict as co-trial counsel in defense of heavy equipment dealer against claim that bulldozer design defect caused accident resulting in permanent brain injury. Brown v. Metco, Cumb. Cty. Sup. Ct. Dkt. No. CV-91-937.
  • Won jury verdict in federal court as co-trial counsel for automobile manufacturer in defense of claim that defective roof design caused plaintiff’s quadriplegia following automobile-moose collision. Brawn v. Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd., Dkt. No. 91-0926 (D. Me.).

School Law

  • Obtained successful settlement in high-profile action against area school district on behalf of 11-year-old student who was subjected to bullying and harassment by teacher. Woodford v. RSU 28, Dkt. No. 16-CV-640-GZS (D.Me.).
  • Successfully represented students in multiple disciplinary actions brought by various colleges and secondary schools.
  • Successfully represented multiple school officials and parent groups in disputes with various schools.

Construction Litigation

  • Won jury verdict of nearly $1 million in Vermont Federal Court for general contractor following wrongful termination from construction of large commercial landfill. J.A. McDonald, Inc. v. Waste Systems International Moretown Landfill, Inc., Dkt. No. 2:99-CV-172 (D. Vt.).
  • Won summary judgment in federal court on behalf of commercial contractor in “Miller Act” case resulting in substantial damage award, plus attorney fees, in construction dispute arising out of U.S. Navy contract for aircraft hangar renovations at Brunswick Naval Air Station. United States ex. rel. Doten’s Construction, Inc. v. JMG Excavating and Construction Co., Inc., et al., Dkt. No. 2:03-CV-134 (D. Me.).

General Litigation

  • Won summary judgment in federal court on behalf of a long-term disability insurance carrier in ERISA action in defense of claim of wrongful termination of benefits. Tripp v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co., Dkt. No. 1:03-CV-40 (D. Me.).
  • Represented Maine’s first state-supported mail order pharmacy in defense of highly-publicized and controversial claims of illegal internet sale of scheduled drugs. In Re: PIN Rx, LLC, #2006-PHR-3215.

Criminal Defense

  • Won “not guilty” jury verdict on behalf of duck hunter in widely-publicized homicide trial arising out of shooting death of hunting companion. State v. Mercer, Sag. Cty. Sup. Ct. Dkt. No. CR-97-153.
  • Won “not guilty” verdict in high-profile juvenile arson trial following high school fire. State v. Armstrong, Dkt. Nos. BELDC-JV-00-0092/93.
  • Negotiated dismissal of criminal charges against two Rhode Island businessmen accused of scheming their way into television celebrity Martha Stewart’s coastal Maine estate. State v. Moretti and Cimalore, Hnck. Cty. Sup. Ct. Dkt. Nos. CR-04-302/303.
  • Represented author of letter to infamous “Juror No. 4” that led to mistrial in New York criminal prosecution of Tyco executives Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz. Navigated extensive national media coverage, and facilitated decision by New York prosecutors not to pursue jury tampering charges.