George F. Burns George F. Burns

George F. Burns


Meet George, seasoned dispute resolution counselor and music lover.

George F. Burns

207 228-7127 direct
207 774-1200 main
207 774-1127 facsimile

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

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2021
    Commercial Litigation
    Construction Law
    Corporate Law
    Litigation – Construction
    Timber Law
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2021 – Lawyer of the Year: Mediation
  • Portland, Maine Lawyer of the Year 2018 – Arbitration
  • Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell for over 25 years
  • Recognized by Super Lawyers – construction law

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

George is passionate about achieving the best practical result, but he tries not to lose sight of humor and humanity in the process. He has been practicing law for over four decades and focuses on litigating, arbitrating, and mediating business and construction disputes. His trial experience is wide-ranging, from securities claims and partnership disputes, to construction cases involving schools, power plants, and bridges. He’s particularly well-versed in assisting clients in the forest products industry and represents a number of related trade associations, including the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association and the National Lumber and Building Materials and Dealers Association.

George is a member of the Commercial Panel of the American Arbitration Association, and the Maine Supreme Court has appointed him as an arbitrator, mediator, and early neutral evaluator for its Court Alternative Dispute Service (CADRES). He’s also helped draft legislation related to securities law and multiple defendant litigation, and has served on Maine Chief Justice Saufley’s Business and Consumer Docket Advisory Committee. George frequently shares his expertise in construction law, as well as related areas like insurance and product liability, in lectures and seminars around the country, He is co-author with his partner Michael Bosse of the ABA book, Building the Construction Case: A Blueprint for Litigators (2014).

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

  • Serving as trustee and counselor to family businesses, as well as providing family business mediation, which he offers in collaboration with Dr. Thomas Davidow
  • Risk management for forest products wholesalers and retailers
  • Representing clients in antitrust claims, as well as aiding in the creation and maintenance of antitrust compliance programs
  • The ins and outs of Article 2 (Sales) of the Uniform Commercial Code
  • Arbitrating, litigating, and mediating matters involving engineering errors and omissions, asbestos, product and boat builder’s liability, marketing contracts, and manufacturers’ representative payments

In his former life, George was:

  • Practicing at his own law firm, Burns, Ray, DeLano & Macdonald, which merged with Bernstein Shur in 2001
  • At Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle (now Nixon Peabody) in Rochester, New York, specializing in commercial, corporate, and securities law

When George isn’t working, he is…

Serving as a president of the Cumberland Club and the vice president of the Lark Society for Chamber Music. George enjoys traveling with his wife and spending time with their five grandchildren. You might also find him on the tennis court or relaxing for a few minutes with his guitar.


JD, New York University, 1972
BS, International Affairs, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, 1969

Admitted to practice
States of Maine, New Hampshire, and New York
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Numerous Federal Court Admissions


Maine State Bar Association
American Bar Association
Cumberland County Bar Association
Maine Bar Foundation (Fellow)
American Arbitration Association (Commercial Panel)
The Cumberland Club (President, Director)
Construction Lawyers Society of America (Fellow)