As his primary area, Michael handles a range of matters in federal, state, and local courts. He has tried over 70 cases to juries, and has appeared in almost every single court in southern and Central Arizona as private retained counsel for individuals and corporations.
Considered a highly skilled and aggressive advocate in criminal matters, Michael is routinely referred matters by the largest law firms in Arizona to care for their valued clients.
Michael's criminal practice is divided into three broad, often overlapping, practice areas: White Collar Crime; DUI's, alcohol & drugs; and Licensing & Administrative consequences.
Michael's white collar practice has focused largely on matters concerning international trade; real estate development and financing; and tax. He has worked with both FDA Office of Criminal Investigation, and directly with FDA Center for Applied Nutrition and Food (CFSAN) in Washington D.C., as well as FDA Office of General Counsel. Michael has also worked extensively with United States Customs on both commercial importation and exportation matters, and has handled matters involving a host of international agencies.
Increasingly, Michael has been involved in real estate development and financing investigations, largely within Arizona. He has worked with both the US HUD Office of Inspector General; the US Department of Justice; the FBI; the Arizona Attorney General and other agencies in matters related to bank, mortgage and consumer fraud. He has represented both individuals and mortgage and investment companies in a range of investigations.
Michael's tax practice is fairly comprehensive, having handled both large preindictment IRS criminal investigations involving off-shore banking as well as the mechanics of post-assessment and post-judgment IRS liens and levys. He has handled both employment and income tax matters for both individuals and corporations at both the IRS and Arizona Department of Revenue.
One of Michael's most successful areas of practice, DUI, Alcohol & Drug practice is also one of his most far-reaching. As Phoenix Assistant City Prosecutor, Michael completed 48 DUI jury trials in 22 months. In private practice, Michael, having handled literally hundreds of cases, focuses on representing licensed professionals, particularly those who face parallel proceedings before administrative agencies. For these professionals, a misdemeanor DUI can prove to be potentially career-ending, and almost always career-damaging.
Michael is considered highly-skilled in navigating the intricacies of professional licensing tribunals and the criminal courts, providing counsel and insight to accomplished professionals who cannot afford a criminal record.
Moreover, Michael boasts one of the best track records in the business. Highly skilled in constitutional issues, Michael tends to litigate aggressively on 4th and 5th Amendment and discovery issues pretrial, often with surprising results. Click HERE to see Recent Results. Unlike other attorneys, Michael does not list misleading results; rather every litigated dismissal he lists is based on a dispositive motion crafted and filed by him.
Increasingly, Michael has been engaged to represent university and secondary school students facing expulsion or long-term suspension for serious misconduct. Michael has appeared routinely before the Office of the Dean of Students, University of Arizona, and has represented both individuals and student organizations. Michael has also appeared in public school long-term suspension hearings involving: Tucson Unified School District; Amphitheater School District; Flowing Wells School District; and Sahuarita School District.
Concomitant with his DUI, Alcohol & Drug practice, but in addition to it, Michael routinely appears before administrative tribunals often conducting parallel proceedings, many times moving out in front of pending or uninitiated criminal proceedings.
His numerous appearances include: Arizona Board of Medical Examiners (BOMEX); Arizona Nursing Board; Arizona State Bar; United States Border Patrol Office of Internal Affairs; Arizona Department of Public Safety Office of Internal Affairs; Arizona National Guard, 856th Military Police Company, Phoenix, Arizona [USCMJ Art. 15 proceedings]; Board of Appeals, University of Arizona (long term suspension); Offices of Superintendent, Tucson Unified School District (long-term suspension); Flowing Wells Unified School District (same); Amphitheater School District (same); Sahuarita Unified School District; City of Phoenix Licensing Appeals Board (restricted business); City of Tucson Board of Adjustment (zoning determination); Arizona Board of Pharmacy; Arizona Board of Naturopathy; Arizona Massage Board; Arizona Cosmetology Board.
Click HERE to download his resource on health care licensing issues.
As part of his administrative and licensing practice Michael represents numerous MDs, RNs, NPs and other healthcare professionals in a wide spectrum of criminal and administrative matters ranging from DEA investigations to credentialing and internal matters. His skill in addressing the unique needs of and tremendous pressures facing health care professionals today has made him trusted counsel to many local health care providers.
Michael was surprised when he was named one of the Best Lawyers in the United States for Immigration Law 2008. Originally taking on political asylum and certain deportation cases on a pro bono basis or at a greatly reduced fee, Michael has grown to become a recognized lecturer at State Bar CLEs, and an often-consulted counsel, on immigration matters related to criminal conduct.
Michael has appeared on immigration matters before United States District Court, District of Arizona, Phoenix; the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, San Francisco; as well as the United States Department of Justice, Executive Office of Immigration Review (Federal Immigration Courts) situated in (by order of frequency): Phoenix, Florence, Tucson, Eloy, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco; and EOIR Board of Immingration Appeals, Falls Church, Va.
He has handled matters involving claims to political asylum, the Convention Against Torture, Suspension and Cancellation of Removal, charges of Inadmissability and Excludability, as well as allegations of Terrorism within the United States.
Michael serves on the Death Penalty Habeas Corpus Panel for the United States District Court, District of Arizona, as one of only 28 attorneys. He has appeared on numerous occasions before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Increasingly, Michael has served as lead counsel in white collar matters where multiple civil and administrative matters are pending simultaneously. Learning to navigate the treacherous waters of parallel proceedings, Michael has worked extensively with corporate counsel to make strategic and tactical decisions aimed at minimizing exposure and preserving assets, reputation, confidentiality, and the viability of troubled businesses faced with multiple investigations and civil suits.
In order to effectively represent firms in such complex litigation, Michael has undertaken both learning the painstaking details of his clients' business practices and relevant industry standards, and the nuances of civil and administrative procedure, particularly relating to discovery.
As an outgrowth, Michael has been called upon increasingly to represent individuals and corporations in commercial litigation, often, but not always, involving an interpretation of a state or federal criminal code.
An emerging practice area, Michael has increasingly handled both general civil litigation and employment, copyright, performance, pressing and distribution, publishing, licensing, and trademark issues, as well as international distribution, publishing, and tax matters, for media outlets and professional musicians. Michael has recently handled transactional or civil matters for or involving: Smalls Jazz Club, New York, New York (SmallsLive Records distributed by Harmonia Mundi, Arles, France); KOLD-TV (CBS affiliate); Golden Boots; Loveland Studios Tucson, Arizona; Journal Broadcasting, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; The Rock (Tucson); and Resonance Records, Los Angeles, CA (2009 Grammy Award Winner; 2010 Grammy Nominee).