Michael represents companies and individuals in high-stakes litigation and enforcement actions. He is a deeply experienced appellate litigator with a track record of success in the U.S. Supreme Court, federal courts of appeal, and state appellate courts. He has also achieved positive results for clients on dispositive motions before federal and state trial courts and in enforcement actions by regulators, including the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.
Michael also advises clients on compliance with US and international privacy and data security laws and regulations, data breach prevention and response, and compliance with government demands for information. He has been repeatedly cited by Chambers and Legal500 as a leading practitioner in the field and has been praised by clients as "a deep thinker [who] thoroughly analyzes issues, identifies solutions and is able to apply his analysis to business reality," and as “a great counselor” who “is realistic in his advice, takes into account business demands and has a deep knowledge of privacy regulations and enforcement.”
Earlier in his career, Michael served eight years in the government with leading operational and policy roles in the areas of cybercrime, cybersecurity, counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and critical infrastructure protection. He was the founding head of the FBI's computer crime and infrastructure protection program; Associate Deputy Attorney General for national security matters in the Department of Justice; and Special Counsel in the Office of General Counsel at the Department of Defense, where he received the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence.
Michael also served as the first Director of the Institute for Security Technology Studies at Dartmouth; the founding Chairman of the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection (I3P); and Executive Director of the Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age.
In addition, Michael has also been involved in numerous cybersecurity and national security advisory groups. He has been a Senior Fellow at New York University Law School's Center on Law and Security; a member of the National Academy of Science/National Research Council Committee on the Policy Consequences and Legal/Ethical Implications of Offensive Information Warfare; and a member of the Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency.
At the beginning of his legal career, Michael had the unique privilege of clerking for two giants of American law, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall.
- Regularly advise companies and non-profit organizations on privacy and cybersecurity issues, including response to data breaches and ransomware attacks and compliance with US and international privacy and data security laws and regulations.
- Represented producer of children’s electronic learning products in class action lawsuits and FTC enforcement action arising out of data breach. Won dismissal of class action complaints, obtained favorable settlement of FTC action, helped law enforcement apprehend hacker behind breach, and secured copies of breached data.
- Represented insurer in suit over damage arising from NotPetya virus, which US and other governments have attributed to Russian military intelligence.
- Successfully represented child of African American man who died after being tasered multiple times by police officer in rural Louisiana despite not posing any safety or flight risk. Persuaded US Supreme Court to vacate and remand Fifth Circuit decision granting officer qualified immunity from suit.
- Successfully represented City of Durham, North Carolina in suits raising multiple constitutional and tort claims against city and its police officers arising from investigation of Duke lacrosse players for alleged rape and assault of exotic dancer. Obtained dismissal of nearly all claims in federal district court and Fourth Circuit.
- Won unanimous decision by US Supreme Court reversing decision of Federal Circuit and holding that contracts with foreign companies for enriched uranium constituted the sale of goods, not of services, and were therefore covered by U.S. anti-dumping laws. This was the Supreme Court’s first anti-dumping case.
- Represented health care facilities, LGBTQ-services organizations, national associations of health professionals, and individual health professionals in constitutional and administrative law challenge to federal regulations repealing or limiting protections against discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sex stereotyping.
- Persuaded Sixth Circuit to interpret insurance policy as excluding all damage and loss resulting from flood in high-hazard zone, unanimously reversing district court.
- Wrote influential amicus briefs in Southern District of New York, Second Circuit, and Supreme Court concerning government’s ability to use search warrant to obtain communications content stored abroad.
- Successfully represented retailer in appeal to Second Circuit concerning whether the Americans with Disabilities Act requires retailers to issue Braille gift cards for visually impaired customers.
- Represented union’s pension and benefit plans in appeals arising from bankruptcy of one of nation’s largest coal mining operations
- Represented insurance company in half-billion dollar coverage litigation concerning whether art works were damaged in house fire.
- Obtained asylum for young immigrant from Democratic Republic of Congo who was the victim of severe abuse and persecution in DRC as a result of her family’s political activities.
- Successfully represented numerous university students in college disciplinary proceedings and appeals, including under Title IX.
- Represent retailer in Ninth Circuit and Oregon Supreme Court in class action suit alleging deceptive pricing practices.
- Represent retailers in class actions alleging violation of federal and state privacy, consumer protection, and wiretapping laws through use of common website software and features such as cookies, pixels, session replay, and chats.