Brenda M. Buchanan
Brenda M. Buchanan is a 1980 graduate of Northeastern University, where she earned a degree in journalism, and a 1990 graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. At Warren, Currier & Buchanan, she practices in the areas of real estate, land conservation, zoning, non-profit organizations and estate planning for individuals and couples.
Brenda’s real estate practice frequently involves working with clients to remedy past conveyancing errors and advising clients and other attorneys about boundary and easement issues, including conservation easements. She has considerable experience with the real estate and land use issues particular to Portland’s Casco Bay islands, where she lived for more than a decade. Brenda also works on permitting issues with municipal planning and zoning boards, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and other regulatory agencies. She is an agent for Old Republic Title Insurance Company.
An active member of the Maine Land Conservation Attorney Network, Brenda advises several area land trusts in regard to conservation easements and acquisition of properties for preservation. She has managed deals involving partnerships between local land trusts and national conservation organizations as well as the Maine Departments of Conservation and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. She also advises other non-profit organizations, including condominium and homeowners’ associations.
Brenda is a founding member of the Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative, a cooperative association of Cumberland and York County land and water protection organizations. She is a longtime member of the Advisory Board of the Oceanside Conservation Trust of Casco Bay, a land trust that works to conserve land on the islands of Casco Bay. During her 12 years as a resident of Peaks Island, Brenda was a board member and president of the Peaks Island Land Preserve.
Brenda also works with individuals and couples to prepare appropriate wills, financial powers of attorney and health care directives. She has a special focus on estate planning for families headed by same-sex couples, and represents such families in adoption and guardianship proceedings in many Maine counties.
Brenda recently stepped down as co-chair of the Advisory Committee of the Equity Fund of the Maine Community Foundation, which works to strengthen lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations in Maine. A longtime civil rights activist, Brenda was a member of the Steering Committee during the 2005 Maine Won’t Discriminate Campaign, which successfully defended the statewide non-discrimination law against repeal, and was an active volunteer in the campaigns for marriage equality in Maine, including the successful effort in 2012.
For more than twenty years Brenda has been involved in various capacities with the Maine Civil Liberties Union. Brenda worked at MCLU throughout law school and became a member of the Board of Directors after graduation. She was MCLU’s lead attorney on a collaborative effort with the Maine Equal Justice Project to improve due process protections for those involved in child protective cases brought by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. In 2005, the MCLU honored Brenda with its Justice Louis Scolnik Award.
Brenda recently retired from a six-year stint on the Board of Directors of the Maine Writers and Publisher’s Alliance. A former journalist, she began writing crime fiction several years ago.
Brenda and her spouse, Diane Kenty, live in Westbrook.