How Michael Helps Clients
Michael is the Chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense, Compliance & Investigations practice group and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is first and foremost a trial lawyer, representing individuals and entities in state and federal criminal matters. He focuses on complex white collar defense, internal or parallel investigations and corporate compliance, as well as select civil litigation matters typically involving the defense of qui tam/False Claims Act complaints.
Michael has experience handling cases in the Pennsylvania state courts as well as federal courts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland and Washington, D.C. He also routinely represents clients in connection with grand jury subpoenas and regulatory matters.
Michael’s clients include individuals, public officials and professionals, small and large business entities, closely held companies, non-profits and other organizations.
As part of his practice, Michael guides companies through internal investigations in civil, criminal and regulatory matters related to government inquiries as well as issues such as employee theft and fraud, workplace injuries and deaths, and theft of trade secrets or confidential business information.
He also assists companies and organizations with audits of compliance programs related to matters involving Anti-Money Laundering, the Bank Secrecy Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and many other related laws and regulations. Michael also has extensive experience with Antitrust, environmental and healthcare litigation matters.
Michael’s practice also includes Title IX investigations and the defense of fraternity members or organizations that involve grand jury investigations as well as the criminal and civil defense of fraternity hazing cases.
Michael is a frequent speaker on the white collar practice, grand jury matters, federal criminal litigation and other criminal law topics. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL) and current co-chair of the white-collar committee of PACDL. He is also a member of the board of directors for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and a member of the Federal Bar Association’s Criminal Law Committee and the American Bar Foundation.
What Clients Can Expect
A government inquiry, investigation or prosecution in whatever form may be the greatest challenge an entity or an individual ever faces, Michael’s clients can expect to receive individualized attention and focus on how to successfully navigate and resolve these most complex matters using his years of experience, sound judgment, and his ability to out-work the opposition. Michael is directly engaged in his clients’ matters by counseling them and ensuring that they are informed about their cases every step of the way through clear and consistent communication.
Outside the Office
Michael enjoys traveling with his family. He likes fishing and is an avid fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies. During the summer Michael relaxes at the beach in Lewes, Delaware.
White Collar Matters
- United States v. M.R.; U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of PA (2019) – Obtained a dismissal of all charges relating to the alleged improper filling of two out of date propane cylinders, in violation of DOT Hazardous Materials regulations, that resulted in a deadly explosion on a food truck in Philadelphia. The client pled guilty to two counts of regulatory violations involving the failure to properly train and document training of two employees at a U-Haul facility he managed in 2014. Despite the government’s efforts to obtain a period of incarceration, the defendant was sentenced to two years of probation, a small fine, and community service.
- Commonwealth v. “J.S.;” Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas (2014) – Defended client accused of felony violation of the State Ethics Act in connection with the PA Office of Attorney General corruption prosecution relating to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Client was placed into a diversionary program known as ARD which will result in the dismissal of the criminal charge and expungement of the client’s record upon successful completion of the program.
- United States v. Paul Crim; U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of PA (2008) – Represented the only defendant who was found not guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States in an amount exceeding $10 million in which the IRS prosecuted individuals associated with the Commonwealth Trust Company for allegedly marketing “abusive trust” tax shelters.
Civil Litigation Matters
- Successfully negotiated a no admission of liability settlement on behalf of a pharmaceutical company in connection with a civil False Claims Act matter investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The case originated from a qui tam complaint where the government initially sought damages well in excess of $400 million. The case was resolved for approximately four percent of the initial damages assessment and a Corporate Integrity Agreement was reached with HHS-OIG that avoided any debarment or exclusion sanctions.
- Successful defense of a medical practice in a federal civil False Claims Act litigation involving a qui tam relator.
- Successful defense of a multimillion-dollar civil tax action brought by Department of Justice Tax Section attorneys against an attorney’s innocent spouse for failure to pay over federal income taxes.
- The Charles P. Gelso President’s Award, Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent rating
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Top 100 Pennsylvania 2018
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Top 100 Philadelphia 2017, 2018
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyers 2011-2020
- Pennsylvania Rising Stars 2008, 2010
- The Best Lawyers in America for Criminal Defense - General Practice every year since 2015
George Washington University Law School, J.D., 2000
Villanova University, B.A., 1997, summa cum laude, Sociology
- New York
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
- Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
American Board of Criminal Lawyers (ABCL), Fellow
American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), Fellow
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) - Director, Board of Directors (August 2019-present); Vice-Chair Council of Affiliates (August 2019 – present)
Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (PACDL) - President (2009-2011); Co-Chair White-Collar Practice Committee (2012-present)
Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Foundation for Justice, Secretary
Federal Bar Association, Criminal Law Committee
American Bar Foundation
Temple University Law School, adjunct professor, Sentencing Advocacy, Spring 2020