Harlan M. Doliner

T: (617) 309-2617
  • Boston College Law School (J.D., 1977)
  • Johns Hopkins University (M.A., 1974)
  • Johns Hopkins University (B.A., 1974)


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Law at the Water Line explores admiralty law and marine industries and trades. 
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Analysis and discussion of legal issues pertaining to the environment and natural resources.
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AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
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Selected for inclusion in the 2017 issue of New England Super Lawyers©.


In over 39 years of practicing environmental and maritime law, Harlan, a member of our Environmental and Energy Practice Groups and Chair of the firm's Maritime Group - has always been the kind of attorney who gets out from behind his desk, puts on boots and walks the client’s site or factory floor or dons a float coat and boards a vessel to see his client’s technology in use at sea. He believes the best way to advise a client on siting a facility, complying with environmental or maritime regulations, resolving enforcement matters, re-developing a brownfield site, or structuring a transaction is get to know the client’s business: how it works and its business goals – so he may then stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the client in helping realize those goals. Harlan’s long-time clients understand and expect this. When the environmental vice president at one of Harlan’s client companies enrolled in a British Standards Institution course covering the implementation of ISO-14000 series environmental management systems, he called Harlan and said “of course you’ll take the course with me?” The only lawyer and non-engineer in the course, after several, study-intensive 14 hour days, Harlan passed the examination and became certified in that discipline.

Harlan feels strongly that it’s important to impart to the next generation of environmental and maritime lawyers the lessons he’s acquired by his participation in major appellate and other court cases which helped shape the law of coastal development, environmental impact reporting, water and air quality, and wetlands protection, including over fifteen years as a lead counsel in the matters dealing with the cleanup of Boston Harbor. He does this in part by serving as an adjunct professor for the Law Schools at Boston College and at Roger Williams University, as well as the School of Arts & Sciences at Endicott College. Harlan has also written, taught courses and made major presentations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Finland. His writings include all editions of the Fisheries and Wildlife Law chapter in MCLE’s Massachusetts Environmental Law treatise. In 2012, University of Maine published Maritime Cabotage Laws and Wind Power Installations in the Gulf of Maine, a chapter co-authored by Harlan. In August, 2015, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker appointed Harlan as one of the original members of the Commonwealth's new Seaport Economic Council.

Since 2001, Harlan has also exercised his environmental and maritime skills as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. His duties include pre-arrival screening and shipboard inspections of foreign flag vessels for Sector Boston Port State Control. If you want to see Harlan in his real “habitat”, however, watch for him fishing with his son Ryan, sailing with his wife Kathy, transmitting on ham radio as NE1HD or simply hanging out in the woods behind their home.

Public Service

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council, Member
Massachusetts Bay National Estuary Program (MassBays), Management 
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary: Marine Safety & Environmental Protection Staff Officer 
    for Sector Boston Area; Past Commander, Div. 5 1NR; International Search and 
    Rescue Competition (ISAR) 2004, M-Pro ("Trident") 2012
Town of Holliston Conservation Commission, 1991-2002
Massachusetts Attorney General's Environmental Task Force, 1991-1996


The Environmental Business Council of New England, Inc., Board of 
    Directors, Leadership Team for the Ocean and Coastal Resources 
Marine & Oceanographic Technology Network, "MOTN," Board of 
New England Marine Renewable Energy Consortium, Board of Directors
Founding Chairperson of the Environmental Law Section of the 
    Boston Bar Association
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary D1NR Past Commanders Association, Life 


  • Boston College Law School (J.D., 1977)
  • Johns Hopkins University (M.A., 1974)
  • Johns Hopkins University (B.A., 1974)

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts, 1977

Court and Other Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 1978
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, 1978
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1990


AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Selected by peers for inclusion in Massachusetts Super Lawyers© under
    Environmental , Transportation/Maritime and Land
    Use/Zoning (2004 - 2015)
Listed in The International Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers 2012