Michael joined NARF as a Staff Attorney in 2021 and is a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Michael has spent his career representing tribal governments, serving as in-house counsel for the Gila River Indian Community of Arizona, as well as representing tribes across the country as an associate at Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker LLP and as a partner at Patterson, Earnhart, Real Bird & Wilson LLP.
Michael has extensive knowledge and experience in a broad range of issues affecting tribal governments, including: tribal housing, education, public safety, tribal lands, contracts, litigation, construction, tribal code drafting, and many other areas. Michael has also worked at the Department of Justice–Office of Tribal Justice, the American Indian Policy Institute, and has fought for the rights of victims as a tribal prosecutor.
Michael grew up in Oklahoma and west Texas. He received a B.A. in Anthropology from Texas Tech University in 2006 and a J.D. from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in 2009. During law school, Michael participated in the National Native American Law Students Association moot court competition and graduated with the Certificate in Indian Law.
Michael enjoys playing basketball, hiking, and spending time with his wife and two children.