Portland, ME        207.772.1941
Portsmouth, NH        603.433.3317
Manchester, NH        603.716.2895
800.727.1941



AMY K. TCHAO

Attorney PDF 



207.253.0552 Phone
207.772.3627 Fax

Email

84 Marginal Way, Suite 600
Portland, ME 04101-2480


Assistant: Mary Kennedy




PRACTICE AREAS

Environmental & Natural Resources
Land Use & Conservation
Municipal Law
School & Education
Disability Law Special Education

EDUCATION

University of Maine School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, 1993

Dartmouth College, B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1986


BAR & COURT ADMISSIONS

Maine
New Hampshire
U.S. District Court, District of Maine
First Circuit Court of Appeals

MEMBERSHIPS

Maine State Bar Association

Maine Council of School Board Attorneys
Executive Committee Member and Past President


New Hampshire Bar Association


COMMUNITY/PUBLIC SERVICE

Maine Women's Fund
  Former Board Member and Executive Committee Member


Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
  Former Board Member




PRACTICE AREAS

Environmental & Natural Resources
Land Use & Conservation
Municipal Law
School & Education
Disability Law Special Education

EDUCATION

University of Maine School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, 1993

Dartmouth College, B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1986


BAR & COURT ADMISSIONS

Maine
New Hampshire
U.S. District Court, District of Maine
First Circuit Court of Appeals

MEMBERSHIPS

Maine State Bar Association

Maine Council of School Board Attorneys
Executive Committee Member and Past President


New Hampshire Bar Association


COMMUNITY/PUBLIC SERVICE

Maine Women's Fund
  Former Board Member and Executive Committee Member


Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
  Former Board Member




Amy Tchao is Drummond Woodsum’s Practice Group Leader for Municipal Law. Over the course of the past two decades, Amy has focused her practice on general municipal law, land use law, and education law.

Amy serves as the town attorney for several Maine municipalities and has served as special counsel for municipalities throughout the State. She has provided guidance to towns and other public clients on a broad range of municipal issues, including land use permitting and enforcement, zoning compliance (including shoreline zoning matters), ordinance drafting, elections, freedom of information requests, property tax, and assessment matters, and review of contract and personnel issues. She has provided legal representation before local and state boards and permitting authorities and has litigated several cases in state and federal court on behalf of municipalities.

Based on her experience as town attorney for a number of towns along Maine’s coast and in its lakes regions, Amy has specialized in resolving complex problems arising from shorefront development, access and permitting issues. For example, Amy has represented a municipality in complex, multi-year, multi-party litigation over public beach access and recreation rights, including appearing before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on these issues. As town attorney, she successfully negotiated a land-use agreement between hundreds of private property owners and the town ensuring public recreational access and ongoing management of the beach resource. She has also drafted ordinances for beach management and use, handled dock and wharf permitting disputes, and provided guidance to coastal towns on public access and ongoing use issues. Amy has presented at several workshops and conferences on topics related to public access to Maine’s coastline and shorefront areas.

In addition to municipal and land use law, Amy represents public schools in the areas of special education and disability rights law and on legal issues involving students, school employees and school board policies. She has advised both public and private schools on a variety of issues, and has represented public schools in administrative hearings, before state and federal agencies, and in state and federal court. Amy also has presented at a number of school law conferences nationally and across the State of Maine and has been the lead instructor for a number of graduate level school law courses for the University of Southern Maine.

Amy is listed in Best Lawyers in America, a guide to leading lawyers in the country, in the categories of Municipal Law, Litigation-Municipal Law and Education Law and was selected by Best Lawyers as Maine's 2014 "Lawyer of the Year" in the category of Municipal Litigation. Best Lawyers also named Amy Maine's 2012 Education "Lawyer of the Year."


