Biography

Michael Thomas is an accomplished environmental and land use attorney with high-level experience in both government service and private practice. A former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency enforcement attorney, he focuses his work on assisting clients with Superfund, brownfields and other hazardous waste issues, and he regularly works on compliance, permitting, enforcement defense and other matters in these areas. In addition to representing clients, Michael also regularly serves as an expert witness in environmental litigation matters.

Michael has extensive experience in Superfund liability allocation processes including divisibility of harm issues as a third party neutral, an expert witness, and counsel assisting clients with strategic planning for allocating responsibility in the Superfund site context as well as in mergers and acquisitions. He has led and participated in numerous multi-disciplinary teams conducting complex environmental liability allocation compliance, permitting, and litigation projects that have involved collaboration, mediation and more formal dispute resolution processes among hundreds of adversaries, teams of citizen groups, environmental engineers, scientists and consulting firms.  Michael has prepared a number of expert witness reports, mediation statements and related materials in the CERCLA allocation context, has been deposed several times and has testified at trial on allocation issues.

In his land use and zoning practice, Michael represents businesses and individuals in real estate, local affairs and permitting, including wetlands protection, stormwater, groundwater, public drinking water systems and surface water discharge issues.

Prior to joining Preti Flaherty in an Of Counsel status, Michael operated a private legal practice focused on environmental counseling (which practice will continue) and had worked as a partner in two international law firms. Before entering private practice, he held several senior legal roles at the EPA, including serving as the deputy lead Headquarters attorney managing the agency’s hazardous waste enforcement efforts under RCRA and the Senior Regional Counsel Attorney managing Superfund enforcement sites in the New England region.

Professional Activities

  • National Roster of Environmental Dispute Resolution and Consensus Building Professionals, U.S. Institute of Environmental Conflict Resolution, Member (2003 - Present)

Honors & Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating
  • Top-Rated Land Use and Zoning Lawyer by American Lawyer
  • U.S. EPA Gold Medal for outstanding and precedential Superfund case management
  • Editor, Yale Studies in World Public Order, journal of international law and policy (1981)
  • Yale School of Organization and Management, Teaching Assistant, Professor Geoffrey Hazard (1981)
  • Thomas I. Emerson Prize, Best Yale Legislative Services Project, Hazardous Waste Liability Act for Massachusetts (became M.G.L. C. 21E) (1980)
  • Editor, Yale Law Journal, Note, Tort Actions for Cancer; 90 Yale L.J. 840 (1980)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, MIT (1974)

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • Certified Yoga Teacher, CYT-200
  • Trauma Center, Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Certification (certification pending)
  • Warriors at Ease Certified, Yoga and Meditation Training to Military Community

Firm Highlights

News

Preti Flaherty Adds Six to Environmental and Litigation Practice Groups

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce the arrival of six new members to the firm: Katherine L. Oaks, Kevin C. Osantowski, Laura Lee Barry Wommack, Nicholas A. Dube, Martin C. Topol, and Allaina Murphy...

Publication

Legislative Alert: Governor Janet Mills' Stage 4 Announcement

Governor Janet Mills announced Tuesday afternoon that Maine will enter Stage 4 of its four-stage Restarting Maine’s Economy Plan on October 13, 2020. Stage 4 will allow for increased indoor capacity during the winter...

Press Coverage

Washington Cannabis Company Says Oklahoma Residency Rules Unconstitutional

Oklahoma has become the latest battleground in the growing challenge to state residency requirements for cannabis business licenses. As has happened in Maine and other states, a nonresident business has initiated a suit against...

News

Twenty-Three Preti Flaherty Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in 2020 Super Lawyers

Twenty-three Preti Flaherty attorneys have been selected for recognition by Super Lawyers , including thirteen Rising Stars. Super Lawyers rates outstanding lawyers throughout the United States in more than 70 practice areas. Only five...

News

Preti Flaherty Joins Maine Justice Foundation for Racial Justice Fund

As part of our ongoing efforts to promote racial justice, Preti Flaherty has joined with the Maine Justice Foundation and other local businesses and philanthropists to create the Racial Justice Fund . Each of the 22 founders...

Publication

Residential Evictions and the Pandemic – Landlords Beware

NOTE: This article addresses the Executive Orders, Pandemic Management Order and CDC Order in effect on October 23, 2020.  As the pandemic changes, these orders are all subject to change and this information may...

Publication

Maine Workers' Comp Alert: Board Updates Fee Schedule

The Maine Workers’ Compensation Board has completed its annual update with respect to Appendix III (inpatient facility fees) for dates of discharge on or after October 1, 2020, in accordance with Title 39-A M.R.S.A...

Publication

Bankruptcy Alert: Time's Running Out on Higher Debt Limits of the Small Business Reorganization Act

As we head in to year-end holidays and activities, the clock is ticking on the CARES Act provisions that could help businesses in financial distress and save creditors’ customers – the higher-debt limit that...

Publication

Maine Workers' Comp Alert: Updates from the WCB October Monthly Business Meeting

The Maine Workers’ Compensation Board met remotely on October 13, 2020, for its monthly business meeting. Following are some developments with respect to reappointments, the appointment of a Section 312 examiner, and claims related...

News

Federal Indictments Follow Long-Running Antitrust Class Action in Ready-Mix Concrete Industry

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury in Savannah, Georgia, indicted a ready-mix concrete company and four individuals for fixing prices, rigging bids, and allocating customers and markets in...