Schacht & McElroy
21 Dryden Lane, Post Office Box 6721
Providence, Rhode Island 02940-6721
Phone: (401) 351-4100 • Fax (401) 421-5696
Email:  Michael R. McElroy Leah J. Donaldson

 Return to home page

MICHAEL ROBERT McELROY

Attorney at Law


FEDERAL PRACTICE
LEGAL EXPERIENCE:

1976 - 1981

TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY (TVA)
Knoxville, Tennessee

Trial Attorney. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is the largest electric utility in the United States. I spent four and one-half years in the trials and appeals section of the TVA legal department, exclusively handling litigation and regulatory matters in U.S. District courts, U.S. Courts of Appeal, and regulatory bodies in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington, D.C.


PRIVATE PRACTICE
LEGAL EXPERIENCE: June 1981 - Present

General Practice of Law. My main areas of practice include trials and appeals; public utility law; property tax law; administrative hearings; real estate; and a general corporate and commercial practice.

From June of 1981 until December of 1985, I practiced with James A. O'Leary, Esq. under the firm name of O'Leary & McElroy in Providence. Mr. O'Leary subsequently became a partner with former Rhode Island Governor Philip W. Noel in the firm of McGovern, Noel & Benick, P.C. He is now in practice with his son under the name O’Leary Law Associates.

From December 1985 until May of 1987 I was in solo practice in Providence.

Since May 1987 I have practiced under the firm name of Schacht & McElroy in Providence. My now-retired partner, Robert M. Schacht, was the former Director of Business Regulation for the State of Rhode Island, and also was Executive Counsel to former Rhode Island Governor (and later U.S. Senator) John H. Chafee.

PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS:

I was the President of the Rhode Island Bar Association for 2012 – 2013. When I ended my term as Bar President, U.S. Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya wrote saying: “I want to express my admiration for your spectacular leadership of the Rhode Island Bar Association over the past year. . . . all the members of the Bar are indebted to you for your labors.”

I regularly practice before the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission and the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, and I am an approved attorney for the Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board.

I am a member of the Rhode Island Association for Justice (formerly the Rhode Island Trial Lawyers Associations).

I have been at various times a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association’s Supreme Court Bench/Bar Committee, the Federal Court Bench/Bar Committee, the Superior Court Bench/Bar Committee, and the Environmental and Energy Law Committee, among others.

I was appointed by the President of the Bar Association to be the Chairman of the Superior Court Bench/Bar Committee for three consecutive fiscal years, from 2003 to 2006. During my tenure, and working with the Presiding Justice of the Superior Court, we revised the Rules of Civil Procedure and we also established a mandatory medical malpractice mediation program. The mediation program was a significant success. When I stepped down as Chairman, the Presiding Justice wrote a letter stating that “In my 15 years as presiding justice, I cannot recall any individual from the bar who has worked as diligently as you have to improve not only the relationship between the bench and the bar, but also trying to make the judicial system more efficient and effective.”

In 2006, I was elected to the Rhode Island Bar Association’s House of Delegates. I was then elected by the House of Delegates to the Bar Association’s Executive Committee. In 2013, I was appointed by the President of the Bar Association to the Nominating Committee. In 2016, I was appointed to a 3-year term as Chair of the Nominating Committee. In 2016, I was appointed as Chair of the Victoria Almeida Servant Leader Award Committee.

I am a lifetime member of the Rhode Island Bar Foundation (the charitable arm of the Bar Association), and in 2014, I was elected to the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which is limited to trial lawyers who have achieved a verdict or settlement of $1,000,000 or more.

I have been selected for inclusion in New England Super Lawyers.

I have been selected as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in Rhode Island by The National Trial Lawyers.

I have been selected as one of The Best Lawyers in America (Tier 1 ranking). In 2014, I was selected as the Best Lawyers’ 2014-15 Providence Energy Law “Lawyer of the Year”.

I have been profiled in Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, and other similar publications.

PUBLICATIONS:

  • Representing Clients Before the Rhode Island Personnel Appeal Board, Rhode Island Bar Journal, Vol. 63, No. 5, p. 9 (2015)
     

  • It’s Pretty Damned Depressing, published as part of a book of essays entitled Befriending Death, published by iUniverse, 2014, Edited by Michael C. Vocino and Alfred G. Killilea.
     

  • Now You Know, Rhode Island Bar Journal, Vol. 63, No.2, p. 27 (2014)
     

  • Chief Justice Joseph R. Weisberger Tribute, Rhode Island Bar Journal, Vol. 62, No. 1, p. 9 (2013)
     

  • Help for Bar Members and their Families Suffering from Alcoholism, Rhode Island Bar Journal, Vol. 61, No. 6, p. 3 (2013)
     

  • Let’s Make Our Mothers Proud!, Rhode Island Bar Journal, Vol. 61, No. 5, p. 3 (2013)
     

  • Dangers of the Pro Se Explosion, Rhode Island Bar Journal, Vol. 61, No. 4, p. 3 (2013)
     

  • The Tragedy of Wrongful Convictions, Rhode Island Bar Journal, Vol. 61, No. 3, p. 3 (2012)
     

  • First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Law Schools, Rhode Island Bar Journal, Vol. 61, No.2, p. 3 (2012)
     

  • Who is This Guy?, Rhode Island Bar Journal, Vol. 61, No. 1, p. 3 (2012)

PUBLIC APPOINTMENTS:

  1. In 1981 I was appointed to serve as Special Assistant Attorney General under Attorney General Dennis Roberts II to serve as counsel to the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.
     

