Pierce Atwood LLP

Michelle N O'Brien

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Practice Areas

Michelle O'Brien handles environmental and land use permitting and related litigation for various types of developments including residential homes, commercial buildings, waterfront properties, wind turbines, and solid waste facilities. She defends companies in environmental enforcement matters at the federal, state, and local levels. Michelle represents private parties in cost recovery and property damage claims involving releases of oil and hazardous materials, and assists clients with real estate transactions involving contaminated properties.


Michelle was a Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Protection Division, where she brought cost recovery and enforcement actions under M.G.L. Chapter 21E, and the Trial Division, where she represented state agencies and employees in state and federal courts. She was a law clerk to the Justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court and a legislative aide to the Chair of the Massachusetts Legislature's Committee on Natural Resources and Agriculture. Michelle has been included in the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers since 2011, and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for environmental law and environmental litigation since 2006.

Professional Memberships

Environmental Business Council of New England; Boston Bar Association.


J.D. (cum laude), Suffolk University Law School; B.S. (magna cum laude), Lesley University.