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

Press Coverage

The Maine Monitor Sues York County for Jail Call Records

On August 2, The Maine Monitor filed a lawsuit against York County, challenging the County's denial of reporter access to public records that may detail times it has recorded confidential conversations between defendants being held at the...

Publication

Legislative Alert: Maine Legislature Adjourns!

The First Special Session of the 130 th Legislature finally adjourned on Monday night, July 19 th . As many of you may remember, the First Regular Session ended in March 30th when the...

Publication

What to do When a Lender Receives a Notice from the Municipality that Mortgaged Property is Going to be Condemned or is in Violation of the Building Code?

Occasionally, a lender will be served a notice from a municipality alerting the lender that a mortgaged property has had unpermitted construction projects, or otherwise violates the municipal building code. The Maine Uniform Building...

News

Jonathan Piper elected to Portland Public Library Board of Trustees

Preti Flaherty is proud to announce that Jonathan Piper has been elected to serve on the Portland Public Library’s Board of Trustees. Jon has a long history of service to several local organizations including...

Publication

Understanding the New COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers

Many Maine healthcare facilities were already in the process of evaluating, drafting, and implementing mandatory vaccine policies when the Maine Department of Heath and Human Services issued an Emergency Routine Technical Rule on the...

Publication

New Maine Law Limits Employers’ Ability to Request Applicant Criminal History Information

Last month Governor Mills signed into law LD 1167, “An Act Relating to Fair Chance in Employment.” Maine joins a growing number of states in adopting a “ban-the-box” law that restricts employers’ ability to...

News

46 Preti Flaherty Attorneys Selected by Peers for Inclusion in Best Lawyers in America 2022, Including 3 “Lawyers of the Year”

Forty-six Preti Flaherty attorneys have been named to Best Lawyers in America 2022, including four “Ones to Watch” and three “Lawyer of the Year” recipients. Inclusion in Best Lawyers in America is considered a...

News

Attorney Joseph Donahue Selected by Peers as “Lawyer of the Year” in Best Lawyers in America 2022

Preti Flaherty attorney Joseph Donahue has been recognized in Best Lawyers in America 2022 as the “Lawyer of the Year” for the Augusta region in the field of Administrative/Regulatory Law. Inclusion in Best Lawyers...

Publication

Health Coverage Incentives for Unvaccinated Employees

Employers wrestling with COVID-19 vaccination-reluctant employees have a lot on their plates. New federal mandates may require affirmative action but even without these new rules, the real problem is how to persuade your workers...

News

Preti Flaherty Welcomes Cameron Ferrante, Paola Maymi, and Anne Sedlack to the Firm

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce the arrival of three new members to the firm: Cameron A. Ferrante, Paola A. Maymi, and Anne E. Sedlack. Cameron Ferrante is a graduate of Northeastern University School...