Education

University of Maine School of Law
J.D., magna cum laude | 2003
Executive Editor, Maine Law Review

Wheaton College
B.A., summa cum laude, with honors in political science | 1999

Admissions

  • New Hampshire | 2012
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit | 2011
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maine | 2007
  • Maine | 2003
  • Massachusetts | 2003

ABOUT Dawn

Dawn Harmon is a director and shareholder of Perkins Thompson.  She is a member of the firm’s Employment and Litigation practice groups.

Dawn’s employment law practice focuses on both advising and litigation.  Dawn’s extensive employment law experience and commonsense approach allow her to effectively counsel employers in making sound legal decisions while also advancing the needs of their company.  Dawn advises public and private employers in all areas of employment law, including wage and hour laws, employment contracts, non-competition agreements, terminations and discrimination and harassment matters.  In addition to this day-to-day counseling, she also regularly conducts training seminars and on-site visits to assist employers with human resources audits.  Although an experienced litigator, Dawn believes that helping employers avoid litigation is the most effective way to serve her clients.  Because Dawn is licensed in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, she can efficiently provide advice to multi-state businesses.

In addition to counseling employers, Dawn is frequently called upon to conduct independent investigations for public and private employers.  Her thoughtful approach gives employers confidence that all investigations will both unbiased and thorough.

While Dawn works closely with employers to prevent litigation, in some instances, it is unavoidable.  In these cases, Dawn is a zealous advocate and committed to protecting her clients’ business interests.  Dawn has successfully defended employers in discrimination, harassment, wrongful discharge and wage and hour claims and has successfully pursued restrictive covenant claims on behalf of employers.  Dawn has represented employers before state and federal agencies in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, as well as state and federal court.

Some of Dawn’s recent representative employment law matters include:

  • Successfully defending an employer before the Maine Human Rights Commission on a claim of disability discrimination brought by a former employee.  The Maine Human Rights issued a finding of “no reasonable grounds” to believe that employer discriminated against the employee.
  • Successfully defending an employer in a wage and hour claim brought by a former employee; the employee sought compensation for allegedly unpaid overtime wages.
  • Acting as an independent investigator for an employer in response to a claim of sexual harassment brought by an employee.
  • Conducting a human resources audit for a large multi-state employer

Dawn’s litigation practice extends beyond employment law.  She regularly represents clients in business litigation matters, construction disputes, and real property disputes, including boundary disputes and partition actions.  In particular, Dawn has litigated a number of partition cases involving family camps.  Dawn strives to provide all of her clients with aggressive advocacy without losing sight of her practical and commonsense approach necessary to efficiently resolve disputes.

Her representative litigation matters include:

  • Successfully prosecuting a partition claim on behalf of a joint owner of a family camp.  Dawn negotiated a resolution between the parties, which resulted in the sale of the property to her client.
  • Successfully defending a boundary dispute between neighbors.  Dawn worked with the parties to achieve a mutually agreeable resolution.
  • Successfully defending a breach of contract claim on behalf of a multi-state employer.  Dawn prevailed on a motion for summary judgment; thereby avoiding the need for trial.
  • Successfully defending a dispute between a homeowner and condominium association.

Dawn is also a member of the firm’s Board of Directors, assisting with firm management matters and the day-to-day operations of the firm.  She currently serves as President.

When not at work, you will probably find Dawn at the baseball field watching her son, Gabe, play short shop, or at a swim meet watching her son, Will, compete.  Dawn’s other interests include biking and exploring the outdoors with her husband, two sons, and dog.

ARTICLES

Publications / Seminars

  • Mainebiz Women’s Leadership Forum: The Gender Wage Gap, Why is it Still a Thing?, Panelist, 2017
  • Biddeford-Saco Chamber of Commerce, Seminar Series, Presenter, 2017
  • Co-Author with Mr. Talbot, “Create a sound bring-your-own-device policy“, MaineBiz (2014)
  • Presenter, “Legal Issues for Startups” at Launch or Grow Business Success Conference (2014)
  • Co-Author with Mr. Talbot, “Make Sure Your Policy on Employee Background Checks is Solid“, MaineBiz (2013)
  • HIV and the ADA: What is a Direct Threat?, 55 Me.L.Rev. 391 (2003)

Membership

Ms. Harmon is a member of the Maine State and American Bar Associations as well as the Maine Trial Lawyers Association. She is active in the Employment Law Section and Women’s Law Section of the Maine State Bar Association. While in law school, she served as Executive Editor of the Maine Law Review.

Service / Achievements

Ms. Harmon serves on the Town of Cape Elizabeth’s Personnel Board of Appeals, a three-person quasi-judicial Board that reviews appeals of Town employee disciplinary actions, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Biddeford-Saco Chamber of Commerce.  She served as a Director and Officer for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine for more than eight years.

Ms. Harmon has been consistently named a Super Lawyer in the area of Civil Litigation Defense.  Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.