Academy Member Inducted 2023

Download PDF
George F. Burns, Arbitrator, Portland, Maine.

George F. Burns

Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson, P. A .
100 Middle Street
PO Box 9729
Portland, ME 04101
Tel: (207) 228-7127
Cell: 2073187068
Fax: (207) 774-1127
Send Email
Recognized to Maine Chapter for Arbitration Other ADR Services: ADR Training/CME, Court-Appointed Neutral (Special Master), Discovery Referee, Early Neutral Evaluation, Fact Finding, Med-Arb, Mini-Trial Judge
Video Conferencing
  • Practice Commenced1995
  • # of MEDS (as of 18/7/24)100
  • # of ARBS (as of 18/7/24)100
Current Practice
Online / In-Person


George is passionate about achieving the best practical result, but he tries not to lose sight of humor and humanity in the process. He has been practicing law for over four decades and focuses on litigating, arbitrating, and mediating business and construction disputes. His trial experience is extensive and multi-faceted, before juries and arbitrators alike throughout New England and New York, including numerous construction and design claims, some involving tens of millions of dollars;  products liability and toxic tort cases; and personal injury, tax, antitrust,  securities,  and partnership disputes.  A common thread is often a dispute over a contract of some kind, including claims and defenses under the Law of Sales, Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code.

Based on his wide variety of experience in business law George has become, in effect,  outside general counsel to several important American companies and trade associations.

George is a member of the Commercial Panel of the American Arbitration Association, and the Maine Supreme Court has appointed him as an arbitrator, mediator, and early neutral evaluator for its Court Alternative Dispute Service (CADRES). He’s also helped draft and enact legislation related to securities law and multiple defendant litigation, and has served on Maine’s Business and Consumer Docket Advisory Committee. George frequently shares his expertise in construction law and antitrust, as well as related areas such insurance and product liability, in lectures and seminars around the country, He is co-author with his partner Michael Bosse of the ABA book, Building the Construction Case: A Blueprint for Litigators (2014).

Recently, with former Bankruptcy Judge Louis Kornreich, George co-founded Bernstein Shur’s CERT Group standing for Case Evaluation and Resolution Team.  Judge Kornreich and George have nearly 100 years of combined experience as trial lawyers, judges and neutrals of two former groups devoted to normal methods of dispute resolution outside of the normal court process or as referees were special masters within that process.

Case Experience

  • Anti-Trust
  • Appellate
  • Arts (Fine/Performing)
  • Banking & Finance
  • Bankruptcy/Creditors
  • Business Dissolution
  • Class Actions
  • Commercial/Business
  • Construction
  • Contract Disputes
  • Eminent Domain
  • Energy Sector (Oil/Gas)
  • Engineering
  • Entertainment Sector
  • Family Businesses
  • Franchise
  • Industrial
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • International
  • Land Use/Planning
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Lemon Law
  • Libel & Slander
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Military
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Partnerships
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Property Damage
  • Public Policy
  • Real Estate
  • Securities
  • Shareholder Disputes
  • Taxation
  • Title Disputes
  • Torts
  • Trusts / Estates
  • Unfair Competition
  • Utilities
  • Wrongful Death


  • BS, International Affairs, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, 1969
  • JD, New York University, 1972

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Maine State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Cumberland County Bar Association
  • Maine Bar Foundation (Fellow)
  • American Arbitration Association (Commercial Panel)
  • Construction Lawyers Society of America (Fellow)
  • Associated Builders and Contractors of NH & VT Education & Training Instructor
  • Diversity Law Institute
  • Trial Law Institute

Rates Information

$450 per hour, which can be split by the parties.

Academy Members Only