Peter C. Felmly


Peter C. Felmly


Phone: 207.253.0573 Fax: 207.772.3627 Email:

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

Assistant: Sydney Feldman Email:


Peter Felmly advises public schools, businesses, and nonprofit organizations on a broad spectrum of school, employment, and labor law issues. Peter strives to provide his clients with timely, comprehensive, and creative solutions as they navigate the complex web of statutes and regulations governing their operations.

Employers turn to Peter for guidance on compliance with a host of state and federal employment laws, including  the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Maine Human Rights Act, and the Whistleblowers’ Protection Act. Peter also routinely advises supervisors, HR professionals, and elected school boards  on hiring practices, discipline and discharge practices, workplace investigations, and employee classification and compensation issues. He helps employers conduct training for employees and supervisors, and assists them with the development of employment agreements, separation agreements, employment policies and handbooks.

Peter regularly represents employers at the bargaining table, in grievance arbitration proceedings, and before administrative agencies, including the Maine Human Rights Commission, the Maine Labor Relations Board and the Department of Labor. Peter draws on over a decade of employment litigation experience to give clients valuable insights into the options available to achieve their goals, the strength of their position, and the potential risks associated with particular employment decisions.

In addition, Peter provides advice and counsel to schools regarding the constitutional rights of students and school employees, public schools’ obligations under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act, and compliance with a myriad of state and federal laws and regulations controlling the operation of educational institutions.

Peter has been recognized as one of the 2020-2022 Best Lawyers for Employment Law-Management and by New England Super Lawyers in the areas of Employment & Labor, Schools & Education, and Employment Litigation. Peter is also the editor of Maine School Law and Practice for Board Members: A Practical Guide (5th Edition) published in 2017, Maine School Law and Practice for Board Members: A Practical Guide (6th Edition) published in 2023, as well as a co-author of Maine School Law in multiple editions: 6th edition (2018), 5th Edition (2014), and 4th Edition (2012).

Peter is frequently invited to present to schools on a variety of topics including effective hiring practices, teacher evaluations, investigating staff misconduct, employees’ and students’ rights under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments, collective bargaining strategies, and copyright law. Peter has also taught graduate-level school law courses at the University of Southern Maine.

In his free time, Peter enjoys spending time with his wife, two daughters and their black lab. He also enjoys fly fishing, camping, hiking, and travel.


University of Maine School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2003

Colby College, including a semester at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland (Spring 1997), B.A., 1998


New England Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor, Schools & Education, Employment Litigation, Rising Star 2008-2016

Best Lawyers USA, Employment Law – Management 2020-2024

Representative Clients & Matters

Regional School Unit No. 5 v. The Coastal Education Association

Mount Abram Teachers Association v. M.S.A.D. 58

Michael Doyle v. Town of Falmouth, et al.

Richardson v. Winthrop Sch. Dept.

Bristol West Ins. Co. v. Wawanesa Mut. Ins. Co., et al.

Blethen Maine Newspapers, Inc. v. Portland School Committee

St. John v. City of South Portland

Berry v. City of South Portland

Cyr v. Madawaska School District

Downeast Coffee Co. v. Seacoast Coffee Company, LLC, et al.

Cole v. Maine School Administrative District No. 1


Editor, Maine School Law and Practice for Board Members: A Practical Guide, 5th Edition (2017)

Co-Author, Maine School Law, 5th Edition (2014)

Co-Author, Maine School Law, 4th Edition (2012)


Maine Council of School Attorneys
Member, 2009 to Present

Maine State Bar Association
Board Member, Board of Governors, 2008-2014

Maine State Bar Association
Member, Continuing Legal Education Committee, 2004-2010

Maine State Bar Association
Board Member and Chair, New Lawyers Section, 2004-2009; Chair 2006

New Hampshire Bar Association

Maine State Bar Association

Maine State Bar Association Labor & Employment Section

Community/Public Service

Maine’s Justice Action Group
 Committee Member (2006-2007)

Past Presentations

From December 6, 2023 12:00 pm

Annual Legal Year in Review – Time to Look Back at What Has Changed, and Forward to What to Expect (Maine)

From September 20, 2023 9:00 pm

Annual Legislative Update

The Maine Legislature has been active this session and has passed many new laws that will impact how schools conduct their business going forward. Our team at Drummond Woodsum is in the process of digesting these new laws to understand their impact (and monitoring those bills that could still become law).

