Michael Francisco is a member of the firm’s Government Investigations and White Collar practice. He is a proven public and commercial litigator with extensive appellate experience. In the courtroom or the boardroom, he tackles tough problems for clients by combining keen reasoning and research with practical understanding of government policy and regulations.
He represents clients on commercial and public litigation, trade and special issues litigation, strategic counsel, and appeals issues. Michael provides clients a wealth of knowledge when guiding clients through the legal process and helping them better understand their options in both litigation and through public policy advocacy. He relishes the opportunity to develop a well-crafted and strategic legal challenge for clients facing regulatory burdens.
Businesses, trade groups, and elected officials have relied on Michael’s deep appellate experience to advocate before courts of appeals at every level. He has argued four cases before the Colorado Supreme Court and successfully sought certiorari review on a wide range of issues. Michael has been counsel of record on thirteen briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court and participated in eighteen cases before the Colorado Supreme Court.
Prior to joining McGuireWoods, Michael was in private practice providing clients with years of litigation experience in dealing with tough issues involving civil litigation, strategic counseling, and appellate representation. He represented many clients from all types of industry groups including defense contracting, government and election officials, religious organizations, nonprofits, trade, energy and environmental industries.
Michael served as a law clerk to the Hon. Justice Neil Gorsuch in the U.S. Supreme Court from 2019 to 2020 and as a law clerk for Hon. Timothy M. Tymkovich in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit of Colorado from 2008 to 2009.
- Served as an outside general counsel for growing defense contractor specializing in High Energy Magnetic Pulse (HEMP) hardening for defense assets. Provided advice on FAR, DFAR, contract formation and disputes, employment, investment bank-led acquisition negotiations, and corporate governance.
- Appointed as Special Assistant Attorney General to represent the Colorado Secretary of State in grand jury criminal investigation of alleged official misconduct handling campaign finance complaints.
- Appointed as Special Assistant Attorney General to represent former Colorado Secretary of State in challenge to Independent Ethics Commission investigation over use of state discretionary funds.
- Represented U.S. Chamber of Commerce in state court as amicus in support of foreign corporation challenging state-court jurisdiction. Represented foreign corporation by filing certiorari petition.
- Represented U.S. Chamber of Commerce in state court as amicus in litigation attempting to force State of Colorado to regulate for climate change.
- Represented U.S. Chamber of Commerce in state court as amicus in personal-jurisdiction challenge to product-liability suit.
- Represented U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, and others in state court as amicus challenging collateral-source rule for personal-injury damages.
- Represented technology company in trade secret and unfair competition dispute over color changing ink products.
- Represented a court appointed receiver in dispute over trademark as partial satisfaction of judgment collection.
- Represented voters seeking TRO days before a presidential election to challenge Colorado’s ban on posting pictures of ballots.
- Represented elected officials seeking TRO and permanent injunction against Colorado Senate to enforce Colorado Constitution’s requirement that bills be read intelligibly slowly and at full length.
- Represented candidates for state and federal office in ballot access litigation.
- Represented school district in litigation with a teachers union over non-renewal of a contract.
Cornell Law SchoolJD
cum laude, with Honors, General Editor, Cornell International Law Journal2007
Hillsdale CollegeBAHistory & Philosophy
Selected for inclusion in “Legal 500 United States,” Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2021
Served clerkship for the Hon. Neil M. Gorsuch, U.S. Supreme Court, 2019-2020
Served clerkship for the Hon. Timothy M. Tymkovich, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit of Colorado, 2008-2009
CALI award for highest grade in Constitutional Law, Insurance Law, and Antitrust Law, Cornell Law School, Class of 2007
Winter Cup Moot Court, Cuccia Cup Moot Court winner Louis Kaiser Best Brief Award, Cornell Law School, Class of 2007
Everett Prize in Oratory, Hillsdale College, 2003 First place, 2002 Finalist, 2001 Third place
- Author, SBA Issues Interim Guidance After Ultima Decision Finds 8(a) Program Violates Equal Protection, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, September 29, 2023
- Author, Supreme Court Decision Could Upend Personal Jurisdiction Landscape for National and Multinational Corporations, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, July 13, 2023
- Author, Supreme Court Raises Standard for Employers to Deny Religious Accommodation, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, July 10, 2023
- Author, Supreme Court Clarifies the False Claims Act’s Knowledge Requirement, Eliminating a Potential Defense for Government Contractors and Healthcare Providers Accused of Fraud, Subject to Inquiry, June 9, 2023
- Author, SCOTUS to Decide if False Claims Act Reaches Defendants Offering Reasonable Interpretation of Vague Requirement, Subject to Inquiry, February 17, 2023
- Author, Supreme Court to Revisit De Minimis Cost Test for Religious Accommodations Under Title VII, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, January 18, 2023
- Author, Less Is More? DOJ Signals Shift to More Targeted Evidence Collection, Subject to Inquiry, June 27, 2022
- Author, Supreme Court Signals Support for Broad Ministerial Exception in Education, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, March 15, 2022
- Author, Corporate Campaign Contributions vs. Independent Expenditures: 6th Circuit Explains the Difference, Subject to Inquiry, September 29, 2021
- Author, Congress Affirms and Extends SEC’s Disgorgement Powers, Subject to Inquiry, January 13, 2021
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- Panelist, Government Regulatory and Enforcement Outlook 2022, March 16 & 17, 2022
- Hon. Timothy M. Tymkovich, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, 2008-2009
- Hon. Neil Gorsuch, U.S. Supreme Court, 2019-2020