Paul McDonald Paul McDonald

Paul McDonald


Meet Paul, Co-Chair of Bernstein Shur’s Litigation Practice Group and its General Counsel.

Paul McDonald


207 228-7260 direct
207 774-1200 main
207 774-1127 facsimile

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

Board of Directors

Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice Group

PRACTICES & INDUSTRIES SERVED Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Chambers USA 2024 – Litigation: General Commercial, (16 years ranked)
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2024
    Commercial Litigation
    Litigation – Bankruptcy
  • Super Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent® – Martindale-Hubbell
  • Vincent L. McKusick Award, Maine State Bar Association


McDonald, Paul


A versatile and experienced trial lawyer specializing in commercial and business litigation.

Paul is one of Maine’s go-to trial lawyers for difficult and bet-the-company litigation. Paul provides a unique and effective one-two punch for clients facing the prospect of litigation: combining a deep understanding of business with a keen ability to see and manage the litigation playing field and, therefore, devise and implement winning strategies. As Chambers USA put it in its 2023 Edition of America’s Leading Business Lawyers, “He has a fantastic manner, exceptional knowledge and his interaction with clients is exceptional.’”

Paul serves as Co-Chair of Bernstein Shur’s Litigation Practice Group. He is also the Firm’s General Counsel and a member of its Board of Directors.

Paul is known for his ability to quickly master the nuances of complex subject areas and handle any type of litigation in state and federal courts and arbitrations. His areas of practice concentration include:

• Corporate and Partnership Litigation, including claims involving corporate governance, corporate dissolution, shareholder/partner oppression and freeze out, and fiduciary duty issues
• Campaign finance and election law
• Law firm ethics, rick management, and professional liability claims
• Construction litigation.
• Appeals of state and federal procurement contract awards.
• IP litigation, including trademark and copyright disputes, trade secret and non-competition matters

Before joining Bernstein Shur, Paul was:

• A Partner at Hangley Aronchick, formerly Hangley Connelly, in Philadelphia
• An Associate at Drinker, Biddle & Reath in Philadelphia
• An Associate at Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler in New York

When Paul isn’t working, he is…

Spending as much time as possible with his wife, children, and grandchildren in the Maine outdoors, where they love to ski, hike, and swim. Paul also serves as the Chair of the Board of the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts (IDSVA).

Representative Matters

For Plaintiffs/Claimants:

Prevailed in AAA arbitration on behalf of minority shareholder of a closely held family corporation who had been subject to oppression/freeze out by majority shareholder, which resulted in favorable buyout of client’s shares at a premium price.

Prevailed in International AAA arbitration on behalf of mechanical subcontractor against multi-national corporation arising from the construction of a combined cycle power plant.

Prevailed in dispute on behalf of lead tenant in commercial office building against developer/landlord, which resulted in favorable settlement providing for multi-million dollar rent abatements.

Overturned state award of contract based on an RFP for provision of diesel fuel to state agencies and ferry service on behalf of losing bidder.

Obtained a temporary restraining order/preliminary injunction on behalf of minority shareholder who had been subject to oppression/freeze out by majority shareholder, which led to shareholder auction in which plaintiff ultimately acquired 100% of the stock of the corporation/auto dealership.

Obtained favorable settlement after court-ordered mediation on behalf of bank in claim for negligent misrepresentation against members of the board of directors of borrower that defaulted on its loan agreements. The case was heard in the Maine Superior Court Business and Consumer section.

Recovered $30 million and $29 million respectively for the beneficiaries of deferred compensation plans of bankruptcy debtors in two separate adversary class action proceedings in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Overturned an award by the Maine Public Utilities Commission of a $32 Million contract based on an RFP for the State of Maine’s NextGen 911 system by losing bidder.

Overturned an award by the Maine Department of Labor of contract based on an RFP to detect unemployment insurance overpayments by losing bidder. Defeated a motion to dismiss and thereafter obtained a settlement in favor of plaintiffs in a federal securities fraud action arising out of a tender offer by the general partner for limited partner interests in a real estate partnership.

For Defendants/Respondents:

Obtained dismissal of ethics complaints to the Maine Board of Bar Overseers on behalf of numerous attorneys.

Obtained dismissal of RICO action against bank in United States District Court for the District of Maine.

Obtained dismissal of action (upheld by the First Circuit) against drug manufacturer by mother seeking damages that allegedly arose out of an unintended pregnancy and later birth of a normal, healthy child from the manufacturer of a long-acting, implantable contraceptive. The victory also included obtaining a favorable ruling by the Maine Supreme Court on a question of state law.

Successfully defended, before the Maine Supreme Court, the plan of conversion of a Maine for-profit corporation to a non-profit corporation and reclassification of shares of the for-profit corporation’s stock into interests in the non-profit corporation.

Defeated, on First Amendment and other grounds, a preliminary injunction seeking to stop the broadcast of television ads prepared by a political action committee regarding a citizen’s referendum.

Successfully defended against challenge of award of Wholesale Liquor Contract by Maine Board of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations pursuant to a State-issued RFP.

Obtained, on First Amendment and other grounds, summary judgment in the United States District Court for the District of Maine on behalf of a Maine association of municipalities that was charged with violating plaintiffs’ first amendment free speech rights by using taxpayer funds to support and oppose different ballot initiatives aimed at controlling government spending.

Successfully defeated, after several years of litigation in the United States District Court for the District of Maine, a citizen suit brought against the owner and operator of a Maine hydroelectric dam facility alleging the illegal “take” of protected Atlantic salmon under the Endangered Species Act.

Obtained summary judgment in favor of the board of directors of a Delaware corporation in the United States District Court for the District of Maine (upheld on appeal by the First Circuit Court of Appeals) in a shareholder derivative action asserting that the board had engaged in self-dealing by issuing shares of stock in exchange for personal guarantees of corporate refinancing.

Defeated preliminary injunction and damage claims brought by the direct competitor of a software manufacturing and development company alleging trademark, copyright and misappropriation of trade secrets claims brought in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.


JD, Rutgers Law School, 1986
BA, Biology, Carleton College, 1981, cum laude

Admitted to practice
State of Maine
State of New Jersey
State of Maine New York


Maine State Bar Association
American Bar Association
Edward Thaxter Gignoux Inn of Court