Michael is a leading environmental and land-use lawyer, representing business and institutional clients in regulatory matters involving air, water and hazardous materials and compliance with laws and regulations administered by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state and local government agencies. He draws on years of experience throughout the United States assisting clients facing a wide range of environmental and real estate-related issues, such as:

  • Negotiating and implementing settlements and allocations of liability involving complex, multi-party hazardous waste site cleanups, including those involving de minimis settlements and the resolution of natural resource damage claims.
  • Conducting due diligence in business acquisition transactions and structuring transactions so as to address environmental liability concerns.
  • Obtaining environmental permits and approvals.
  • Performing environmental impact review for major projects.
  • Addressing governmental enforcement activities.
  • Siting solid waste management facilities and addressing operational issues
  • Undertaking Brownfields redevelopment initiatives, including the creative use of insurance products to control risk and facilitate redevelopment opportunities

Michael had advised businesses, colleges and universities and lending institutions with respect to managing environmental liability and performing environmental due diligence. He has also worked with colleges and universities with compliance auditing and environmental management systems.

His clients have included hospitals and healthcare systems nationwide, which Michael has helped with asbestos identification, management and abatement issues. He also has also been a leader in legal issues associated with mold. He has advised banks and other lenders with respect to managing potential environmental liability associated with loan origination and workouts.

Michael has mediated and facilitated the resolution of two-party and multi-party disputes involving environmental and real estate issues, as well as commercial disputes.

Michael began his collaboration with Rackemann Sawyer, & Brewster in 1999 and has acted as co-counsel for specific matters and then as Counsel to the firm, which combined with Verrill Dana LLP in 2022. Prior to that, he was with Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., Boston from 1991-1999, where he was a Member and chair of the Environmental Law Section.

Michael was with Gaston & Snow, Boston from 1984-1991, where he was a Partner and served as chair of the Environmental Law Department. Immediately following law school, Michael was with Warner & Stackpole in Boston from 1972-1984, where he became a Partner and chaired the Real Estate/Environmental Law Department.



  • Harvard Law School  (J.D., cum laude)
  • Lawrence University  (B.A., magna cum laude)

Public Service

  • New England Aquarium, Board of Governors, Trustee, and Member (1995 – 2002); Overseer (2002 – 2013); Chair of David B. Stone Award Committee (1997- 2013); Chair, Green Building Task Force (1999 – 2002)
  • Trustee, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary (1990 – 1998)
  • Overseer, Newton-Wellesley Hospital (1994-2009)
  • Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Trustee and Member of Board of Governors, (1987 – 1994); Chairman, Joint-Trustee Staff Committee (1992 – 1994); Member, Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, (1993 – 1995); Honorary Trustee (1995-present)
  • Director, Newell Enterprises, Inc. (1983 – 1987)
  • Member (Corporator) Partners Healthcare System, Inc. (1999-present).
  • Trustee, Mt. Keasarge Indian Museum (1997 – 2002)

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts


  • Boston Bar Association;
    • Member of Council [Board of Directors] (1984-1987)
    • Environment Committee, Chairperson (1979-1981)
    • Urban Affairs Section, Chairperson (1983-1987)
    • Municipal Planning Process Committee, Co-chairperson (1983-1987)
  • American Bar Association
    • Standing Committee on Environmental Law, Member (1987-1991)
    • Member: Natural Resources Section; Corporation, Banking and Business Law Section; and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • The Abstract Club, Member
  • Environmental Business Council of New England, Board of Directors, Member (1997-present); Executive Committee, Member (2001-2014); Vice Chair (2001-2014).
  • Santa Fe Council for Environmental Excellence, Founder and President; a non-profit corporation dedicated to bringing leaders from industry, government, environmental organizations and academia together to share information and develop innovative, common approaches to solving environmental problems (1991-present)
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, Board of Environmental Management, Member, (1991-2003); Chair (1994-1997, 2000-2003)
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Chapter 21E Review Board, Member; the Board charged with reviewing and recommending changes to M.G.L. Chapter 21E, the Massachusetts Superfund Statute (1991-1992)


  • Fellow, American College of Environmental Lawyers
  • Listed in “Who’s Who in America," “Who’s Who in American Law,” “Who’s Who Legal” (the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers)
  • Named to Super Lawyer
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (2017-2020)

To learn more about third-party ratings and rankings, and the selection processes used for inclusion, click here.

Firm Highlights


U.S. Tax Considerations When Buying Property Abroad with Ruth Mattson

Verrill partner Ruth Mattson was recently featured on The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel 's podcast series Trust and Estate Talk . In this podcast, U.S. Tax Considerations When Buying Property Abroad...


Gag Clauses – New Guidance and Litigation Will Inform Compliance

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Successful Representation of Insurer before U.S. District Court for the District of Maine

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State Trademark Registration

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Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Injury in the Workplace: Paths to Recovery in and Outside of Workers’ Compensation

Verrill counsel Elizabeth Connellan Smith recently co-authored “ Sexual Harassment And Sexual Assault Injury In The Workplace: Paths To Recovery In And Outside Of Workers’ Compensation ” for the American Bar Association Law Journal...


Verrill Welcomes Partner Andrew M. Walsh to Firm’s Business Law Group


Jim Cohen Discusses “No Blank Checks” Citizen Initiative Before Maine Legislative Committee

Verrill Partner Jim Cohen was recently quoted in a Spectrum News article " Maine Ballot Initiative To Require Voter Approval For $1B Borrowing Gets Broad Support.” Maine LD 1772 is a citizen-initiated ballot question...


Elections and Constitutional Law: Successfully Challenged Certification of Initiative Petition

In a victory for consumers and the ride-hailing public, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently barred the Secretary of State from placing on the November ballot initiative petitions proposed by companies such as Uber...



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New Options for Retirement Plan Distributions Under SECURE 2.0

This post summarizes the new distribution options, including penalty-free withdrawals, applicable to defined contribution plans under the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (“SECURE 2.0”) and provides a timeline of their effective dates. The new...

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