Michael Morrissey


Michael Morrissey
(602) 358 0298
(602) 828 0114

Michael Morrissey, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, is a trial lawyer with deep experience in jury trials, having prosecuted everything from white collar, fraud, and tax cases to first degree murders over 29 years of practice. While in government, Michael served as Chief of the National Security Section of the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Arizona.

Michael is also a former Chief of the Appellate Section for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona and has argued over 30 appeals before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. While at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Michael received the 2012 George Weisz Law Enforcement Award from the Anti- Defamation League, Arizona Chapter for successfully co-prosecuting a member of a white supremacist organization in a bombing case.

In 2007 Michael obtained a conviction at trial against an individual for attempted production of a biological toxin and was recognized for his work with a Director’s Award from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Since leaving the government for private practice, Michael has represented licensed professionals, individuals and corporations through all stages of the criminal process, from grand jury investigations to trial and, where necessary, on appeal. An area of emphasis for Michael has been government investigations alleging financial, regulatory and tax crimes, and he has achieved successful resolutions of such matters in both federal and state court.

Michael regularly represents students, ranging from high school to the post-graduate level in resolving discipline and other controversies with school authorities, and has successfully resolved related juvenile or felony court actions.

Prior to becoming an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael served as a law clerk to Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Rudolph Gerber, and as a prosecutor in the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a Dillard Fellow.

Michael has taught extensively on search and seizure law, ethics and trial and appellate advocacy. As an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University, he taught courses in White Collar Crime, Criminal Procedure, and Criminal Law.

  • Representation of owner of auto dealership in connection with allegations of evading reporting of card transactions and financial improprieties.
  • Representation of director of merchant card services company in connection with allegations of fraud and money laundering.
  • Representation of pharmaceutical company and owner of company in connection with indictment and separate investigation alleging violations of laws relating to wholesale distribution of prescription drugs as well as allegations of mail fraud and money laundering.
  • Representation of individual post-conviction in federal court for filing of post trial motions seeking acquittal of allegations of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and other fraud allegations.
  • Representation of an attorney involving allegations of directing client proceeds to his own benefit.
  • Representation of owner of auto repair shop in connection with allegations of tax fraud.
  • As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, prosecuted cases resulting in convictions for violations of the federal bribery statutes by a public official involved in drug trade, as well as violations of the Sports Bribery statute and money laundering by financiers and athletes involved in a scheme to fix sporting events. In addition, prosecuted numerous cases alleging violations of mail, wire, and student loan fraud, as well as tax crimes.
  • Co-Prosecutor at trial resulting in conviction of tax preparers fraudulently preparing hundreds of false tax returns.
  • Representation of Spanish national extradited to the United States in connection with allegations of violations of Arms Export Control Act and wire fraud.
  • Representation of licensed professional against allegations of unlawful export of goods to an embargoed country.
  • As Chief of the district-wide National Security Section, was responsible for anti-terrorism litigation and investigative support, including ensuring that investigative and intelligence tools were used in conformance with evolving Fourth Amendment standards relating to national security letters and interceptions under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”). Conducted federal agent training, community outreach, and coordination of the district’s efforts with the Department of Justice.
  • Prosecutor, United States v. Havelock, resulting in en banc opinion by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals addressing First Amendment “true threat” jurisprudence arising out of individual’s actions at 2008 Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona.
  • Defended individuals charged with first and second degree murder, armed bank robbery, and illegal re-entry into the United States.
  • As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, prosecuted hundreds of cases alleging violations of every time of federal crime, including three first degree murder trials, allegations of sexual abuse, assault, robbery, money laundering, and possession of destructive devices.
  • George Weisz Law Enforcement Award, Anti-Defamation League Arizona Chapter 2012
  • Director’s Award, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Department of Justice, 2009
  • Rules of Professional Conduct Committee, Arizona State Bar 2001-2004
  • Executive Council, Arizona State Bar Public Lawyers Section 2006-2007
  • Executive Council, Arizona State Bar Criminal Justice Section 1996-1998
  • United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona (1991-2013)
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney (white collar crime and public integrity section, national security section, drug unit, violent crime section)
  • Chief of the National Security Section 2007-2011
  • Chief of the Appellate Section 2002-2005
  • Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Assistant Attorney General, Organized Crime and Racketeering Section (1989-1991)
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Rudolph Gerber, Arizona Court of Appeals (1988-1989)
  • Richards & O’Neil, Associate (1987-1988) New York City, New York
  • Arizona State University, Adjunct Professor, “White Collar Crime,” “Criminal Procedure,” “Criminal Law,” “Discretionary Justice,” (2002-2005)
  • Phoenix School of Law, Adjunct Professor, “Externship Program,” 2012-2013
  • May 2015, Privacy & Security in 2015 — Magna Carta Today, Panel Member, Maricopa County Bar Association
  • May 2015, A Primer on Superior and Federal Court Operations — Sentencing in Federal Court and Panel Member
  • 2011 National Advocacy Center, Department of Justice, Columbia, South Carolina Crisis Management
  • 2009 Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court “The FISA Court”
  • 2009 FBI Regional Weapons of Mass Destruction Conference Arizona State University Federal and State statutes addressing weapons of mass destruction
  • 2008 FBI Citizen’s Academy Phoenix, Arizona Coordination between prosecutors and FBI on crime investigation and prosecution
  • 2007 National Advocacy Center, Department of Justice, Columbia, South Carolina Crisis Management
  • 2005 Arizona State Bar Convention Tucson, Arizona “Greatest Closing Arguments”
  • 2004 “Criminal Law Update” “Practicing in Federal Courts” Phoenix, Arizona panelist
  • 2003 “Got Ethics” What Every Practitioner Needs to Know About the Proposed Amendments to the Arizona Rules of Professional Responsibility Arizona State Bar Convention panelist

– Boys Team Charity 2007 to present

– Board of Directors of the Arizona Justice Project

Sources describe Michael Morrissey as ‘phenomenal – he seems to just have a mind for complex matters.'"

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