“Mediation should not be a push to settle, but to make the most educated decision possible about what to do next.”

Michael serves as a mediator in employment disputes and complex commercial matters and occasionally engages to strategically facilitate negotiations on behalf of a party in litigation.  

Michael was born in West Texas where he was raised with a strong work ethic and practical approach to problem solving.  Encouraged to become a lawyer from an early age because of his penchant for argument, Michael attended Texas Tech University where he received degrees in Economics and Political Science.  From there, Michael went on to Baylor Law School, graduating in 2000.  After Law School Michael was selected by the Honorable Sam R. Cummings to serve as his judicial clerk, fulfilling Michael’s desire for practical experience and hands on involvement in a wide variety of matters.  

Michael next joined Gray Reed & McGraw where he found his home as a lawyer.  For the next 20 years Michael focused on employment law but ultimately ended up handling all forms of litigation for a number of clients who increasingly used Michael as their outside General Counsel.  

Fulfilled with these experiences and, with the strong encouragement of colleagues and other mediators, Michael decided to take his pragmatic approach to litigation and client challenges into mediation.  Jumping in with both feet, Michael trained as a mediator at Pepperdine University and then began an intense personal study of behavioral psychology, endeavoring to understand the effect of the human condition on dispute resolution.  Michael now brings the culmination of his studies and pragmatism to mediation with the goal of helping participants make educated and intelligent decisions about whether to resolve their dispute through the mediation or proceed on to the courthouse.  Where some mediators seek a “W” for themselves in the form of a settled case, Michael’s only interest is whether the parties are satisfied with their decision about how they will proceed when they leave mediation.

Outside of work, Michael has varied interests.  He enjoys studying new and interesting areas of life and then moving on to a new challenge.  At present, Michael time trials racing cars for fun and humors his inner history buff by studying military history and the cold war in search of an understanding of not just what happened, but why. 

Experience

Employment

  • FLSA Litigation – Minimum wage, overtime, and other FLSA litigation, including collective actions.
  • Discrimination Litigation – Prosecution and defense of discrimination claims at all stages and almost all protected classes in state and federal courts.
  • Non-Compete and Trade Secret Litigation – Prosecution and defense of non-competition, non-solicitation, theft of trade secret, TUTSA, DTSA and other claims in both expedited and extended litigation proceedings.
  • Employment Agreement & Compensation Packages – Preparation of agreements and litigation concerning agreements from base employees through executives. 

Commercial Litigation

  • Trade Secret Litigation – From theft of significant quantities of data across multiple states to recreating a former employer’s business. 
  • Ownership Disputes – Disputes of various shapes and sizes among business partners who must remain together and those working to extract themselves from each other. 
  • Contract Actions – A wide variety of contract cases from disputes across the waterfront.  From employment agreements to leases to complex agreements among multiple businesses. 

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