Mike is graduate of Davidson College and the University of North Carolina School of Law, and spent the early years of his legal career at a pair of global law firms representing the nation’s largest banks and corporations, public officials, and government officers and entities. Mike’s commercial litigation experience includes complex contractual disputes, business torts, warranty claims, employment issues, and white-collar investigations and defense. A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer before attending law school, Mike also represents public officers and government agencies in liability defense, employment, and other police issues.
Additionally, Mike has practiced at one of North Carolina’s largest and most prominent trust and estate groups, and his practice has a particular emphasis in trust and estate litigation. Mike has represented national banks, trust companies, Big Four accounting firms, and individual executors, trustees, and beneficiaries in a variety of fiduciary litigation matters such as caveats (will contests), trust litigation, elder guardianships, breach of fiduciary duty claims, professional malpractice matters, and disputes regarding end-of-life care. Mike is a member of the Fiduciary Litigation Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law Section, and frequently speaks and writes on fiduciary litigation matters. Mike has been published multiple times in The Will & The Way, the section newsletter for the North Carolina Bar Association’s Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law Section.
Mike is rated by his peers as a Martindale-Hubbell AV-Preeminent® rated attorney, the highest rating available and reflecting “a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.” In 2013 and again in 2014, Mike was tabbed a “Rising Star” in Business Litigation by North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine, an honor reserved for fewer than 2.5% of qualifying attorneys in the state, and was recognized in 2014 among “Charlotte Area’s Outstanding Young Lawyers” in a Charlotte Magazine publication. Mike is admitted to practice in North Carolina and Illinois, and has appeared in state and federal courts in both jurisdictions, including the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. Mike graduated cum laude with honors from Davidson College, where he was a William Holt Terry Scholar, and with honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he attended on an Aycock Poe Scholarship.
In recent years, Mike has contributed hundreds of hours of pro bono service, most of it as a court-appointed Guardian ad litem in elder incompetency matters and contested guardianships. In one such case, Mike committed more than one hundred hours’ service advocating on behalf of a persistent-vegetative-state patient in a dispute among loved ones over the removal of mechanical life sustaining measures.
Publications & CLEs Taught
“Punctilios Without Privilege?” The Will & The Way, October 2012. (available at: http://estateplanningandfiduciarylaw.ncbar.org/newsletters/willandthewayoct2012/punctilios)
“Bank Liability May Increase” (with Brent Rosser; Hunton & Williams LLP). Charlotte Business Journal, Nov. 2, 2012) (available at: http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/print-edition/2012/11/02/bank-liability-may-increase.html)
“Dust to Dust.” The Will & The Way, April 2012. (available at: http://estateplanningandfiduciarylaw.ncbar.org/newsletters/wwapril2012/dusttodust)
“Elder Fraud Update.” The Will & The Way, November 2013. (available at: http://estateplanningandfiduciarylaw.ncbar.org/newsletters/willandthewaynov2013/elderlyfraud)
“Fiduciary Litigation Update: Mandatory Arbitration Provisions in Trusts” (with David Lewis; Johnston, Allison & Hord, P.A.). The Will & The Way, May 2014 (available at: http://estateplanningandfiduciarylaw.ncbar.org/newsletters/the-will-the-way-may-2014/fiduciary-litigation-update-mandatory-arbitration-provisions-in-trusts)
Current Topics in Fiduciary Litigation (CLE Presentation). Mecklenburg County Bar Center, January 28, 2014.