James L. Costello, Attorney

Jim Costello is the Managing Member of the firm.  Jim’s practice focuses on real estate and commercial law, utility law and regulatory matters. Jim combines his experience as a former accountant and as a senior energy, regulatory and real estate attorney to represent businesses on a wide range of legal concerns. Jim regularly advises utilities on Maine PUC regulation, utility rights of way, substation and corridor development and site acquisition, operating agreements, and aerial license agreements.  He assists businesses on office acquisition and leasing, business structure, mergers and land acquisition, conservation easements and property tax matters. Jim regularly represents clients on state contract matters and award appeals.  He also offers to counsel corporate clients on regulatory compliance, state and federal laws.

Before joining the firm, Jim served as a law clerk to United States District Judge D. Brock Hornby.

Jim also previously practiced as a Certified Public Accountant with the firm KPMG Peat Marwick, working in both the tax and audit fields, with an emphasis in financial institution audits. He taught accounting at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a course entitled “Accounting for Lawyers” at the University of Maine School of Law.

Jim is active in the community and currently serves on the Yarmouth Economic Development Board and the Board of Directors of Lift 360. He is a Maine Bar Fellow and has served on a number of non-profit boards and local school volunteer activities, including a past board and executive committee member of the Maine Bar Foundation and the Maine Children’s Museum.

Practice Areas

  • Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications
  • General Business, Corporate and Finance
  • Real Estate

Education

  • J.D., summa cum laude, first in class—University of Maine School of Law—1991
  • Editor—Maine Law Review
  • Faculty Scholastic Achievement Award
  • West Scholastic Achievement Award in Commercial Law
  • Law Review Comment Article: The Auditors Responsibility for Fraud Detection and Disclosure
  • Master of Accountancy—University of Wisconsin, Madison—1989
  • B.S. Business Administration - Accounting—University of Maine—1984

Bar Admissions and Memberships

  • Maine
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maine
  • Maine State Bar Association

Representative Matters

  • Negotiated joint project development agreements for 345kV transmission project and associated work on corridor acquisition and development.
  • Represented water utility obtaining Maine PUC approval of a major bulk water sales contract allowing utility to subsidize nearly half the cost of water delivery to its residential and commercial customers (MPUC Docket No. 2012-487); argued before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court (2016 ME 71) to uphold approval.
  • Represented national wireless carrier as intervenor in pole rate case involving universal service fees (MPUC Docket No. 2013-340).
  • Negotiated transmission service and substation installation agreements in connection with large hospital expansion.
  • Represented national provider of 911 services in twice overturning $32 Million agency contract RFP award from the State of Maine to another bidder concerning Maine’s implementation of the NextGen 911 system.
  • Obtained gas pipeline easements to serve central Maine shopping center developments and hospital; negotiated land rights for expansion of gas pipeline.
  • Negotiated design and build agreement and interconnection arrangements for construction of 42 MW Wind Power project in northern Maine.
  • Negotiated co-location agreements, easement agreements and contractual interconnection arrangements on behalf of utilities concerning placement of multiple projects throughout Maine.
  • Advised landowners and wind farm developers on land acquisition, rights of way matters.
  • Represented publically held Maine utility as outside general counsel and negotiated and represented utility in merger and acquisitions, rate cases and other regulatory matters.
  • Represented  truck dealer in overturning State of Maine DOT contract award to provide heavy duty state trucks for state highway plowing and services.
  • Represented  southern Maine colleges in joint appeal of RFP award concerning State of Maine administrative services contract.
  • Negotiated agreement on behalf of City of Bangor-Bangor International Airport and Halifax airport regarding flight access and landing rights.