Tom primarily is engaged in matters of environmental counseling, compliance, permitting and regulatory affairs, as well as environmental issues pertaining to litigation and transactional matters.
Tom represents corporate clients in various statutory claims involving the major federal statutes, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (Superfund), the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, as well as parallel state statutes.
He has handled numerous cases involving hazardous waste sites listed on the National Priority List, Michigan’s Part 201 list and other states’ programs. He has overseen environmental audits, due diligence and site assessments, assisted clients in obtaining or modifying permits, in undertaking internal and governmental investigations and in implementing compliance programs, and counseled clients in real estate transactions. His clients include national and international businesses and industries, service providers, utilities, developers and municipalities.
Long active in pro bono legal work, Tom has led engagements in several important pro bono matters, particularly in civil rights cases. For example, Tom led a team that helped win a court ruling that Michigan’s so-called “Marriage Amendment,” which prohibited the state from recognizing same-sex marriages, does not prohibit employers from providing domestic partner benefits, principally in the form of employee-paid health insurance, to same-sex domestic partners. He also led the team in a successful merger of the firm’s nonprofit client, AIDS Partnership Michigan, with another nonprofit entity, and continues to represent the surviving entity, Unified HIV Health & Beyond (UHHB).
Before he joined the firm in 1986, Tom was with a litigation firm, principally handling employment and toxic tort matters. Before practicing law, he worked with the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) and the Michigan Energy and Resource Research Association (MERRA) on a variety of energy, environmental and regulatory issues.