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

Publication

The Latest from OSHA on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 at Work

On the tails of updated guidance from other agencies, the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") released new pandemic-related guidance last month. This guidance was issued on June 10, 2021...

Publication

Escalation Clause: An escape from the price-spike trap

Anyone in real estate development would have to be living under a rock not to know about skyrocketing lumber and material prices in the “post”-pandemic world. Pre-pandemic, the average cost for 1,000 board feet...

Publication

Maine’s Exemption Laws Are Changing

In March of this year, Representative Denise Tepler (D. Topsham) introduced “An Act To Increase the Value of Property Exempt from Attachment and Execution,” LD 737, which sought to dramatically change Maine’s exemption scheme. ...

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...

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...

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...

News

Preti Flaherty Welcomes Attorneys Angelica Li and Hannah M. Oakes to the Firm

Preti Flaherty is pleased to announce the arrival of two new attorneys to our Boston, Massachusetts, office: Angelica Li and Hannah M. Oakes. Angelica joins the firm as an Associate in our Environmental Practice...

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...

News

Preti Flaherty Attorneys Sig Schutz and Alex Harriman Assist with Amicus Brief in Defense of Maine's Anti-SLAPP Law

Serving as counsel for The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) and 14 other news media organizations, Preti Flaherty attorneys Sigmund Schutz and Alexandra Harriman filed with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court a...

Publication

How to Avoid Misclassifying Your Employees Under the Maine Workers’ Compensation Act

What criteria are necessary to classify someone as an independent contractor and how can employers avoid misclassification and the repercussions that come with it? In this article, Preti Flaherty attorney and Mainebiz guest columnist John...