Biography

Harold is a Founding Partner of Preti Flaherty, listed in Woodward-White's The Best Lawyers in America, and is rated by Martindale-Hubbell® as AV Preeminent, its highest rating. Harold was born in New Haven, Connecticut; grew up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine; and graduated from Princeton University in 1959. He served as a lieutenant aboard a U.S. Navy transport ship and then moved to Washington, D.C., where he earned a law degree from Georgetown University.

Harold was Associate White House Press Secretary under President Lyndon B. Johnson, serving as principal aide to White House Press Secretary Bill Moyers from 1965 to 1967. He came to the White House after serving as Deputy Congressional Liaison for the Peace Corps during that agency's earliest years, a post in which he advised members of Congress and assisted the program's director, Sargent Shriver, on Congressional matters. He also assisted the task force that wrote the federal legislation creating the Office of Equal Opportunity, helping to develop legislation to launch Head Start, VISTA and Job Corps, among other programs.

Harold left the White House in 1967 to become attorney-advisor to the secretary of the newly created Department of Transportation, where he used his skills to negotiate with state and local governments throughout the country to resolve federal and state public policy conflicts. In summer 1968, he joined the vice-presidential campaign of Senator Edmund S. Muskie to direct scheduling and advance operations.

In 1969, after eight years in Washington during which he rose to the highest levels of government, he returned to his home state of Maine. He began his practice of law in Portland. After a decade in federal government and more than 40 years of legal practice, Harold now counsels clients on corporate and regulatory matters. He serves as general counsel for several corporate clients and also counsels clients on governmental and legislative issues. He has been lead counsel in the environmental permitting process for several large facilities and has been an advocate on environmental and other issues for several clients.

For 15 years he was Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the University of Maine School of Law. He is a fellow of the Maine Bar Foundation and an Honorary Lifetime Trustee of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He served for many years on the National Governing Board of Common Cause, the Board of Visitors for University of Southern Maine, the Board of the Senator George J. Mitchell Scholarship Research Institute, the Board of the Salzburg Seminar (Austria). In addition, he has served as chairman of the committee appointed by Senator George J. Mitchell to develop proposals for reform of federal campaign finance laws, and also chaired the committee appointed by Senator Mitchell to advise on selection of a U.S. Attorney for Maine.

In 1993, he was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a member of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. The President designated him Chairman of the Commission in 1999. President Bush nominated him in 2003 for a third term on the Commission, and he was again confirmed by the Senate. The Commission, and its Washington staff, advise the President, Secretary of State, and Congress on public diplomacy programs carried out by the State Department and U.S. embassies around the world.

He is the recipient of the Hon. Edmund S. Muskie Access to Justice Award for leadership in the community and the impact he has had in furthering access to justice. In 2010, he was inducted into the Junior Achievement of Maine Business Hall of Fame, which honors Maine's most distinguished men and women in business for their "outstanding contributions to free enterprise and the promise of a better, stronger society."

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

He served as chairman of the Maine Democratic Party and was the Democratic nominee in Maine's First Congressional District in 1980.

He is a past president of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and also president of the National Committee for Symphony Orchestra Support. For many years, Harold was vice-chairman of the American Symphony Orchestra League. He is a former trustee of the American College of Greece, of the Maine College of Art, and of Maine Maritime Academy, and a past director of the Portland Boys Club. He served as chairman of the Cape Elizabeth School Board and formerly served as a member of the legislative committee of the United States Olympic Committee.

Harold hosts the monthly interview program Pachios on the News on channel 5, where he discusses current events in government with guests from across the political landscape.

Professional Activities

  • Fellow of the Maine Bar Foundation and an Honorary Lifetime Trustee of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Honors & Recognition

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America
  • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale Hubbell

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the University of Maine School of Law for 15 years
  • National Governing Board of Commons Cause
  • Board of the Senator George J. Mitchell Scholarship Research Institute
  • Board of the Salzburg Seminar (Austria)

Firm Highlights

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: Appellate Division Affirms Decision Involving Gradual Injury That First Manifested at Home, Not at Work

In Thomas v. United Ambulance , United Ambulance appealed a Decision (Goodnough, ALJ) granting Thomas’s Petition for Award and granting in part his Petition for Payment. United Ambulance argued that the ALJ erred in...

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...

Event

From Augusta: A Legislative Update for HR Professionals

On March 13, 2020, Maine Senate President Troy Jackson and Speaker of the House Sara Gideon issued a joint statement to the 129th Maine Legislature signifying their intention to suspend the remainder of the...

Event

From Concord: A Legislative Update for HR Professionals

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, all legislative activities in the state of New Hampshire, with a couple of exceptions, will be handled remotely. Several employment-related bills will be considered and voted on during this...

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...

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...

Event

Never Say Goodbye: Employee Performance Reviews, Terminations, and Alternatives

Laura Rideout and Dottie Chalmers Cutter, VP of Operations at Chalmers Insurance Group will present on employee performance reviews, terminations, and alternatives as a part of the Institute for Family Owned Business Legal Lunch...

Press Coverage

Maine Newspapers Challenge Rule Concealing Electronic Court Records

A Maine court committee in December established a 90-day blackout period rule on public access to newly filed electronic court records, a move which has been challenged by Maine's newspapers as a violation of the First Amendment. Paper...

Press Coverage

Sabattus Family's Bat Woes Prompt Bill To Force Real Estate Pest Disclosure