Biography

Walter practices as Of Counsel in Preti Flaherty’s Boston office. He focuses on local, state, and federal regulations, as well as local permitting, government affairs, public affairs, and labor and employment issues. He represents highly regulated industries in both licensing and enforcement actions; advises and represents property owners/landlords on claims related to discrimination and reasonable accommodation issues; and assists clients in business development in helping grow their businesses. He makes the connections needed for clients to have successful growth.

Regulatory Experience

Walter appears before local elected officials, public officials—including planning boards, zoning boards of appeals, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC), and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)—and community groups on behalf of the medical and recreational marijuana industry relative to locating communities in which to do business. He negotiates and executes host community agreements, and facilitates special permitting relative to local zoning ordinances and bylaws and licensing before local officials. He also conducts community outreach meetings.

As Chairman of the Massachusetts State Racing Commission, Walter 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 casino and/or slot licenses, gaming industry vendor licenses, and gaming industry employee licenses. He also advocates for clients before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

At the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC), Walter served as Chairman/Commissioner, overseeing the screening of applicants seeking on-premise, off-premise, wholesaler, supplier, and manufacturer alcoholic beverages licenses. In this role, he supervised 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 apply for an alcoholic beverages license, establish regulatory compliance, and response to violation issues.

Government Relations

As a lobbyist for Preti Strategies, a government, public, and business affairs affiliate of the firm, Walter provides insight into the realities of lawmaking and policymaking to secure vital business interests for his clients. With the resources of Preti Strategies supporting him, Walter offers a unique, cross-disciplinary approach to government relations and public advocacy, featuring comprehensive and well-executed strategies that help clients overcome challenges, capitalize on opportunities, and achieve business development goals.

Employment Law

Walter 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 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other state leave laws; reasonable accommodation issues relative to the ADA and other state laws; and issues involving employee discipline, termination, and wrongful termination. He also conducts internal investigations on behalf of his clients.

As an employment law attorney, Walter brings more than seven years’ experience as commissioner and chair of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) to his role. At 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 has directed mediations on employment and housing charges at the MCAD as well as numerous adjudicatory and regulatory hearings.

Walter began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Middlesex County and Plymouth County District Attorney’s Offices and the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General. As a double Eagle, graduating from Boston College and Boston College Law School, he is actively involved at both schools, where he has taught civil litigation courses and served as president of the Boston College Law School Alumni Association.

Practice Areas

Education

  • Boston College (B.A., 1982)
  • Boston College Law School (J.D., 1988)

Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit