As U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, Mike supervised many prominent lawsuits filed by or against the United States. He made the charging decision in the first flag burning case in America, an action granted direct review by the United States Supreme Court. He reorganized the office to more efficiently handle specialized cases including environmental crime, drugs, and bank fraud, mainstays of the office today.
Since founding McKay Chadwell in 1995, Mike’s busy practice calls upon his unique skills to handle legal problems involving federal and local governments and their impact on companies and individuals, including civil, criminal and administrative matters. He represents corporations and corporate officers, as well as physicians and dentists, facing governmental investigations and also a variety of clients in civil litigation.
Private companies and municipal corporations have hired Mike to conduct internal investigations. On rare occasions, the investigation results are made public:
- In 2008, the Port of Seattle hired Mike as counsel for the Special Investigative Committee, which conducted an internal investigation into Port contracting practices. Mike’s team found evidence of fraud and other instances where state laws or Port policies were violated, which were documented in the Report of the Special Investigative Team, issued on December 3, 2008. The Report provided a set of recommendations that the Port CEO implemented to improve the Port's compliance and practices and deter fraud.
- In 1999, the City of Seattle asked Mike to investigate police policies and procedures in the wake of allegations that a detective stole money from a homicide victim. Mike served as Vice Chair of a four-member Citizens Review Panel which made more than twenty recommendations to improve the Seattle Police Department’s procedures and oversight. In 2008, Mike served on the Seattle Police Accountability Review Panel, which reviewed the 1999 model and made 29 recommendations, all of which were accepted by the Mayor.
Mike began his career in the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, where he served for five years and became a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney who handled cases in the civil, fraud, juvenile, and criminal divisions. He represented the Kingdome in the first major litigation with the Seattle Mariners and was lead prosecutor in the investigation and prosecution of a juvenile prostitution ring. Mike also played a principal role in the implementation of the innovative Washington State Juvenile Justice Act.