  2. In 1991 I was appointed by the Governor to serve as legal counsel to the State of Rhode Island Personnel Appeal Board and I served in that position through 2015. The Board is a quasi-judicial body that hears appeals by Rhode Island State employees from job actions such as demotions, layoffs and terminations. My duties involved advising the bipartisan board regarding hearing procedures and applicable law. I prepared draft decisions for the Board and handled Superior and Supreme Court appeals for the Board.
     

  3. In 1992 I was appointed by the Presiding Justice of the Superior Court as an Arbitrator of civil cases in the Rhode Island Superior Court.
     

  4. In 1993 I was appointed by the Presiding Justice of the Superior Court as a Special Master/Commissioner of Real Estate.
     

  5. In 1994 I was one of five persons nominated by the Judicial Nominating Commission to fill a vacant judgeship in the Rhode Island Superior Court.
     

  6. In 1997 I was appointed by Governor Almond to the Planning Advisory Committee that assisted in preparing the State’s Master Development Plan for the Port of Galilee.
     

  7. In 2000 I was selected as Special Legal Counsel to the Rhode Island Ethics Commission.

COMMUNITY/POLITICAL ACTIVITIES:

I served as Chief Legal Counsel to Bruce Sundlun in both his 1988 and 1990 Campaigns for Governor. In 1988, Mr. Sundlun lost to the incumbent Governor by less than 1%. In 1990, Mr. Sundlun was elected Governor.

I have coached boys and girls CYO basketball teams and Babe Ruth league baseball teams in Providence. I was the statistician for the Classical High School Boys Basketball team for four years.

In 2004, Jammat Housing and Community Development Corp., a non-profit community organization in Providence, named me to its Advisory Board and dedicated a room in its new community day-care facility in my name in recognition of the years of legal service I provided to them.

CRIMINAL LEGAL EXPERIENCE:

1975-1976

MASSACHUSETTS DEFENDERS COMMITTEE
Boston, Massachusetts

Public Defender under Rule 3 of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. The position involved responsibility for the preparation and trial of misdemeanor criminal trials in Dorchester District Court under the general supervision of an advocacy professor from Boston University Law School. The position also involved responsibility for handling arraignments of both misdemeanor and felony criminal matters and probation and parole revocation hearings, including hearings at Walpole State Prison.

OTHER LEGAL EXPERIENCE:

Summer - 1975

TOBIN, LEROY & SILVERSTEIN (now Hinckley, Allen & Snyder), Providence, Rhode Island

Law Clerk. The position involved preparing research memoranda involving real estate, tax, corporation and estate matters.

1974-1975

PROFESSOR ROBERT B. KENT
BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW

Research Assistant. The position involved detailed research and personal interviews with Rhode Island Superior Court Justices regarding implementing the Civil Discovery Rules of the Rhode Island Superior Court.

NATIONAL CENTER FOR STATE COURTS
Boston, Massachusetts

Research Assistant. Position involved preparing a profile of the Rhode Island Judicial System.

PRELEGAL EDUCATION:

1969-1973

UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND
Kingston, Rhode Island

B.A. Highest Distinction, 1973
Cumulative Average 3.76/4.0

Major: Political Science

Honors: Captain of the U.R.I. Crew Team; Appointment by the U.R.I. President as the first student Ombudsman in U.R.I. history; Rhodes Scholar nominee; recipient of Honorary Danforth Fellowship.

LEGAL EDUCATION:

1973-1976

BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
Boston, Massachusetts

J.D. cum laude, 1976
Class Rank 12/427 (top 3%)
Cumulative Average 85.19

ADVANCED EDUCATION:

Summer 1982

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
East Lansing, Michigan

Graduate Studies Certificate
Intensive Regulatory Studies Program in Public Utility Law 1982-1987

BRYANT UNIVERSITY
Smithfield, Rhode Island

M.S.T. with honors (Master of Science in Taxation)
Degree awarded in May 1987
Cumulative Average 3.75/4.0



 

 
Super Lawyers
Seriously Outstanding
only 5% selected each year

Schacht & McElroy - Attorneys at Law
21 Dryden Lane, Post Office Box 6721
Providence, Rhode Island 02940-6721
Phone: (401) 351-4100 • Fax (401) 421-5696
Email:  Michael R. McElroy
Leah J. Donaldson
Map & Driving Directions
Conveniently located close to Route 95 with plenty of free parking.
 



Copyright © 2008, Schacht & McElroy - Attorneys at Law. All Rights Reserved.