Mike has been an attorney with Ryley Carlock & Applewhite since graduating from law school in 1983 and was elected a shareholder in 1989. He has served as Chairman of the firm's Executive Committee and as head of its Labor and Employment practice group.
He exclusively represents management in civil rights and employment-related litigation at both the trial and appellate levels, in the arbitration of collective bargaining agreement disputes, and in administrative proceedings involving the defense of statutory discrimination and retaliation claims, unfair labor practice charges, and wage and hour claims. He also assists employers in handbook and policy drafting, and with strike contingency and other planning.
Significant cases in which Mike has been involved
In addition to the foregoing, Mike filed an amicus brief in the landmark Arizona Supreme Court case Demasse v. ITT Corp., 194 Ariz. 500, 984 P.2d 1138 (1999), where he argued that employers should be entitled to condition employment offers on their employees' agreement to arbitrate any subsequent breach of contract claims against the employer. Although the decision in Demasse is otherwise generally considered to have been detrimental to employers, the Court specifically distinguished its ruling from a federal court decision in another case in which Mike represented the employer, Moses v. Phelps Dodge Corp., 818 F. Supp. 1287 (D. Ariz. 1993), which held that an employee was precluded from filing suit against her employer as the result of her failure to comply with the terms of a grievance and arbitration procedure contained in an employee handbook.
Mike also coauthored an amicus brief submitted in support of the employer’s position in the Colorado Supreme Court’s landmark medical marijuana case, Coats v. Dish Network, 350 P.3d 849 (Colo. 2015), which upheld the employer’s right to terminate an employee who tested positive for marijuana even though the employee had ingested the drug for medicinal purposes during nonworking hours in accordance with Colorado law.
Mike received both his bachelor's degree and
He and his wife Jeanine, who is also an attorney, have three children and one grandchild. They are all enthusiastic Arizona Diamondbacks fans and Mike was once a stellar Little League coach.