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Michael Aaron Harwin, Esq.


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.


2015-16 Selected by U.S. News & World Report: America’s Best Law Firms® (2016 ed.): White Collar Criminal Defense.
2015-16 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).
2006-16 AV rated, Martindale-Hubbell (5/5 Pre-eminent)[].
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).
2006-11 AV® rated, Martindale-Hubbell (pre-eminent 5/5 rating).
2010 Rated “10/10” AVVO Superb.
2008-10 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.
1991-93 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.
1982-84 Sylvia Angus Memorial Creative Writing Awards, State University of New York, Potsdam:

  • Academic Year 1983-84
  • Academic Year 1982-83


2000-01 ASSISTANT ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF LAW, University of Arizona College of Law.
Substantive graded courses, Legal Analysis & Reasoning (original syllabus).
1998-present MICHAEL AARON HARWIN, P.C., 250 North Meyer Avenue, Tucson.
Litigation practice.
1995-97 ASSISTANT CITY PROSECUTOR, City of Phoenix.
Trial Bureau assignment. Completed 56 jury trials.
1993-94 MENDELSOHN, OSERAN, MANCE & EISNER, P.C., Tucson, Arizona.
Associate; Law Clerk, Summer 1993commercial real estate transactions & litigation; commercial bankruptcy and RTC/FDIC related litigation)
Associate Faculty in Writing.
Graduate Assistant in Teaching, Department of English; 14 sections, English 101-02 & 210 undergraduate writing courses.


2003-04 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.
1985-91 Firefighter, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Kamiah, Idaho; National Park Service, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, Three Rivers, CA.
1981-82 Wilderness Ranger, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Ray Brook, N.Y (Region 5, Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Complex).


1998-present 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.




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.


2000-06 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.
2001-08 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].
2000-10 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.
2005-06 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).


2010 Representative clients include: Smalls Jazz Club, New York, New York (SmallsLive Records distributed by Harmonia Mundi, Arles, France); KOLD-TV (CBS affiliate); Golden Boots, Park the Van Records; Arizona Dance Coalition;
The Rock (Tucson); and Resonance Records, Los Angeles, CA (2009 Grammy Award Winner; 2010 Grammy Nominee).
2005-06 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).


2006-10 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.


2000-10 Federal CJA Panel for Death Penalty Habeas Corpus; felonies and appeals;
Pima County Indigent Services Homicide Panel.