Prior to joining Newmeyer Dillion, Michael was a Judge Advocate in the United States Marine Corps. In his two tours on active duty, he served as the Senior Prosecutor and Senior Defense Attorney at various locations, including deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In total, he prosecuted and defended over 390 Marines in cases for offenses including premeditated murder, sexual assault, the distribution of narcotics, and larceny. He defended several Marines in high-profile felony cases that received national and international media attention. For his service as a Marine Corps defense attorney, Michael was named the Defense Counsel of the Year Award: 2005-2006.
While serving in the Marine Corps, Michael received three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Iraqi Campaign Medal.