Michael Aaron Harwin, Esq.

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  • 1994 J.D., summa cum laude (G.P.A. 3.67), University of Arizona College of Law. Rank: 8/155.
  • 1990 M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) (G.P.A. 3.72), , University of Arizona. Major: Creative Writing
  • 1984 B.A. magna cum laude (G.P.A. 3.63), State University of New York, College at Potsdam. Major: English.


  • 2015 Selected by U.S. News & World Report: America’s Best Law Firms® (2016 ed.): White Collar Criminal Defense.
  • 2015 Selected by Best Lawyers in America® 21st ed.: Criminal Defense: White Collar.
  • 2015 Listed in Tucson Lifestyle Magazine (June 2015) as one of “Tucson’s Top Lawyers®”: White Collar Crime and Criminal Defense.
  • 2014-16 Author, (individual chapters in) Defense Strategies for Drug Crimes, 2016 ed. (Thomsen Reuters /Aspatore Imprint); The Legality of Search and Seizure in DUI Cases, 2015 ed. (Thomsen Reuters/Aspatore); Trends in DUI Discovery, 2014, ed. (A Thomson Reuters/Aspatore).
  • 2006 AV rated, Martindale-Hubbell (5/5 Pre-eminent)[martindale.com].
  • 2011 Listed in Tucson Lifestyle Magazine (June 2011) as one of “Tucson’s Top Lawyers“: White Collar Crime and Criminal Defense.
  • 2011 Fellowship, Litigation Counsel of America® (LCA).
  • 2006 AV® rated, Martindale-Hubbell (pre-eminent 5/5 rating).
  • 2010 Rated “10/10” AVVO Superb.
  • 2008 Listed in The Best Lawyers In The U.S. ® 2008, by Best of U.S. Inc.
  • 1994 Order of the Coif
  • 1993 Note Editor, Arizona Law Review
  • 1993 Author, Detaining for Danger under the Bail Reform Act of 1984: Paradoxes of Procedure and Proof, 35 Ariz. L. Rev. 4 (Winter 1993).
  • 1993 Snell and Wilmer Award for Best Note Published in Arizona Law Review, 1993-1994.
  • 1991 American Jurisprudence Awards (top grades in selected classes):
    • Corporations (Fall 1993)
    • Constitutional Law (Fall 1992)
    • Civil Procedure (Fall 1991).
  • 1984 Department Scholar, English, State University of New York, Potsdam.
  • 1982 Sylvia Angus Memorial Creative Writing Awards, State University of New York, Potsdam:
    • Academic Year 1983-84
    • Academic Year 1982-83


  • 2000 ASSISTANT ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF LAW, University of Arizona College of Law. Substantive graded courses, Legal Analysis & Reasoning (original syllabus).
  • 1998 MICHAEL AARON HARWIN, P.C., 250 North Meyer Avenue, Tucson. Litigation practice.
  • 1995 ASSISTANT CITY PROSECUTOR, City of Phoenix. Trial Bureau assignment. Completed 56 jury trials.
  • 1993 MENDELSOHN, OSERAN, MANCE & EISNER, P.C., Tucson, Arizona. Associate; Law Clerk, Summer 1993commercial real estate transactions & litigation; commercial bankruptcy and RTC/FDIC related litigation
  • 1991 PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Tucson. Associate Faculty in Writing.
  • 1987 UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA, Tucson. Graduate Assistant in Teaching, Department of English; 14 sections, English 101-02 & 210 undergraduate writing courses.


  • 2003 Delegate Selection Chair, Presidential Election, Pima County Democratic Party.
  • 1994 Board of Directors, Lawyers Against Hunger, Tucson, Arizona. Organization raises funds for the Tucson Community Food Bank.
  • 1992 Participant, Southern Arizona Civil Rights Coalition, Tucson, Arizona.
  • 1991 Staff, Casa De Los Ninos, Tucson, Arizona. Served as direct care provider in crisis shelter for children.
  • 1985 Firefighter, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Kamiah, Idaho; National Park Service, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, Three Rivers, CA.
  • 1981 Wilderness Ranger, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Ray Brook, N.Y (Region 5, Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Complex).


  • 1998 American Bar Association; Federal Bar Association; American Immigration Lawyers Association; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.


