James I. Cohen: Public Service

Education and Community Service

Mr. Cohen grew up in Portland, received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and his J.D. from the Columbia School of Law. As a Portland resident, Mr. Cohen has served on numerous community boards, including a term as president of Portland Trails; founding president of the North Deering Neighborhood Association; and vice president of budget and finance for the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Cohen is a former trustee of the Maine Public Spending Research Group and the Maine Association of Mediators. As a board member of the Portland Regional Chamber, he helped spearhead the Chamber's effort to establish a regional economic development authority in partnership with the Metro Regional Coalition.

Political Experience

From 2002 to 2008, Mr. Cohen served on the Portland City Council, including a term as Mayor of Maine's largest city. During his tenure, Mr. Cohen successfully spearheaded initiatives ranging from expanding Portland's creative economy, to helping form and then chairing a six-community partnership called the Metro Regional Coalition; to helping form a Joint Task Force to address renovation of the Cumberland County Civic Center; to hosting two regional bus transit summits in collaboration with MaineDOT and the Governor; to developing the Volunteer Portland website and eContact constituent services system; to chairing committees to renovate a local elementary school and expand the Portland International Jetport. As Mayor, Mr. Cohen organized the Sustainable Portland Task Force and was the first mayor in Maine to sign onto the U.S. Conference of Mayor's Climate Action Plan in 2006. He received a Service for the Environment Award from the Sierra Club for his efforts. Mr. Cohen also established the Mayor's Healthy Portland Task Force to promote walking and biking and to curb public smoking; in recognition of these efforts, Mr. Cohen received the Ruth M. Shaper Memorial Award from the Maine Association of Public Health. Mr. Cohen was the first-ever chair of the City Council's Transportation Committee, and in 2006 he served as vice-chair of the Community and Faith-Based Initiatives Task Force of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Mr. Cohen presided over the formation of a regional crime lab, which is now named after him and former Portland Police Chief Timothy Burton and received a commendation from the Portland Police Department for his efforts. Mr. Cohen chaired the City Council's Finance Committee and Cumberland County's Budget Advisory Committee. As Mayor, Mr. Cohen hosted a monthly call-in cable television program, and during his six years of public service frequently appeared on television, on the radio, or in the local press – including as a columnist in a local newspaper. From 2009-10, Mr. Cohen served as vice-chair of the Portland Charter Commission, and was the top vote-getter in the election to the Commission.

Public Service

Mayor, City of Portland (2005 - 2006)
Portland City Council (2002 - 2008)
Portland Charter Commission, Vice Chair (2009 - 2010)
Portland Regional Chamber, Chair (2012 - 2014) Trustee (2008 - present)
Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Trustee (2009 - present)
Maine Public Spending Research Group, Trustee (2005 - 2008)
U.S. Conference of Mayors, Community and Faith-Based Initiatives Task Force, Vice Chair (2006)
Portland Trails, President (1997 - 1998), Advisory Trustee (2002 - )
Portland Symphony Orchestra, VP of Budget and Finance (1999 - 2002)
Portland City Council Finance Committee, Chair (2006 - 2008)
Metro Regional Coalition, Chair (2007 - 2008)
Cumberland County Budget Advisory Committee, Chair (2005)
Downtown Portland Corporation (2005 - 2006)
Portland City Council, Community Development Committee (2002 - 2005; 2007 - 2008)
Creative Economy Steering Committee, Chair (2007 - 2008)
Portland City Council Transportation Committee, Chair (2002 - 2005)
Jetport Master Planning Committee, Chair (2005 - 2007)
Greater Portland Transit District, Trustee (2002 - 2005)
Narrow Gauge Rail Alignment Committee, Chair (2005)
Sustainable Portland Task Force (2006 - 2007)
Portland City Council, Energy and Sustainability Committee (2007 - 2008)
Riverton School Building Committee, Co-Chair (2005 - 2006)
Cumberland County Civic Center Joint Task Force (2006 - 2010)
Mayor's Healthy Portland Task Force (2006 - 2008)
Communities Putting Prevention to Work (ARRA program), Leadership Council (2010 - )
North Deering Neighborhood Assoc., Founding Pres. (2001), Trustee (2002 - )
Portland Public Library, Trustee (2005 - 2006)

Firm Highlights

Publication/Podcast

FDA Issues Guidance on IRB Review of Non-Emergency Individual Patient Expanded Access Requests for Investigational Drugs and Biological Products to Treat COVID-19

Prompted by a substantial increase in requests for individual patient access to investigational drugs and biologics to treat COVID-19, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued guidance on June 2, 2020 that outlines...

Publication/Podcast

PPP: How is Maine Faring?

Originally enacted on March 27, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) offers loan support and (potentially) loan forgiveness to qualifying small businesses – generally defined as those with not more than 500 employees. According to...

News

Verrill Welcomes Esteemed Corporate and Securities Attorney Edward Rosenthal

(June 10, 2020) – Verrill is pleased to welcome corporate and securities attorney Edward Rosenthal to the firm as a member of the Business Law Group. Rosenthal brings with him more than 40 years...

News

Paycheck Protection Program Focuses on Short-Term and Misses Long-Term Damages

On June 8, the Portland Press Herald published an article, "Revamped emergency loan program remains a short-term fix," discussing the Paycheck Protection Program's (PPP) extended deadlines and loosened restrictions, but lack of solutions to...

Event

2020 OHRP Exploratory Workshop

Health care attorney Emily Fogler will be presenting at the 2020 OHRP Exploratory Workshop in the third session, discussing sharing responsibilities and protecting participants - redefining roles in the single IRB era. Stay tuned...

Blog

IRS Allows Tax-Advantaged Leave Donation to COVID-19 Relief Organizations

Under new guidance, the IRS will give favorable tax treatment to employees who donate leave to COVID-19 relief organizations. In IRS Notice 2020-46 , the agency announced that employees who donate paid leave for...

Blog

Financial Institutions . . . In the News

Town & Country Federal Credit Union to host virtual money conference ( Mainebiz 6.23.2020) Connected Credit Union and Winslow Community Federal Credit Union ’s merger is effective June 27 and will be known as...

Matter

Political Service

Mayor, City of Portland (2005-2006) Portland City Council (2002-2008) Portland City Council Transportation Committee, Chair (2002-2005) Jetport Master Planning Committee, Chair (2005-2007) Greater Portland Transit District, Trustee (2002-2005) Narrow Gauge Rail Alignment Committee, Chair...

Matter

Community Service

Portland Regional Chamber, Chair (2012-14) Trustee (2008-16; 2019- present) Portland Community Chamber of Commerce, President (2019- ) Trustee (2016-present) Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Trustee (2009 - present) Project Green Schools, Advisory Trustee (2017-present...

Blog

IRS Issues New Guidance on CARES Act Retirement Plan Distributions and Loans

The IRS recently issued Notice 2020-50 , which expands relief provided for retirement plan distributions and loans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Distributions Under the CARES Act, a...