Stephen Wagner is a dedicated attorney with a passion for serving his clients. He recently accepted partnership at Rudman Winchell effective January 1, 2024. As a key member of Rudman Winchell’s Municipal and Land Use practice, Stephen brings extensive experience and a client-centric approach to his practice.
Stephen’s journey into the legal profession was guided by a deep-rooted interest in land use and environmental law. His undergraduate background in environmental policy set the stage for a career that aligns with his personal values and aspirations. Originally from Connecticut, Stephen’s commitment to environmental issues led him to Maine, where he has since firmly established his legal career. His first summer job in Maine was for a renowned local cheesemaker. Although his cheese-making skills are best kept in the home kitchen, Stephen’s conversations that summer with farmers and food entrepreneurs about the policy and market challenges facing Maine’s local food movement solidified his commitment to a Maine-based career in environmental and land use law.
Stephen earned his law degree at the University of Maine School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude in 2015. His accomplishments during law school include receiving the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award in Environmental Law, serving as the Articles Editor of the Ocean and Coastal Law Journal, and earning the 2014 Shur-Frinsko Award for Municipal Law and Local Government.
Following law school, he completed a clerkship with the Maine Superior Court in Bangor before entering private practice. Stephen has since become a trusted authority in municipal, land use, and environmental law. His expertise encompasses areas such as land use appeals and litigation, interlocal agreements, tax increment financing, and economic development initiatives. Stephen has a proven track record of successfully representing private and public clients before local and state administrative boards and in trial and appellate courts. He actively contributes to his profession through speaking engagements at municipal and real estate conferences, and he collaborates closely with fellow members of the firm’s Municipal and Land Use practice group to keep clients informed about the latest developments in municipal law.
Stephen’s approach to client representation is characterized by a deep understanding of his clients’ unique needs and goals. Rather than simply reacting to legal challenges, he partners with all stakeholders to craft long-term solutions that address the underlying issues driving conflicts. Clients and opposing counsel alike hold Stephen in high regard for his ability to maintain a calm and respectful demeanor in the sometimes chaotic and tense environments typical of local government disputes, all while providing clear and practical advice and advocacy.
Beyond his legal career, Stephen’s interests include travel, family time, and a love for paddling. He is deeply immersed in the world of food, thanks in part marrying into a family of restaurateurs. He and his wife are known to host memorable dinner parties that bring fellow Mainers together and demonstrate their commitment to community and camaraderie. Additionally, Stephen is an avid gardener, bread baker, and fermentation enthusiast.
If you’re seeking an attorney who combines legal expertise in land use, environmental, or municipal law with a client-centered and solutions-oriented approach, contact Stephen Wagner today to schedule a consultation.