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ATTORNEYS AT LAW
“The successful practice of law is so much more than wearing a suit – it takes grit, creativity, and the drive to make things happen.”
--- Sarah Irving Gilbert, Esq.
Formidable but compassionate; tenacious but fun-loving, Sarah Irving Gilbert has proven herself a force to be reckoned with in courtrooms across midcoast Maine (and across the State). Raised in Machias and fiercely loyal to her Downeast heritage, Sarah left her hometown to study at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, followed by the University of Maine School of Law, where she received scholarships, graduated magna cum laude, and as a professor’s assistant, taught substantive classes in constitutional law, torts, and legal writing. At some point, Sarah was able to fit in a semester at the University of St. Andrews ---Scotland’s oldest university, founded in 1413.
After excelling in law school, Sarah was tapped by the Maine Supreme Court (the “Law court”) to serve as law clerk for the Honorable Donald G. Alexander. Fast forward about a decade, and Sarah has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star for five (5!) consecutive years in recognition of obtaining millions of dollars for her personal-injury clients in the form of jury verdicts and settlements. Notably, Sarah was proud and honored to work with her mother, the Hon. Rebecca A. Irving, of Machias (winner of the 2017 Caroline Duby Glassman Award, Chief Tribal Court Judge, Passamaquoddy Tribal Court), to obtain a $2.3 million dollar judgment for a sexual assault survivor in Washington County.
When she is not standing up to insurance companies in her personal-injury matters, Sarah can be found litigating complex and contested family matters, probate matters, and other cases ranging from real estate disputes to contested adoptions. Sarah argues regularly before Maine’s highest Court, and has successfully appealed or defended numerous cases for which she is the attorney of record. For example, Sarah argued and/or was counsel of record in the following Law Court appeals:
State of Maine v. Bradley Lemay (criminal appeal related to prejudicial joinder);
Halpin v. Halpin (contesting lack of spousal support in a short marriage);
Jennings v. Jennings (upholding Probate Court jurisdiction related to damages);
Thumith v. Thumith (overturning trial court’s award of spousal support and property distribution as not equitable);
Harshman v. Harshman (upholding award of spousal support and marital property distribution involving out-of-state trusts);
In re Liam O. (establishing that the State cannot treat parents who receive public aid differently in termination of parental rights cases);
Wood v. Wood (successfully challenging a reduction in a jury award for the injured client’s receipt of ‘med pay’ coverage);
Steadman v. Pagels (upholding multi-million dollar judgment for victim of sexual assault, upholding admission of ‘prior bad acts’ evidence in civil matters);
In re. Kiara L. (challenging the limits of guardianships in Probate Court); and
In re Paisley W. (upholding contested adoption, despite DHHS withholding consent).
Sarah firmly believes as an attorney in Maine that she owes her community more than just an active legal practice. As a result, Sarah serves as on the Board of Governors to the Maine Trial Lawyers Association, as Treasurer to the Knox County Bar Association, serves on the Transitioning Lawyer’s Counsel (seeking to encourage new lawyers to open practice in rural Maine), the Maine State Bar Association CLE Committee, the Town of Union Board of Appeals, and Sarah is proud to speak at numerous state Bar events such as Bridging the Gap and Women in the Law panel discussions.
Sarah and her husband Christopher (a software engineer/architect) have two little daughters, Ivy and Eliza, and are enjoying life to the fullest out in the countryside. If you are in need of a really good lawyer, call Sarah.