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

Publication

Changes Affecting Employment Authorization for L-2, E, and H-4 Dependent Spouses

On November 12, 2021, USCIS announced that L-2 and E dependent spouses are no longer required to apply for an EAD to work in the United States. Instead, L-2 and E dependent spouses are...

News

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

Sixteen Preti Flaherty attorneys and six practice groups have been selected for inclusion in the 2022 Chambers USA Guide to America's Leading Lawyers for Business , the highly regarded directory of leading attorneys and...

News

Racial Justice Fund Seeks Applications for Second Round of Grants

The Maine Justice Foundation is pleased to announce the second round of grants from the Racial Justice Fund. The Foundation will accept applications for grants of up to $10,000 from June 1-15, 2022. The...

Press Coverage

Maine State Police Announces Restructuring After 3 Weeks of Declining to Share Details

On June 10, the Maine State Police announced plans to reorganize troop deployment and delegation of manpower in line with revised law enforcement priorities. The announcement follows several weeks of secretive posturing and a lack...

News

Preti Flaherty Files Human Trafficking and Forced Labor Lawsuit Against Church of Scientology

Preti Flaherty attorneys Greg Hansel, Shana Solomon, and Ellie Quinby filed a human trafficking and forced labor lawsuit against the Church of Scientology on behalf of three plaintiffs claiming decades of forced labor, intimidation, coercion...

Press Coverage

Court Orders State Police to Reveal More Details About Misconduct by Troopers

Previously concealed records of trooper misconduct by the Maine State Police must be provided in response to public records requests by the press, according to a ruling by Judge William R. Anderson of Penobscot Superior...

Publication

How Does the Collapse of Roe v. Wade Impact Employer Health Plans?

On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its prior decisions in  Roe v. Wade  and  Planned Parenthood v. Casey , which held that the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from banning abortion or...

Publication

What Are My Options If My H-1B Registration Was Not Selected?

The H-1B nonimmigrant visa category allows employers to sponsor foreign nationals performing work in a “specialty occupation.” This typically requires an offer of employment in a job requiring at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree...

Press Coverage

Five Major Norwegian Salmon Companies Agree to $85 Million Settlement in Antitrust Case

Preti Flaherty announced today that a Miami federal Court has granted preliminary approval to an $85 million settlement agreement in an antitrust case involving alleged price fixing of farmed salmon sold in the United...

Publication

Primary Round-Up

Primary Round-Up As you are probably aware, primary elections in Maine took place on Tuesday, June 14, and there were a handful that could be significant to the general election outcome in November. Congressional...