Michael K. Stagg

Manufacturers, utilities, and local governments seeking legal representation with regard to environmental, health, and safety matters rely on Michael Stagg to provide competent, thoughtful, and robust advice. With a specific emphasis on issues related to air, water, greenfield site development, and landfills, Michael defends entities against judicial and administrative actions brought by a variety of entities, including:

  • Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Citizen and environmental groups
  • Federal, state, and local governmental agencies

Companies also turn to Michael for counsel regarding compliance with federal, state, and local environmental statutes such as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. He helps develop and implement corporate environmental policies and practices.

Michael assists manufacturing companies with the location, development, and expansion of facilities, including identification and acquisition of land; obtaining local land use and zoning approvals; acquiring federal, state, and local environmental and other permits and approvals; hiring contractors and consultants and defending lawsuits and permit appeals arising from the development of the facility.

Reliable, friendly, and engaging, Michael enjoys the variety of substantive issues that arise in environmental challenges. Clients have depended on Waller's deep roster of environmental talent for many years and expect Michael to deliver consistent, valuable results when faced with seemingly impossible permitting, expansion, compliance, or other environmental challenges.

Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America recognize Michael as a leading environmental attorney, and he is rated "AV-Preeminent" by Martindale-Hubbell. Michael has also mostly recently been listed as a "2017 Mid-South Super Lawyer."


Prior Affiliations

  • Law Clerk to Hewitt P. Tomlin, Jr., Presiding Judge of the Western Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals
  • Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division, United States Department of Justice


  • LL.M., with highest honors, The George Washington University Law School, Environmental Law, 1998
    • Randolph C. Shaw Graduate Fellowship
    • Advisory Editor - The Environmental Lawyer
  • J.D., University of Tennessee, 1994
    • Editor-in-Chief - Tennessee Law Review
    • Dean's Citation for Extraordinary Contributions to the College of Law
    • Moot Court Board; American Inns of Court; Phi Delta Phi
  • B.S., Colorado State University, Natural Resources Management, 1982
    • President of the Associated Students of Colorado State University
    • Honors Senior Award - College of Natural Resources
    • Xi Sigma Pi - Natural Resources Honor Society

Legal Services

Industries Served

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, All Districts of Tennessee

Up Close

An outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hiking, backpacking, and camping with his family, Michael is strongly committed to land and resource conservation in Tennessee. He has worked for many years as a board member of and legal counsel to Historic Rugby, Inc. (HRI), a nonprofit organization based on the northern Cumberland Plateau dedicated to the preservation of the historic English village of Rugby and the conservation of surrounding lands.