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Kelly W. McDonald

Kelly W. McDonald

Partner / Chair of Bankruptcy Practice

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    What excites me is getting clients from point A to point B, through challenging terrain, and seeing them thrilled to be there, knowing a difficult chapter in their life has been resolved.


    Maybe it started with his knack for math, but Kelly has always loved solving problems. And he’s good at it. He is a powerful analytical thinker and revels in solving highly technical challenges. As a lawyer, Kelly puts those skills to work on behalf of his clients to help resolve a wide range of disputes.

    Kelly’s practice focuses on litigation involving commercial, bankruptcy, boundary and construction issues. He works directly with clients and in-house counsel and has represented a diverse array of clients in federal and state courts. He loves preparing diligently, anticipating everything, and arguing the case – knowing that hard works pays off where it counts, in court.

    Regardless of the size of the case, Kelly works relentlessly to put clients in the best possible position, whether at trial or as a result of a carefully negotiated settlement. He jumps into problems quickly, communicates openly and effectively, works well with opposing counsel, and cares about his clients’ whole lives. There is nothing he finds more satisfying than reaching a resolution that brings clients their desired outcomes.

    In a court ruling, a senior federal judge described Kelly as “highly experienced” and stated that he viewed “Attorney McDonald as having done exceptional work in an arcane and complicated area of law.” Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. v. Paul R. LePage, et al., Docket No. 1:17-CV-417-JAW, *11 (Dec. 7, 2018).

    An Eagle Scout, Kelly is the Scoutmaster of BSA Troop One in Portland, one of the first co-ed troops in the state. He has been the President of the Maine State Bar Association, the President of the Cumberland Bar Association, Chair of the Police Citizen Review Subcommittee for the City of Portland, and Coach for the Hall Elementary School math team in Portland.

    Kelly is a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School, where he earned awards for best oral argument and his pro bono work. Prior to law school, Kelly taught high school and middle school math, served as crew aboard a tall ship, and owned and operated a translation business in Krakow, Poland. He currently lives in Portland with his wife and three children.




    • University of Virginia, J.D.
    • Bates College, B.A.

    Bar & Court Admissions

    • Maine
    • U.S. District Court for the District of Maine
    • First Circuit Court of Appeals
    • United States Supreme Court

    Blog Posts


    Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: A tool to meet business goals

    Can you still do business with a company that has filed for bankruptcy?


    More resource videos.