Mike focuses his practice on representing taxpayers in constitutional and statutory challenges to state and local taxes. Mike also advocates for businesses and political subdivisions in environmental and complex commercial litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts. Additionally, Mike counsels businesses, non-profits and political subdivisions on use of and compliance with Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act.
Prior to joining McGuireWoods, Mike served as assistant solicitor general in the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia from 2011-2014. In that role he assisted Virginia’s solicitor general in defending the Commonwealth of Virginia and its officers against constitutional challenges in the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the Supreme Court of Virginia, and other lower federal and state courts. This representation involved litigating issues ranging from administrative, election and environmental law, dormant Commerce Clause/Privileges & Immunities Clause challenges, First Amendment claims, and claims arising in the habeas and correctional context, as well as claims arising under the Virginia Constitution.
While a law student at The University of Texas School of Law, Mike was awarded the Dean’s Achievement Award in Advanced Constitutional Structure, served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Victor J. Wolski, United States Court of Federal Claims, and was president of the Texas Federalist Society. Following law school, he clerked for Chief Justice Cynthia D. Kinser of the Supreme Court of Virginia from 2009-2011. As an undergraduate, Mike was awarded The Helms School of Government’s Academic Achievement Award for the highest grade point average in the graduating class.
Co-authored petitions for writ of certiorari, briefs in opposition and amicus briefs before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Co-authored merits and amicus briefs in appeals before the Fourth Circuit regarding the First, Second, and Fourteenth Amendments and a merits and an amicus brief in reviews of agency action before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Co-authored petition and merits briefs in numerous appeals before the Supreme Court of Virginia and co-authored amicus brief on the interstate disputes over child custody invited by a panel of the Court of Appeals of Virginia.
Co-chaired at trial and assisted on appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia in successful constitutional challenge to application of a local business licensure tax to duty-free sales made at Dulles International Airport by a leading duty-free retailer.
Co-chaired at trial and assisted on appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia in successful challenge to a County’s machinery and tools taxes, resulting in a revision of the assessment methodology and obtaining a $5 million judgment for a Fortune 200 paper manufacturer.
Assisted in successful defense of Virginia FOIA citizenship restriction in the Fourth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Assisted in successful interlocutory appeal to Fourth Circuit of discovery order compelling production of trade secrets in products liability action against a Fortune 200 company.
Assisted in obtaining reversal of $16 million jury verdict and final judgment for nuclear manufacturing company on breach of license and misappropriation of trade secret claims via appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia.
Assisted in representing Virginia transportation agency in obtaining appeal, expedited review, and reversal from Supreme Court of Virginia of judgment holding unconstitutional tolling provision in Virginia’s Public-Private Transportation Act.
Assisted in obtaining affirmance on appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia a trial court’s denial of video cameras in the courtroom at a high-profile criminal sentencing.
Assisted in defense of state health agency in challenge to the constitutionality of certificate of public need law in federal district court and the Fourth Circuit.
Defended the constitutionality of statute conditioning driving privileges upon discharge of obligations due to the Commonwealth of Virginia, which was upheld in state trial and appellate courts.
Founders Club Member, The Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies