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

Portland Referenda and Legislative Leadership Update

In addition to all the state and national legislative races that were (mostly) decided by Wednesday morning, there were also 13 referendum questions on the Portland municipal ballot and one in Bar Harbor of...

News

Preti Flaherty Continues Year of Remarkable Growth with Addition of Five New Attorneys

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce the arrival of five new Associates to the firm: Scott A. DeLong, Christopher S. Knight, Kijana Plenderleith, Harper A. Weissburg, and Joshua D. Williams. In our Portland, Maine, office...

Publication

New EEOC Poster Requirement and Guidance on Notice-Posting in Hybrid Workplaces

The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently updated the “EEO is the Law” poster and replaced it with a new one: “ Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal .” The new poster was...

Press Coverage

Preti Flaherty Supports Nationally Recognized Investigative Reporting

Preti Flaherty has been recognized for supporting an award-winning investigative Journalism in Maine.  The non-profit  Maine Monitor  published a nationally recognized series titled “Eavesdropping in Maine Jails” revealing widespread recording of  phone calls between jail...

Press Coverage

Court Rules Portland Rents Are Public Information, Not Trade Secrets

Rental information is public information and not protected from public record requests under the Maine Trade Secrets Act, according to a recent ruling by Justice Thomas R. McKeon of the Maine Business and Consumer Court. The...

Publication

Another Reminder to Update Policies and Procedures to Reflect Latest COVID-19 Guidance

We  last updated you in early August  regarding the latest COVID-19 quarantine and isolation guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”).  Cold and flu season is now upon us, and experts are...

News

Attorney Shana Solomon Recognized by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly "Top Women of Law" 2022

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce that attorney Shana Solomon has been recognized by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as part of the publication’s “Top Women of Law” list for 2022. Shana is a trial lawyer...

News

U.S. News – Best Lawyers Ranks Preti Flaherty Among 2023 Best Law Firms

Preti Flaherty has been named among the 2023 Best Law Firms by the U.S. News – Best Lawyers rankings. To be eligible for ranking, a law firm must have at least one attorney named...

Press Coverage

Courts Could Throw State Marijuana Markets into Disarray

Over the past two decades, 37 states have legalized the production and/or sale of marijuana in some form. However, due to a lack of federal action, interstate commerce is still considered illegal and barred...

Publication

November 2022 Election Update

Maine State House Most of us who are obsessed with electoral politics expected a tight Gubernatorial race and, if not changes in control of the House or Senate, much closer margins between the majority...