AWARDS

  • Education Law Lawyer of the Year, Portland, ME (Awarded by Best Lawyers) 2012, 2016

  • Litigation - Municipal Lawyer of the Year, Portland, ME (Awarded by Best Lawyers) 2014

  • Best Lawyers USA
      • Litigation – Municipal (2013-2018)
      • Municipal Law (2012-2018)
      • Education Law (2009-2018)

  • Martindale Hubbell, BV Distinguished


Amy Tchao is Drummond Woodsum’s Practice Group Leader for Municipal Law. Over the course of the past two decades, Amy has focused her practice on general municipal law, land use law, and education law.

Amy serves as the town attorney for several Maine municipalities and has served as special counsel for municipalities throughout the State. She has provided guidance to towns and other public clients on a broad range of municipal issues, including land use permitting and enforcement, zoning compliance (including shoreline zoning matters), ordinance drafting, elections, freedom of information requests, property tax, and assessment matters, and review of contract and personnel issues. She has provided legal representation before local and state boards and permitting authorities and has litigated several cases in state and federal court on behalf of municipalities.

Based on her experience as town attorney for a number of towns along Maine’s coast and in its lakes regions, Amy has specialized in resolving complex problems arising from shorefront development, access and permitting issues. For example, Amy has represented a municipality in complex, multi-year, multi-party litigation over public beach access and recreation rights, including appearing before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on these issues. As town attorney, she successfully negotiated a land-use agreement between hundreds of private property owners and the town ensuring public recreational access and ongoing management of the beach resource. She has also drafted ordinances for beach management and use, handled dock and wharf permitting disputes, and provided guidance to coastal towns on public access and ongoing use issues. Amy has presented at several workshops and conferences on topics related to public access to Maine’s coastline and shorefront areas.

In addition to municipal and land use law, Amy represents public schools in the areas of special education and disability rights law and on legal issues involving students, school employees and school board policies. She has advised both public and private schools on a variety of issues, and has represented public schools in administrative hearings, before state and federal agencies, and in state and federal court. Amy also has presented at a number of school law conferences nationally and across the State of Maine and has been the lead instructor for a number of graduate level school law courses for the University of Southern Maine.

Amy is listed in Best Lawyers in America, a guide to leading lawyers in the country, in the categories of Municipal Law, Litigation-Municipal Law and Education Law and was selected by Best Lawyers as Maine's 2014 "Lawyer of the Year" in the category of Municipal Litigation. Best Lawyers also named Amy Maine's 2012 Education "Lawyer of the Year."


AWARDS

  • Education Law Lawyer of the Year, Portland, ME (Awarded by Best Lawyers) 2012, 2016

  • Litigation - Municipal Lawyer of the Year, Portland, ME (Awarded by Best Lawyers) 2014

  • Best Lawyers USA
      • Litigation – Municipal (2013-2018)
      • Municipal Law (2012-2018)
      • Education Law (2009-2018)

  • Martindale Hubbell, BV Distinguished


NEWS

Legal Marijuana to Highlight Municipal Training Conference in Maine
September 19, 2017

Thirty Attorneys from Drummond Woodsum are listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2016
August 17, 2015

Seven Drummond Woodsum Attorneys Earn 2016 Lawyer of the Year Distinction from Best Lawyers USA
8/17/2015

Town to Pay for Tainted Well
7/17/2015


ARTICLES

Maine Voices: Access to State's Shores Shouldn't Depend on Whims of Private Owners
March 21, 2014

Federal Office for Civil Rights Issues Landmark Guidance on Disabled Students in Sports
Winter 2013

PRESENTATIONS

Marijuana Legalization: Issues and Questions for Municipalities
March 24, 2017


Maine Municipal Association: Lifting the Haze - Marijuana and Legal Considerations Workshop
February 14, 2017


Weeding Through Marijuana Legalization: What it Means for our Towns
January 25, 2017


Making the Grade in Special Education: Measuring Success, Eligibility, and the Delivery of FAPE in a Standards World
December 2, 2016





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2017 DRUMMOND WOODSUM | ATTORNEYS AT LAW