Walter practices as Of Counsel in Preti Flaherty’s Boston office and concentrates on Government Affairs, Public Affairs, and Labor and Employment issues. He advocates for clients before the Massachusetts Legislature, Executive Branch, and local government branches. He also represents highly regulated industries in both licensing and enforcement actions before state agencies and local departments, including those that license entities and/or individuals, such as the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC), the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health with a focus on medical marijuana.
Walter brings his more than seven years of experience as Commissioner and Chair of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination to his practice of advising and representing employers on various matters. In his role at the MCAD, he oversaw the investigation and prosecution of alleged violations of state and federal anti-discrimination laws in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations. He is a certified mediator, and he has conducted mediations on employment and housing charges at the MCAD as well as numerous adjudicatory and regulatory hearings.
Currently, he provides support to clients on employment issues concerning compliance with wage and hour and anti-discrimination laws, labor relations, and workforce harassment. In addition, he focuses on employee leave issues under the FMLA, ADA, and other state leave laws, reasonable accommodation issues relative to the ADA and other state laws, as well as issues involving employee discipline, termination, and wrongful termination. He also conducts internal investigations on behalf of his clients. Further, as a result of his experience, he advises and represents property owners/landlords on claims related to discrimination and reasonable accommodation issues.
Walter serves as a lobbyist for Preti Strategies, an affiliate government, public, and business affairs company of the firm, which uses insight into the realities of lawmaking and policymaking to secure vital business interests for its clients. Preti Strategies offers a unique, cross-disciplinary approach to government relations and public advocacy. Its comprehensive and well-executed strategies help clients overcome challenges, capitalize on opportunities, and achieve business development goals.
In addition, Walter assists alternative energy clients with business development—particularly those who are utilizing anaerobic digestion technologies—by providing the business-to-business and government connections needed for success and growth.
Before joining Preti Flaherty, Walter served as Chairman of the Massachusetts State Racing Commission, where he worked with state government on gaming issues, including drafting legislation that eventually formulated current law regarding a slot parlor and casinos in Massachusetts. He has broad knowledge of gaming law encompassing the regulatory, political, and civic processes, giving him the insight to advise clients seeking a casino and/or slot license.
Walter also served as Chairman/Commissioner of the ABCC, where he oversaw the investigation of applicants seeking on-premise, off-premise, wholesaler, supplier, and manufacturer alcoholic beverages licenses, as well as investigations of compliance or negligence concerning the Alcoholic Beverages Control Act. His extensive knowledge in this area allows him to assist and advise clients as they move through the regulatory, political, and civic arenas when applying for an alcoholic beverages license, as well as representing them before the ABCC regarding regulatory, licensing, or violation issues.
Walter began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney, holding positions with the Middlesex County and Plymouth County District Attorney's Offices and the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General. He has taught civil litigation courses at Boston College Law School. As a double Eagle, graduating from Boston College and Boston College Law School, he is actively involved at both schools and has served as president of the Boston College Law School Alumni Association. He is the Northeast Regional Coordinator for the Boston College Political Science Alumni Network.
- Boston College (B.A., 1982)
- Boston College Law School (J.D., 1988)
- District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
- U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit