Welcome to the Archipelago. We are building a different kind of firm. One where lawyers, engineers, scientists, policy & communications strategist, all at the top of their respective disciplines, work in the same building. They collaborate formally around conference tables but also informally around coffee machines. When clients come in, they are greeted not by lawyers in a narrow set of specialties, but by professionals with specialized expertise across a broad swath of disciplines. Read More

For Want of Findings: Administrative Appeal Lessons from the Law Court

Posted by: Archipelago Law in Maine Court Decisions on March 8, 2024

By Keith Richard, Esq. and Richard Qualey, Esq. Published in the MAINE LAWYERS REVIEW – November 9, 2023 In the recent Law Court decision Murray v. City of Portland, the Court once again remanded a government agency decision for lack of sufficient factual findings.  2023 ME 57. The case follows an increasing trend that began in 2021, when […]

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Keith Richard receives Distinguished Service Award

Posted by: Archipelago Law in Local Food Economy on September 1, 2023

In recognition of his pro bono legal services for farmers and food entrepreneurs, Legal Food Hub, a project of the Conservation Law Foundation, awarded Keith a Distinguished Service Award. The award was announced in their latest Annual Report. Legal Food Hub matches farmers, food entrepreneurs, and farm and food organizations with free legal help in every […]

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Beach access story makes waves

Posted by: Archipelago Law in Environmental, Land Use, Property Law, Uncategorized on July 27, 2023

Ben Ford was featured in the following news story aired July 26, 2023. WGME reported receiving 30,000 social media hits in response. https://wgme.com/news/local/new-jersey-couple-claims-bought-piece-popham-beach-front-neighbors-cottages-dunes-ocean-beachfront-maine# PHIPPSBURG (WGME)– A New Jersey couple, who own a cottage on Popham Beach, claims they bought and now own the dunes and beach between their neighbor and the ocean.  Richard and Sheila […]

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Anticipated New FEMA Floodplain Mapping Will Alter Development In Maine’s Coastal Communities

Posted by: Archipelago Law in Land Use, Property Law on April 5, 2023

Outdated and inaccurate flood maps have led to an overhaul of Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood mapping which should be available to property owners, municipalities, and state governments as early as this year. These expanded floodplain designations may impede coastal development or force developers and private homeowners to purchase expensive flood insurance policies for new […]

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Maine Roads: Public and Private Rights in Discontinued Town Ways

Posted by: Archipelago Law in Land Use, Maine Roads, Property Law on December 2, 2022

Public and private rights to discontinued roads is a confusing and highly litigated area of land use law in Maine.  Ownership and rights in land encumbered by a discontinued road often hinge on a case-by-case analysis of the history of the right-of-way and the method of discontinuance.  When a homeowner owns land abutting a discontinued […]

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Remembering John R. Coon

Posted by: Archipelago Law in Uncategorized on August 22, 2022

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our dear friend and founding principal, John R. Coon. John was first, a husband and father to three daughters, Hallie, Aryn, and our colleague Hannah. John was also a legal visionary. Working as a trial attorney, John began to appreciate the intricate interplay between […]

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Maine Land Use Permitting: The Natural Resources Protection Act’s Development Review

Posted by: Archipelago Law in Environmental, Land Use on July 26, 2022

Whether you are a construction company, developer, engineer, site designer or homeowner, you must comply with stringent state permitting laws when working near a natural resource.  The Maine legislature has acted to diminish the lasting adverse impacts on natural resources in light of accelerated development.  By enacting the Natural Resources Protection Act (“NRPA”), the legislature […]

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Short Term Renting in Maine: A patchwork of regulation

Posted by: Archipelago Law in Uncategorized on July 18, 2022

Keith Richard, Principal Maine is renowned as a summer tourism destination.  In Portland, even the “budget” hotels can run upwards of $400/night during the peak season.  Given the shortage of rooms, and high prices, it’s no surprise that vacationers have looked to other options. Enter rental websites and apps like Airbnb and VRBO.  Many Mainers have rented rooms, […]

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Maine’s New Residential Density Law May Trigger a Spark In Multi-Family Residential Development

Posted by: Archipelago Law in Land Use on June 30, 2022

The traditional suburban neighborhood lined with single family homes may be a thing of the past.  That’s what Maine legislators had in mind when Governor Janet Mills recently signed Legislative Document 2003 into law.  In a push for more housing and higher residential density, the law requires municipalities to allow multi-family housing in all residential zoning districts […]

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For Want of Factual Findings: A Trend in Maine Supreme Court decisions

Posted by: Archipelago Law in Maine Court Decisions on June 23, 2022

Keith Richard, Principal In 2021, there were a few notable trends in decisions handed down by Maine Supreme Court, sitting as the Law Court.  Each involved administrative appeals from state or local government adjudications that bear important lessons for parties that appear before municipal boards.  The Court’s decisions vacated (reversed or overturned) the decisions at issue on […]

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Effects of Development and Reactive Zoning Amendments: An Increased Need For Hardship Variances

Posted by: Archipelago Law in Uncategorized on February 7, 2022

The swift reaction by many jurisdictions to regulate development could have a drastic side effect for everyday Mainers in hopes of developing their land.  The rate of development in Maine is at an all-time high.  As a result of this unprecedented urban sprawl, municipalities may be forced to react by enacting strict land use regulations limiting the […]

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Before You Buy: Know Whether Others Have the Right to Use Your Property

Posted by: Archipelago Law in Uncategorized on February 7, 2022

With the current real estate boom, potential buyers should be sure to conduct their due diligence before buying, otherwise they may be sharing their newly acquired land with unwanted visitors.  During a title search, title companies should identify any potential adverse interests in the property, including but not limited to easements.  Easements provide an interest in land […]

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Cashing In on Public Rights: How the Shorefront Property Owner Can Benefit from Maine’s Changing Intertidal Ownership Laws

Posted by: Archipelago Law in Uncategorized on September 23, 2021

A change in Maine law could revert ownership of intertidal land from shorefront property owners to the State to hold in trust for the public.  What does this mean for the shorefront owners?  While the intertidal, the land between the mean low tide and mean high tide lines, will no longer be subject to a […]

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