From September 6, 2023 12:00 pm

Generative Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace (Maine)

From June 7, 2023 12:00 pm

Don’t “Just Say No”: How to Respond to Today’s Accommodation Requests (Maine)

From March 8, 2023 12:00 pm

Getting Pay Right (Maine)

From February 9, 2023 3:30 am

What you Need to Know About Navigating School Policies in 2023

From December 7, 2022 12:00 pm

Annual Legal Year in Review Time to Look Back At What Has Changed, And Forward At What to Expect (Maine)

From September 7, 2022 12:00 pm

Unpacking Today’s Complicated Leave Issues (Maine)

From August 26, 2022 9:00 am

Maine Annual Legislative Update – ZOOM Edition

From June 17, 2022 12:00 pm

Student Rights: Zooming in on the Rights of Transgender and Gender Expansive Students

From June 8, 2022 12:00 pm

Employee Evaluations: Are they worth the hassle? (ME)

From March 9, 2022 12:00 pm

Dealing with Employee Misconduct/Performance During the Pandemic: What is Fair Now?

From January 19, 2022 1:00 pm

A Balancing Act: The Role of the School Board Chair in Managing Their Team and in Managing Public Comment at School Board Meetings

From September 29, 2021 9:00 am

Annual Legislative Update-ZOOM Edition

From October 30, 2020 8:30 am

47th Annual Maine School Management Association Conference

From September 9, 2020 12:00 pm

All Hands on Deck: Dealing with Employment Issues in a Pandemic

From July 6, 2020 12:00 pm

2020 Maine School Law Institute (Virtual!)

From June 10, 2020 8:30 am

HR in the Time of COVID-19

From March 11, 2020 9:00 am

Assessing and Resolving Workplace Conflict and Allegations

From December 4, 2019 12:00 pm

Significant Cases and Highlights From 2019

From September 13, 2019 12:00 pm

The Dam Breaks: New Laws Flood Schools

From September 11, 2019 12:00 pm

The Levee Breaks: New Laws Flood Employers

From July 16, 2019 12:00 pm

2019 Maine School Law Summer Institute

From June 5, 2019 8:00 am

Hiring the Best Seamlessly and Without Incident: Attracting the Right Applicants, Interviewing, Onboarding, and I-9s

From March 20, 2019 8:00 am

Dealing with Reasonable Accommodation: What to do when an Employee Needs or Requests an Accommodation

From December 5, 2018 8:00 am

Looking Back at 2018 and Looking Forward to 2019

From September 12, 2018 12:00 pm

Workplace Investigations: Handling Employee Complaints

From June 6, 2018 8:00 am

Violence in the Workplace: Handling Threats, Identifying Risks, and Recommended Policies

From March 14, 2018 12:00 pm

Employer Rights when Employees Speak Out: How to Handle Employee Speech and Association Issues Inside and Outside the Workplace

From February 28, 2018 9:00 am

Student Discipline Hearings: What Administrators Must Know to Run and Effective and Lawful Hearing

From January 31, 2018 12:00 pm

Supporting Transgender Students in Maine Schools

From September 6, 2017 12:00 pm

Three Laws Employers Frequently Violate Without Knowing It

From July 18, 2017 12:00 pm

2017 Maine School Law Summer Institute

From May 31, 2017 12:00 pm

Dealing with Disabilities in the Workplace

From May 10, 2017 12:00 pm

Getting Pay Right: Compliance and Fairness

From October 21, 2016 12:00 pm

Maine School Business Officials 3rd Annual Law Seminar