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Maine Legal Forum on Emergency Powers

May 14, 2020 @ 4:30 PM 5:30 PM

Where COVID-19 Meets Maine Law

Join Maine Policy and a panel of three lawyers of diverse expertise and specialty for an intellectual exploration of the constitutional and legal questions arising from state and local emergency orders in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Maine-based attorneys, Patrick Strawbridge, Keith Jacques, and Sigmund Schutz will answer your questions and discuss their perspectives on the limits of state power under a State of Emergency.


This special legal townhall will be hosted by Matthew Gagnon, Chief Executive Officer of Maine Policy Institute, a nonpartisan, non-profit public policy research organization based in Yarmouth.

Registration is now closed. Check the Maine Policy Institute Facebook, Youtube, and Soundcloud pages for the recording of the event this weekend. Thank you for your interest and support.

Our Panel:

Keith Jacques has worked as a civil trial lawyer for over 25 years, successfully representing plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial cases, personal injury, products liability, medical malpractice, business and contract disputes. He has represented individuals, small businesses, and large companies in a wide variety of commercial matters and frequently is asked to mediate civil disputes. He currently serves as City Solicitor for the City of Biddeford.

A lifelong resident of Maine, Keith also is very active in many legal and community organizations. He was elected to the Board of Governors of the Maine State Bar Association. He is a Trustee of the University of New England and a Director and Corporator at Biddeford Savings Bank. He is a Corporator at Sweetser Children’s Services. 

Keith is an avid sailor. He also enjoys skiing, golf and coaching youth sports. Keith lives in Saco, Maine with his wife, Kathleen and their three children.


Patrick Strawbridge has represented a broad range of individual and institutional clients on matters of constitutional law, financial and securities regulation, environmental laws, complex commercial disputes, and consumer protection statutes. He provides clients with advice and representation at the pre-litigation, trial, and appellate stages. His experience includes arbitrations, trial and appellate litigation, and administrative and regulatory proceedings.

Mr. Strawbridge served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Judge Morris Sheppard Arnold of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and Justice Howard Dana of the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine. Previously, Mr. Strawbridge was a partner at two large international law firms. He is an adjunct professor for the Supreme Court Clinic at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.

Mr. Strawbridge earned a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri, and his J.D. summa cum laude from Creighton University School of Law. He is a member of the Connecticut, Maine, and Massachusetts bars.


With courtroom successes for public companies, regional businesses, insurers, and entrepreneurs, Sigmund Schutz is a trial lawyer with more than twenty years of hearings to his credit, including jury trials in state and federal court, multi-week complex arbitrations, and high-stakes administrative hearings. In 2016, Sig won a $13.6 million jury verdict in a complex business case. He has been counsel of record in many state and federal reported judicial decisions, including nearly thirty appeals.

In his media law practice, Mr. Schutz represents the news media in First Amendment matters, defamation and privacy, state and federal freedom of information, newsgathering and cyber law. He has also served as counsel in copyright, trademark, and advertising matters. Sig’s experience also includes a range of complex state and federal litigation and appeals, including product liability claims, environmental and land use litigation, securities disputes, construction litigation, commercial litigation and arbitration, civil rights and constitutional litigation, professional liability disputes, and unfair trade practices and administrative claims.

Sig currently sits on the Board of Directors of the New England First Amendment Coalition and the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition, and serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for Portland Ovations. He is a member of the Environmental Technology Council of Maine and serves on the Board of Trustees at North Yarmouth Academy.