Meet Kai, business-savvy employment lawyer and experienced Title IX and workplace independent investigator.
207 228-7116 direct
207 774-1200 main
207 774-1127 facsimile
100 Middle Street
PO Box 9729
Portland, ME 04104-5029
Labor and Employment Law Practice Group
Title IX Investigations
Labor & Employment
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Workplace and Campus Investigations & Consulting
- Listed in Chambers USA (2019) – Labor and Employment Law
- Named New England Rising Star 2014 by Super Lawyers
Here’s why you’ll enjoy working with her.
If you’re looking for efficient, responsive counsel and down-to-earth advice, look no further. Having grown up in a family-run business, Kai fully appreciates and understands the challenges her clients face when trying to remain compliant in the face of complex and evolving employment laws. She leverages her legal insight and acumen to provide practical advice that puts each client’s goals and mission front and center.
Kai serves as primary outside counsel to a number of higher education institutions and independent secondary schools. Kai has defended schools in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, faculty tenure, and breach of contract cases in both state and federal court. She also has extensive experience consulting on employment, student affairs, faculty tenure, Title IX compliance and FERPA issues. Kai is a frequent speaker at the Independent School Association of Northern New England and Maine Association of Independent Schools.
A significant portion of Kai’s practice is dedicated to conducting independent workplace and campus investigations. Kai is frequently called upon to investigate sensitive and high-profile reports of misconduct involving students, faculty, senior level personnel, coaches, and athletes. For example, Kai serves as a neutral investigator/adjudicator for Bowdoin College, Davidson College, and many other schools and institutions around the country.
Kai is an approved sexual misconduct investigator by United Educators and has received certifications from the Association of Workplace Investigators, Title IX ASAP Training, and ATIXA (Level Two Civil Rights Investigator). She regularly provides consulting services and training workshops to colleges, universities, and secondary schools throughout the Northeast on best practices related to preventing, investigating, and responding to sexual misconduct. She is also a frequent commentator on student sexual assault and has been quoted in the Washington Post, ESPN and BuzzFeed.
Kai was ranked in the 2019 Chambers USA Guide in the Labor and Employment practice in Maine. Chambers USA is an annual publication that ranks the top lawyers and law firms across the United States of America. Individual lawyers are ranked in their practice-area(s) on the basis of their legal knowledge and experience, their ability, their effectiveness and their client-service. After an extensive research process, Chambers noted that Kai is referred to as a “Title IX guru” and “renowned” for being a “careful, capable and thoughtful investigator.” Click here to view Kai’s 2019 Chamber review.
But that’s not all. Kai is also very experienced in:
- Representing schools and companies in contentious employment litigation in state and federal court, including prevailing in a jury trial in the United States District Court of Maine on behalf of a multinational employer in a disability discrimination case
- Defending employers in discrimination, harassment, and retaliation cases before the Maine Human Rights Commission and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Representing schools in Title IX complaints before the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
- Working with colleges, universities, and independent secondary schools on preventative training, policy development, and compliance issues, especially in the area of educator and student sexual misconduct
- Drafting handbooks, policies, and procedures for businesses in accordance with employment laws and best practices
In her former life, Kai was:
Working in her family-owned ski shops. She has practiced at Bernstein Shur since law school.
When Kai isn’t working, she is…
Supporting The Telling Room, a nonprofit writing center for children in Portland, Maine. True to her roots, she enjoys Alpine, Nordic, and backcountry skiing, as well as hiking and training for marathons and triathlons.
Kai’s Recent Speaking Engagements:
- On January 6, 2016, Kai presented on the topic of Faculty Employment Agreements at the Independent School Association of Northern New England (ISANNE) Business Officers Conference in Woodstock, Vermont.
- On February 11, 2016, Kai presented on the topic of Employee Performance Management and Personnel Records at the Maine Independent School Law Seminar in Augusta, Maine.
- On May 13, 2016, Kai was on a panel at the Sports Lawyers Association Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California and spoke on the topic of “Off Field Athlete Conduct Issues: Sexual & Domestic Violence.” The panel was moderated by an ESPN reporter, Jane McManus.
- On May 23, 2016, Kai presented “Understanding the Legal Side of Sexual Assault” to juniors and seniors from Cape Elizabeth High School. Kai’s session was part of a day-long summit organized by students at Cape Elizabeth called SAAFE, which stands for Sexual Assault Awareness for Everyone.
- On September 15, 2016, Kai presented on the topic of “Transgender Employees in the Workplace” to the Northern Maine chapter of the Maine Society of Human Resources Management.
- On November 10, 2016, Kai presented on the topic of “Update & Next Steps for Addressing Sexual Misconduct in Independent Schools” at the ISANNE Heads/Academic Leaders Conference in Meredith, NH.
- On December 13, 2016, Kai co-presented at a day-long ISANNE workshop titled, “Keeping Students Safe: Best Practices in Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct” at Holderness School.
- On March 27, 2017, Kai presented at the Maine Association of Independent Schools legal seminar about employee background checks and mandatory reporting laws
JD, University of Maine School of Law, 2007, magna cum laude
Case note and comment editor, Maine Law Review
BA, English Major, Davidson College, 2003
Admitted to practice
States of Maine and New Hampshire
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
US District Court, District of Maine
US District Court, District of Massachusetts
First Circuit Court of Appeals
Maine State Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)
National Association of College and University Attorneys
Society for Human Resources Management
Association of Workplace Investigators
The Telling Room (Former Board Member)