  • Arizona, Colorado, Western District of Texas, Fifth and Ninth Circuits.


  • Spanish


  • In litigation or administrative actions, represented officers with federal and state agencies including: U.S. Border Patrol; U.S. Customs; Tucson Police Department (T.P.D.); Pima County Sheriff's Office; Arizona Department of Public Safety (D.P.S.); Arizona Department of Corrections (D.O.C.); USGOA Local 183; Arizona National Guard; Pima County Superior Court Pretrial Services.


  • 2000 Appearances before or litigation involving the following federal agencies/divisions: HUD Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG); FDA (CFSAN), Washington, D.C.; IRS (Criminal Investigation Division & D.O.J. tax division); IRS Civil Division, Phoenix; United States Department of Justice, Asset Forfeiture & Money Laundering Section (AFMLS, Washington, D.C,); ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Sierra Vista, Tucson; CBP (United States Customs and Border Protection; FAA (Federal Aviation Administration); United States Secret Service.
  • 2001 Matters receiving media attention: United States vs. Chan et. al. Case No. 06-00054-TUC-CKJ[ U.S. Dist. Court] (CNN) [reported as $82 million dollars in counterfeit Nike athletic shoes smuggled into the United States from China]; United States v. Ramon de Harvey, Case No. 04-03323M-TUC-JCC [U.S. Dist. Court] (Fox News/The O'Rielly Factor) [federal alien smuggling indictment]; United States v. Shipley, et al., Case No. CR 02-1618-TUC-DCB-CRP [U.S. Dist. Court] (CNN) [matter involving outbreak of Salmonella linked to produce]; United States v. Livdahl, et al. No. 05-M-7609 , [U.S. Dist. Court] [physicians indicted for marketing misbranded Botox]; United States v. Golden State Bus Lines, et al., Case No. ________ (U.S. Dist. Court) (alien smuggling conspiracy); Kelava v. Gonzales, 9th Cir. Case No. 03-73689 (Associated Press) [reported as terrorism matter]; United States v. Brooks, Case No. CR-99-721 (U.S. Dist. Court) (Wall Street Journal) (alien smuggling conspiracy); State v. Guarriello, Case No. CR 2002-1640 (Pima County Superior Court) (Corrections Officer indicted for homicide); United States v. Nassar Al Haribi, et al., case No. CR02-00880-TUC-CKJ (GEE) (U.S. Dist. Court) (New York Times) [wire fraud].
  • 2000 Appearances in the following jurisdictions: United States District Court (Phoenix; Tucson; El Paso); Graham County Superior Court; Cochise County Superior Court; Santa Cruz County Superior Court; Pima County Superior Court; Pinal County Superior Court; Maricopa County Superior Court; and geographically (southeast to northwest): Douglas Municipal Court; Safford J.P. Court; Wilcox J.P. Court; Sierra Vista J.P. Court; Sierra Vista Municipal Court; Sonoita J.P. Court; Benson Municipal Court; Nogales J.P. Court; Nogales City Court; Ajo J.P. Court; Green Valley J.P. Court; Sahuarita Municipal Court; South Tucson Municipal Court; Tucson City Municipal Court; Pima County Consolidated J.P. Courts (Tucson); Oro Valley Municipal Court; Marana Municipal Court; Eloy J.P. Court; Casa Grande J.P. Court; Oracle J.P. Court; Mesa City Court; Chandler City Court; Gilbert Municipal Court; Tempe City Court; Phoenix City Court; Phoenix J.P. Courts (downtown, Glendale and westside); Avondale Municipal Court; Buckeye Municipal Court; Surprise Municipal Court; Wickenburg J.P. Court; Quartzite Justice Court; and Lake Havasu Justice Court.
  • 2005 Published Opinions: Kelava v. Gonzales, 410 F.3d 625 (9th Cir.2005) amended and superseded by Kelava v. Gonzales, 434 F.3d 1120 (9th Cir.2006).



  • 2006 Appearances before: 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, Office of the Commander [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; 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 Immigration Appeals, Falls Church, Virginia.


  • 2000 Federal CJA Panel for Death Penalty Habeas Corpus; felonies and appeals; Pima County Indigent Services Homicide Panel.