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

Event

2021 Cannabis Breakfast Series: The Latest on Medical Rules and Dispensary Applications

In this multi-topic session,  Cannabis Business Group  chair  Dan Walker  and  Business Law Practice Group  attorney  Sara Moppin  examine the current state of the Medical Marijuana rules in Maine and present an in-depth walkthrough...

News

Fifteen Preti Flaherty Attorneys Selected as Chambers USA Leaders in Their Field

Fifteen Preti Flaherty attorneys and five practice groups have been selected for inclusion in the 2021 Chambers USA Guide to America's Leading Lawyers for Business , the highly regarded directory of leading attorneys and...

Event

2021 Cannabis Breakfast Series: Maine Legislative Review

What is happening with cannabis in Augusta and how will it affect your business, your clients, and the industry? Attorney  Dan Walker , chair of Preti Flaherty's  Government Affairs Practice Group , founder of...

Publication

Changing Control in the Time of COVID: Navigating ‘Change of Ownership’ Prior to PPP Loan Satisfaction.

The Hypothetical Everyone loves a hypothetical, right? So let’s begin with one about Billy Builder: Billy Builder holds 55% of the equity in a construction business he founded way back when the fax machine...

News

Benchmark Litigation Names Preti Flaherty 2021 “Maine Firm of the Year”

Benchmark Litigation has named Preti Flaherty as 2021 Litigation Firm of the Year in the State of Maine. The Benchmark Awards honor distinguished litigators and law firms in all 50 states and 10 practice...

Publication

Maine Workers' Comp Alert: WCB Meeting Notes for June 2021

The following are highlights from the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board’s meeting of June 8, 2021. Attorney Kate Gatti Rooks Appointed for Partial Term as Administrative Law Judge in Portland Attorney Kate Gatti Rooks was...

Event

ABI Northeast Bankruptcy Conference and Consumer Forum

Recent legislation and judicial decisions have changed consumer bankruptcy practice substantially over the last year. Bodie Colwell will join a panel discussion providing perspectives and analysis from the judiciary and debtors’ and creditors’ attorneys regarding...

Publication

Deadline for PPP Loan Applications Extended to May 31, 2021

On March 30, 2021, President Biden signed H.R. 1799, known as the “PPP Extension Act of 2021,” extending the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application deadline by 60 days – from March 31, 2021 to...

Publication

Maine Workers' Comp Alert: Maine Supreme Court Issues Decision Regarding Statute of Limitations in Coordination of Benefits

Maine Supreme Court Issues Decision in Charest v. Hydraulic Hose Dealing with Unique Statute of Limitations Issue in the Context of the Coordination of Benefits On March 30, 2021, the Law Court issued a...

News

Maine Justice Foundation Makes Inaugural Grants to Six Maine Groups Working for Racial Justice and Equity

The Maine Justice Foundation has made inaugural grants from its Racial Justice Fund to six Maine groups. The goal of the Fund is to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color statewide to forge...