Michael is an associate with the firm. His practice includes matters involving labor and employment law, workers’ compensation insurance defense, maritime law, and general litigation. He defends lawsuits in both state and federal courts. His detail-oriented writing and research make him an asset to all clients, whether they are embroiled in intense litigation or seeking guidance on compliance and regulatory issues.
In employment litigation matters, Michael has represented employers in discrimination actions brought under the ADA, ADEA, FMLA, Title VII, and the Equal Pay Act. He has made several successful appearances before the EEOC, disputing and overcoming charges filed by disgruntled former and current employees. He also has defended companies in wage and hour disputes brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In addition, Michael has experience representing employers and insurance companies in workers’ compensation matters, having successfully briefed and argued matters before the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. He has also researched and briefed traditional labor law matters pending before the National Labor Relations Board. For clients seeking to resolve matters outside of court, Michael likewise has experience mediating claims to settlement.
In his role as legal counselor, Michael advises clients in developing and implementing various workplace policies including leave policies, compensation schemes, and progressive discipline systems. He also assists clients in drafting, revising, and updating employee handbooks. For employers in the hiring phase, Michael has experience drafting and reviewing employment agreements with various provisions including enforceable non-compete clauses, confidentiality provisions, and mediation and arbitration clauses. Michael also can provide guidance in drafting job descriptions and conducting the hiring process in an efficient and effective manner without running afoul of any federal or state restrictions.
Michael also serves as an adjunct professor at Hampton University, teaching an undergraduate legal writing course to pre-law students. In this capacity, Michael not only works to ensure students learn how to communicate complex legal rules and theories clearly, but he also candidly exposes students to the realities of day-to-day life in modern law practice.
Michael is the President of the South Hampton Roads Bar Association and is also a member of the Virginia, Old Dominion, and Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Associations. In May 2018, he was appointed to the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board by the Supreme Court of Virginia.
Michael received his J.D. from Regent University School of Law. During law school, he served as a federal judicial intern to the Honorable Raymond A. Jackson and the Honorable Henry E. Hudson. After graduating, Michael completed a judicial clerkship with the Newport News Circuit Court where he performed extensive legal research and writing for the Honorable David F. Pugh, the Honorable Timothy S. Fisher, and the Honorable Gary A. Mills.
Prior to attending law school, Michael earned his B.A. in Political Science from Christopher Newport University. He later completed Regent University’s Career Switcher program and was awarded his Virginia teaching license. Afterward, he spent time teaching government and economics at an urban high school in Norfolk.
In the professional field, Michael values the opportunity to serve with tenacity, efficiency, and excellence. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his lovely wife, Teneisha, and their five exceptional children: Micah, David, Arianna, Ian and Jaxon.
- Represented tow truck company and second chaired successful mediation and resolution of six-figure sex discrimination, retaliation, and equal pay suit raised by former employee. (Pollyanna Scott v. Western Branch Diesel, Inc., Case No. 4:17-CV-00174-BO, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina)
- Served as local counsel in federal district court to national credit card printing company and second chaired successful mediation and resolution of six-figure sex and race discrimination suit raised by former employee. (Vernette Baldwin v. First Data Resources, Inc., Case No. 2:17-cv-542, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia)
- Represented residential homeowners in contract dispute against unlicensed contractor and construction company and obtained judgment in favor of homeowners after circuit court bench trial. (Thomas Clyburn, et al. v. J.I.T. Builders, Inc., et al, Case No. CL19-690, Norfolk Circuit Court)
- Represented condominium association in contract dispute against unit owner and obtained five-figure judgment in favor of the association after circuit court bench trial.(Hardesty House Condo. Owners Assoc. v. Melissa Shorty, Case Nos. CL19-6938 and CL19-6940, Norfolk Circuit Court)
- Represented construction company, insurance company, and surety bond company against painting subcontractor and successfully briefed and argued demurrer dismissing breach of contract suit based on painting subcontractor’s failure to satisfy conditions precedent to litigation. (Blue Ridge Painting Contractors, Inc. v. Oyster Point Constr. Co., et al., Case No. CL1704255M-03, Newport News Circuit Court)