Pepper Center Fellow
Tom is a fellow of The Pepper Center for Public Service. The Pepper Center draws on the talents of the firm's retired partners and senior attorneys to wrestle with tough problems facing our communities. Through the Center, these attorneys study, analyze, and work to resolve problems that affect the lives of people in our communities.
Tom was engaged in matters of environmental counseling, compliance, permitting and regulatory affairs, as well as environmental issues pertaining to litigation and transactional matters. He represented 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 handled numerous cases involving hazardous waste sites listed on the National Priority List, Michigan's Part 201 list and other states' programs. He oversaw 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 included national and international businesses and industries, service providers, utilities, developers and municipalities.
Long active in pro bono legal work, Tom 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 represented 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.