Whether it’s taking on a local municipality or larger state and federal agencies, people are often intimidated and don’t know where to start. I enjoy helping clients interact with their governments and making sure they’re treated fairly
Since joining Murray Plumb & Murray in 1981, John has worked intensively with virtually every type of law governing Maine land use and regulation. He has extensive experience assisting clients in obtaining development permits for projects ranging from small businesses and residential subdivisions to big-box retail stores and multi-million dollar utility plants. He spends equal time working to help clients opposed to objectionable projects or those wishing to keep development within reasonable limits.
John devotes much of his attention to the investigation and litigation of complex real estate disputes concerning ancient titles, parcel boundaries, location and rights in easements and rights-of-ways, conflicting claims to “paper streets” in old subdivisions, adverse possession and prescriptive rights – in short, virtually any conflict that can arise between neighboring property owners. Although not himself a surveyor or engineer, John frequently provides legal backup to such professionals and is familiar with many of the technical aspects of the surveying and engineering disciplines.
John frequently litigates cases in Superior Courts throughout the State and has argued more than 50 cases before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. He is also adept at representing clients in mediations and frequently achieves cost-effective and creative solutions to what would otherwise have become expensive and time-consuming court battles.
A partner of the firm since 1987, John is widely recognized for his expertise in all aspects of governmental law. Since the early 1980s, he has represented countless people and businesses in litigation against municipalities and other governmental agencies, including defense against prosecutions for alleged zoning and environmental violations He has appeared before the EPA, FERC, FAA, and Army Corps of Engineers at the federal level; the BEP, DEP, DEH, DHHS, and LUPC at the state level; and, before the zoning and planning boards, taxing authorities, business licensing agencies, boards of selectmen, and town councils of most municipalities in Maine.
John has been listed on the Best Lawyers list every year since 2008, was recognized as Lawyer of the Year for 2017 in Litigation – Land Use and Zoning in Maine, and was again recognized as Lawyer of the Year for 2019 in Land Use and Zoning Law in Maine. He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the New England Super Lawyers every year since 2014, and is also AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell. A resident of West Cumberland, John devotes his spare time to restoring an 18th-century cape and surrounding 16 acres of fields that he rescued from irresponsible development as a multi-lot subdivision.
“Master of property dispute resolution. Meeting and working with John Bannon was the bright spot of an unpleasant property dispute with our neighbor. He’s super-smart but able to explain complicated matters in lay terms. His research skills and doggedness were fantastic and made all the difference in our case. A voice of intelligence, reason and calm, an iron fist in a velvet glove, an excellent lawyer.” – anonymous feedback from AVVO.com
- University of Maine School of Law, J.D., cum laude
- Editor-in-Chief, Maine Law Review
- Bowdoin College, A.B., summa cum laude
- Hon. Edward S. Godfrey, Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Bar & Court Admissions
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Maine
Affiliations & Recognition
- Best Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year, 2017, Litigation – Land Use and Zoning
- Best Lawyers, annual inclusion since 2008
- New England Super Lawyers, annual inclusion since 2014
- AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell