Biography

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.

Services/Industries

Education

  • 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

Memberships

  • 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)

Honors

  • 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

Matter

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...

Publication/Podcast

New DOJ Task Force Announced Will Impact Health Care Providers & Prescribers in Northern New England

Major enforcement news was released today, Wednesday, June 29, 2022, for medical professionals and anyone working in or around the health care space in Maine , New Hampshire , and Vermont . The United...

Publication/Podcast

Hospitals Win 340B Medicare Rate Cut Suit, But When, How, and How Much They Will Recoup Remains Unclear

In a recent unanimous decision, the Supreme Court found that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”), part of the federal Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), erred when it significantly reduced...

News

Verrill Partner Robert Ruesch Elected to American Bar Association’s Forum on Construction Law’s Governing Committee

Event

Implications of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act Webinar

Join Verrill's Robert Laplaca who will be presenting this webinar on understanding what risks confront gambling businesses operating on the internet. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed in 2006, but its implications...

Event

Annual Update Part 6: Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion - Top Legal Challenges and Best Practices for Your Company

Join Verrill for its sixth session of the 2022 virtual Labor & Employment Annual Update Series. Verrill attorney Tawny Alvarez will discuss steps that employers are taking to embrace diversity in their hiring practices...

Matter

Advised Fortune 500 Company on Group Health and Welfare Benefit Plans

We were engaged by a Fortune 500 manufacturing company to provide legal and compliance services regarding its group health and welfare benefit plans. During the course of our representation, we have advised the company...

Blog

Four Verrill Attorneys Recognized by Chambers & Partners for Energy and Environmental Law in Maine

Verrill attorneys Juliet T. Browne, James I. Cohen, Gordon R. Smith, and Mathew J. Todaro were recently recognized for energy and environmental law in Maine in the 2022 Chambers & Partners Guide . Chambers...

News

Verrill Elects Longtime Partner Scott Anderson as New Managing Partner

Blog

Health Plans: PCORI Fee Is Due August 1, 2022

What is the PCORI Fee? The Affordable Care Act created a non-profit corporation, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (“PCORI”), to conduct research to help individuals, providers, and policymakers make better healthcare choices by advancing...

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