Michael successfully represented Blayne and Julie McAferty when the City of Seattle tried to shut down their bed and breakfast under an arbitrary and irrational land use regulation, and he helped defend the free speech and association rights of the No New Gas Tax initiative campaign when several Washington municipalities tried to use campaign finance laws to regulate media commentary concerning the initiative. On behalf of the DeBoom, Apodaca and Hamilton families, Michael successfully challenged Washington's denial of special education services to children in religious schools. He also helped home and small business owners in Seattle and Renton defeat governmental attempts to use bogus "blight" designations to unconstitutionally take property through eminent domain.
Currently, Michael is representing property rights activist Jim Roos in challenging St. Louis's attempt to force him to remove a mural protesting the city's abusive eminent domain practices, as well as entrepreneur Gary Franco, who is challenging a San Juan County, Wash., vending ordinance designed to protect brick-and-mortar businesses from competition.
Prior to joining IJ-WA, Michael spent three years as an attorney with Perkins Coie LLP, where he litigated constitutional and False Claims Act issues. He is a former law clerk to Judge Rhesa Hawkins Barksdale of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and served as an engineer officer in the United States Army and Pennsylvania Army National Guard before beginning his legal career.
Michael received his law degree cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2001, where he served as Articles Editor for the Journal of Constitutional Law and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He received his undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1995, where he was a Distinguished Cadet.
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White Paper on Washington State Supreme Court
July 26, 2010