The son of Rosario and Louise Gabree Normandin, he was born in Southbridge, Massachusetts, on November 13, 1938, and attended Assumption Preparatory School, in Worcester. He lived in Leverett House while at Harvard, receiving his A.B. in physics with the Class in 1960 and earned a LL.B., magna cum laude, at the Law School in 1963.
Considered the dean of the Boston bankruptcy bar, he spent his entire legal career in the firm of Ropes & Gray, where he was the resident expert on bankruptcy for three decades. He became a partner in 1973 and served in the 1980s as head of the Creditors' Rights Department. He was lead counsel in a number of major bankruptcy cases, including the successful reorganization of Mammoth Mart, Inc., a discount retailer, in 1974.
In the mid-1990s he was appointed by the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware as claims mediator in the Chapter 11 case of Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation. An elected member of the National Bankruptcy Conference and a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, in the 1970s he assisted in the work of the National Bankruptcy Review Commission, which led to congressional enactment of the Bankruptcy Act of 1978.
As a lecturer at Harvard Law School, he taught the bankruptcy course for several semesters. He was also active in pro bono programs, providing bankruptcy assistance to people in need, and in later years advised the National Bankruptcy Conference on proposed changes to consumer provisions of the Bankruptcy Code. He retired from Ropes & Gray in 1998.
He was survived by his wife of thirty-four years, Anne (Belluardo), and a brother, Robert.