• Member Spotlight

Bonnie L. Martinolich, Preti Flaherty LLP; Portland, ME

Ms. Martinolich has always been a strong supporter of animal rights and welfare. Her first experience was serving as a foster home volunteer for a shelter-less dog rescue organization that relocates dogs from the South. And there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Bonnie L. Martinolich, Preti Flaherty LLP

When she reconnects with old friends, they always ask, “How many dogs do you have?” She first earned a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Medicine Technology and later worked at a local bank. She earned her  law degree a little later in life than most people do, and there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

First thing that comes to mind is that I am an avid animal welfare advocate, with my first introduction to that world being a foster home volunteer for a shelter-less dog rescue organization relocating dogs from parts of the South. A recurring question to me when connecting with someone I have not spoken with for a while is “so, how many dogs do you have now?”. I came to the practice of law later in life than many, after having first obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Medicine Technology and, then later, having worked at a local bank on Long Island, New York as a mortgage loan officer. I was hired out of law school by Debevoise & Plimpton with my primary practice areas being finance and real estate. The experience there was invaluable and an incredible place to learn what it means to be a transactional lawyer and advocate for your client.

My passion for the outdoors took me to Maine in 1996, where I joined Preti Flaherty as an associate. I was able to use the skills learned in New York and apply them to clients in Maine, and under the guidance of the experienced lawyers at Preti, further expanded my practice to mergers and acquisitions as well as public finance work.

What inspired you to join NABL six years ago?

My public finance mentor is James Pitney, who pointed me to NABL and its resources, urged me to join NABL and, in that same year, to attend The Workshop. Although he told me the association with NABL would support my public finance work, I did not understand at the time how beneficial that association would be. I now urge anyone at Preti seeking to practice in the public finance arena to join NABL and attend its conferences.

Which sessions are you looking forward to attending at The Workshop next month?

The tax-related sessions are of particular interest to me – this year that includes the “Refunding and Reissuance”, “Tax Hot Topics”, and “Arbitrage and Rebate: Can I Earn It? Can I Keep It?” sessions. My finance and real estate background is beneficial to my public finance practice and the tax support provided by NABL, in conjunction with tax experts at Preti, rounds out that knowledge base.

I also enjoy the “Underwriter’s Counsel Roundtable” each year. I particularly enjoy representing underwriters in public finance transactions and enjoy keeping abreast of developments in that area and hearing about trends relevant to Preti’s underwriter clients.

What new idea or information have you learned from a past conference/webinar and implemented it into your work?

I refer often to The Workshop Blue Book of Outlines during the year, especially as it relates to questions of reissuance and spend down requirements. Another area that comes up often in my practice is “private use”, and is an area in which the NABL resources provide significant support.

If you could have dinner with two people, who would you pick and why?

Jane Goodall so that we can speak about her view of the world and the animals in it. Margaret Mead so that I can listen to how her view of society and the evolution of the roles of men and women in the US and in other cultures she studied. I would also love to hear her view of society in America today.