BANGOR, Maine — A legal fixture in the city for more than 15 years will take his likeness out of a window overlooking downtown Bangor next month, and it will be replaced with the name of a venerable law firm in Augusta.
Bangor attorney Stephen C. Smith, founder of Smith Law Offices, will join Lipman & Katz of Augusta on Sept. 15, according to a press release issued Thursday.
Smith said the larger-than-life cutout featuring his likeness, which has adorned the second-story window of his office at 9 Central St., overlooking the bustling intersection of Hammond, Central and Main streets in the heart of downtown Bangor since May, will be removed.
Although details about signage have not been finalized, Smith said Thursday he expects the name “Lipman & Katz” will replace the cutout with the name “Smith Law Offices” painted on an adjacent window.
“It was a mutual decision” between the Augusta firm and Smith, he said of the planned removal of the cutout.
Smith, 45, of Whitefield will be based at the firm’s office in Augusta, but he will continue working out of the Bangor office several days a week.
“Steve will be an excellent addition to the Lipman & Katz team of attorneys,” Melissa Reynolds O’Dea, a partner with Lipman & Katz, said in the press release. “We look forward to incorporating his unique skills and experience into our client services. Also, the new location will be a convenient meeting place for clients in the Bangor area.”
Smith has been a trial lawyer in Bangor since 1998, handling primarily criminal, personal injury and family cases, the press release said. In addition to practicing in state court, he has handled cases in federal court and before the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. He also has been a longtime member of the bar of the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy tribal courts.
“I’m very pleased to be joining Lipman & Katz,” Smith said Thursday. “While I have enjoyed my solo practice for many years, associating with such a well-known firm with a statewide trial practice is very desirable.”
Smith served in Desert Storm as an infantryman in the U.S. Army. Following his active service, he joined the Maine Army National Guard as a sniper team leader and later became one of the first direct commissioned officers. After he graduated from law school, Smith was commissioned as a judge advocate general officer. Following 9/11, he was asked to serve in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan as a military prosecutor. After 21 years of service, Smith retired from the military.
In 2004, Smith instituted a low-budget New Year’s Eve affair in downtown Bangor on a whim. He threw a big, purple beach ball covered with white Christmas lights from the roof of 26 Main St. while 200-300 people gawked from West Market Square below. The event, which includes events for adults and children from mid-afternoon until midnight, now is sponsored by Downtown Bangor Partnership.