The son of an Air Force officer, Mike left the University of Nebraska in 1965 to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps, eventually serving in Vietnam. After his honorable discharge in 1967, Mike attended Southern Colorado State University, and went on to earn his law degree from the University of Arizona in 1973 and clerked for Colorado Supreme Court Justice Edward C. Day. In addition to practicing law locally, Mike has been active in the Durango community for decades. A 38-year resident of La Plata County, Mike has been both prosecutor and La Plata County Attorney. In 1999, then-Attorney General Ken Salazar appointed Mike as Colorado’s Solicitor General. It was in this role that Mike successfully argued the constitutionality of Colorado’s women’s health clinic shield law before the U.S. Supreme Court.
A past president of the Durango Rotary Club, Mike’s civic efforts include serving on the board of the Fred Harmon Museum, as trustee of the Durango Hundred Club—a charity dedicated to helping injured police officers, fire fighters and their families—and on the Southern Ute Tribe - State of Colorado Environmental Control Commission. Named one of “The Best Lawyers in America” for the past ten years, Mike has worked to improve the practice of law and the judiciary at the local, state and national levels—most recently as Chairman of the Judicial Performance Commission for the 6th Judicial District.
Mike and his wife Barbara have two children, Brian and Kate. He is a devoted angler, writer, and has built a successful small business around his law practice. Mike is a lifelong Democrat.