Biography

Steve is Chair of the firm's Municipal Law and Finance Group and a senior partner in the Employment Law and Litigation practice groups. During his more than 30 years as an attorney in Preti Flaherty's Augusta office, Steve has evolved from being an accomplished trial and appellate lawyer (more than 25 jury trials as lead counsel and over 50 Law Court arguments) to being one of the preeminent municipal attorneys in the state of Maine and a highly experienced employment law attorney.

For more than 25 years, Steve has assisted cities and towns with the full range of legal matters as general counsel. His clients include the capital city, Augusta, the state's most populous town, Brunswick, and the state's fastest growing town, Windham. In addition to counseling leaders of these large and complex communities, he also has extensive experience as general counsel to industrial "mill towns" and rural, tourist-centered municipalities (such as Rangeley). His municipal work covers the full gamut from attending council and selectmen's meetings, writing ordinances and contracts, land enforcement actions, employment arbitrations, planning board and zoning board hearings, property tax abatements to constitutional litigation.

As an employment lawyer representing businesses and municipalities, Steve has tried numerous jury cases to verdict and has handled hundreds of cases at the Maine Human Rights Commission and in federal and state courts. Those cases include all kinds of discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower cases, disability issues and retaliation. He also counsels employers as to how to avoid employment disputes proactively and conducts employee training.

Steve maintains an active litigation practice primarily for business and municipal clients and has handled numerous groundbreaking matters with local and national implications. For example, he successfully defended a conspiracy and anti-SLAPP case brought by Ralph Nader against the Democratic National Committee and John Kerry. He was counsel to the City of Augusta in the Law Court's public sector labor case redefining status quo when collective bargaining agreements expire. He was successful at the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit defending the constitutionality of a parade and mass gathering ordinance. He handled a significant challenge to Maine's medical marijuana laws. He acted as the de facto town manager of the Town of Chelsea when the First Selectman was arrested and later convicted of numerous federal corruption charges. 

He also has an extensive probate litigation background. He has handled will contests, challenges to a personal representative's handling of estates, validity of probate instruments and disputes among beneficiaries. Mr. Langsdorf has practiced in many of Maine's probate courts and successfully defended probate appeals to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Steve was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in the Washington, D.C., area. He joined Preti Flaherty in 1986 and became a partner in 1996. He lives in Hallowell, Maine, with his wife, Jeanne, and has two children, Natasha and Austin.

Professional Activities

  • Maine State Bar Association
  • Maine Trial Lawyers' Association
  • Kennebec County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • Hallowell Food Bank, Volunteer
  • Hubbard Free Library, Board of Directors
  • Aloha Foundation, Circle of Friends member
  • Kennebec Valley Humane Society - pro bono legal advice

Firm Highlights

News

David B. Van Slyke Named Preti Flaherty Managing Partner

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that, in a unanimous vote, the firm’s partnership has elected attorney David B. Van Slyke as its incoming Managing Partner. David is one of the preeminent environmental lawyers...

Publication

Maine WC Appellate Division Addresses Refusal of Suitable Work and Notice

The Maine Workers' Compensation Appellate Division recently addressed cases dealing with refusal of suitable work and notice. Both decisions rely heavily on the specific facts of each case. In the context of a refusal...

Press Coverage

Bangor superintendent blocked BDN reporter on Twitter after critical news coverage

In an apparent violation of the First Amendment, Bangor schools superintendent Betsy Webb temporarily blocked a journalist on Twitter following a report that news of a student suicide was announced over the loudspeaker at...

Event

Tony Manhart and Jason Howe Present Top Ten Construction Contract Tips for ABC of Maine

As part of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Maine Contractor Series, Preti Flaherty attorneys Tony Manhart and Jason Howe will present the Top Ten tips for AIA contracts. ABC is a national association with 72...

News

Preti Flaherty Welcomes Attorney Martha L. Fox to the Firm

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that attorney Martha L. Fox has joined the firm as a member of our Business Law and Taxation practice groups, serving clients from the Portland office. Martha is...

Publication

Maine WC Alert: MAE Unit Publishes Guidance on Compliance with Recent Amendments

The Maine Workers’ Compensation Board’s Monitoring, Audit & Enforcement Unit has issued a document to provide guidance on complying with certain recent amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act in P.L. 2019, c. 344 (LD...

Publication

Bankruptcy Alert: Significant Implications of the New Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019

Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (H.R. 3311) On August 23, 2019, President Trump signed the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (H.R. 3311) (the “SBRA”) into law.  Lenders should be aware of the...

News

Preti Flaherty Attorney Benjamin S. Piper Promoted to Partner

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that the firm’s partnership has named attorney Benjamin S. Piper as a partner. Ben is a member of the firm's Environmental, Litigation, and Media Law Practice Groups and works...

News

Preti Flaherty Welcomes Government Relations Liaison Andrew I. Roth-Wells to the Firm

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that Andrew I. Roth-Wells has joined the firm as a Government Relations Liaison. Andrew will help manage legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts for the firm’s Government Affairs Team...

Publication

Maine WC Alert: Updated Version of Notice of Controversy (WCB-9) Must Be Used Effective February 1, 2020

Following the recent statutory changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board has updated the language in Box 22 of the Notice of Controversy. This new version should be used as...