WE THINK YOU’LL LOVE WORKING WITH US. HERE’S WHY.
Joan M. Fortin Joan M. Fortin

Joan M. Fortin


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Meet Joan, tax increment financing pro, land use development devotee, talent and recruitment superwoman, and nature lover.

Joan M. Fortin

CONTACT
jfortin@bernsteinshur.com

207 228-7310 direct
207 774-1200 main
207 774-1127 facsimile

100 Middle Street
PO Box 9729
Portland, ME 04104-5029

Member
Board of Directors
Director of Attorney Recruiting

AWARDS
  • Recognized in Best Lawyers in America for municipal law
  • Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Named Lawyer of the Year for 2013 Portland, ME, municipal law by Best Lawyers
PRESS & PUBLICATIONS

Here’s why you’ll enjoy working with her.

Joan will always have your best interest in mind, whether you’re a developer, member of a legislative body, or an aspiring attorney-to-be. Having helped shape the tax increment financing (TIF) statute, from proposing amendments to the law to creating programs under it, she goes above and beyond to explain the finer details of TIF and to offer her clients efficient, cost-effective solutions that they hadn’t even thought were possible. She’s also concerned about Maine’s economic future—and has helped channel millions of dollars in economic development money into rural areas, where it is desperately needed.

Joan brings that same knack for innovative problem solving and ability to communicate with different audiences to her internal role as director of attorney recruiting. In charge of the firm’s recruiting, retention, and diversity initiatives, she is the go-to person for attorneys seeking to join Bernstein Shur and new attorneys looking for a strong advocate and ally.

But that’s not all. Joan is also very experienced in:

  • Educating and advising city councils, developers, and town voters on TIF—explaining what it is and how it works, clarifying misconceptions, and highlighting the benefits
  • Helping create TIF districts that subsidize the development of residential complexes, businesses, town water and sewer lines, and much more
  • Drafting TIF follow-up legislation for facilitating the flow of property tax reimbursement and negotiating reimbursement agreements, along with negotiating community benefit agreements with host communities for grid-scale wind energy projects
  • Advising property owners and real-estate developers on obtaining land use approvals at local, state, and federal levels
  • Working with real-estate clients on developing retail projects across multiple locations simultaneously

In her former life, Joan was:

  • A law clerk for the Maine Supreme Judicial Court
  • A summer associate at Bernstein Shur
  • An attorney at a litigation firm in Alaska, focusing on telecommunications regulation
  • Part of student services at Bowdoin College

When Joan isn’t working, she is…

On the grant-making committee of the Maine Women’s Fund, serving as a member of the Lex Mundi Women’s Initiative Recruitment and Retention Task Force, and working with Maine College Circle to promote college aspirations in rural Maine. Joan enjoys playing basketball with her son and daughter, and cheering them on as they play football, baseball, soccer, and a variety of other sports. She also loves nature passionately and dreams of splitting her time between Northern Maine and McCarthy, Alaska.

Background

Education
JD, Northeastern University School of Law, 1996
EdM, University of Maine, 1991
BA, Colby College, 1988

Admitted to practice
States of Maine and Alaska
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
US District Court, Districts of Maine and Alaska
US Court of Appeals, First and Ninth Circuits

Membership

Maine State Bar Association
Maine Bar Foundation Fellow
Maine Women’s Fund, Grants Committee