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

Important Updates to American Arbitration Association Construction Industry Rules and Mediation Procedures

The American Arbitration Association (AAA) updated its Construction Industry Rules and Mediation procedures (AAA Rules), effective March 1, 2024, marking the first update since 2015. The updates are important because the AAA Rules are...

Publication

Helping Employers Navigate the New Independent Contractor Rule and Compliance Challenges

On March 11 th , the United States Department of Labor’s (DOL) new Independent Contractor Rule goes into effect.  As your organization readies itself for compliance, it’s imperative to scrutinize your independent contractor classifications...

Publication

Failure to Follow Your Contract's Notice Requirements Can be Costly

In Kinetic Systems, Inc. v. IPS-Integrated Projects Services, LLC et. al., No.: 20-cv-1125 (D.N.H. February 6, 2024), the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire granted summary judgment for a general contractor...

Event

Good Energy: Jazz, Cocktails, and Camaraderie

Preti Flaherty and Phelps Dunbar will be hosting an afterhours event: ‘Good Energy: Jazz, Cocktails, and Camaraderie’ at The Oceantic Network’s annual IPF Offshore Wind Conference. The event will be held on April 23...

Publication

USCIS Announces H-1B Registration Period for FY2025: New “Beneficiary Centric” Registration Process and Increased Fees

USCIS has recently announced a series of changes that will impact the FY2025 H-1B registration system and cap filing season. H-1B Registration Period and Organizational Accounts As in prior years, under this process, prospective petitioners...

Event

Building a Strong Discipline and Performance Management Framework

As an HR professional, hiring the right talent, addressing employee needs, and managing terminations are just a few of the most challenging problems that arise. During this year's three-part Employment Breakfast Webinar Series, we'll...

News

Attorney Jeffrey Thaler Named to 2024 Lawdragon Green 500: Leaders in Energy Law

Preti Flaherty’s attorney Jeffrey Thaler has been recognized by  Lawdragon  as one of the top 500 Leaders in Energy Law. This is Jeff’s third time named to this prestigious list since the first publication...

News

Preti Attorneys File Suit Against Al-Generated Robocalls in the 2024 NH Presidential Primary

Representing the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire, the League of Women Voters of the United States, and individual voters, Preti Flaherty, with co-counsel, filed a federal lawsuit against Steve Kramer, Lingo Telecom...

News

Benchmark Litigation Names Preti Flaherty 2024 “Maine Firm of the Year"

Benchmark Litigation  has named Preti Flaherty as 2024 Litigation Firm of the Year in the State of Maine. Through extensive peer- and- client reviewed research, as well as analysis of casework; the Benchmark Awards...

Event

When to Say Goodbye: Navigating Leave and Terminations

As an HR professional, hiring the right talent, addressing employee needs, and managing terminations are just a few of the most challenging problems that arise. During this year's three-part Employment Breakfast Webinar Series, we'll...