Mike is a Member at McDonald Hopkins, the former Co-Chair of the firm’s Energy Practice Group and prior Chairman of the Firm’s Government and Public Finance Group. Mike has extensive experience in the shale industry. He is also working directly with a number of advanced / renewable energy companies on finance and regulatory issues. Mike's practice includes both oil and gas issues and solar energy development.

Prior to joining McDonald Hopkins, Mike was the Director of Governor Taft’s Regional Economic Development Office in Cleveland, where he was the senior liaison between the Cleveland business community and the Governor. While at the Governor’s office, he was involved in numerous major public / private partnerships. Mike continues to assist clients in financially engineering their projects with the assistance of public support.

Mike is also a former member of the Ohio General Assembly, where he served as Chairman of the Higher Education Subcommittee.  Mike carried two key major education Bills that became law. One was to bring vouchers to the City of Cleveland and the other was to install the Cleveland mayor as CEO of the Cleveland Public School District.  Mike is also the former Co-Chair of the Cuyahoga County Republican Party. He served on the Republican State Central Committee and has acted as Special Counsel to the Ohio Attorney General for the last 20 years. Finally, Mike served for eight years as an elected Township Trustee.

Mike earned his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1990. He attended Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and received a B.A., with highest honors, from Grove City College in 1984.

Representative Cases & Matters

  • Represents a national oil and gas driller with respect to government issues and land rights.
  • Represented an energy company in regards to FERC permits for an offshore installation.
  • Represented a renewable energy company in regards to its FERC and Army Corp permits for river installations.
  • Obtained a new Final Rule regarding tire registration for a distributor. 
  • Represented a consortium of coal companies in securing a federal appropriation. 
  • Representation of trade group of Ohio industrials regarding energy issues.  
  • General counsel for an offshore wind project.
  • General counsel for an energy development company.
  • Represented nationwide solar EPC on development issues.
  • Represented nationwide solar lender on project financing.
  • Represented multiple regional solar developers on project development.
  • Representation of a national association with respect to election law disputes. 
  • Representation of a steel manufacturer with respect to a $250 million federally guaranteed loan. 
  • Representation of a major steel manufacturer with respect to a bankruptcy workout. 
  • Lobbiest for a coalition of Fortune 1000 companies regarding asbestos legislation.
  • Representation of companies with respect to government economic assistance packages. 
  • Representation of multiple steel companies on carbon reduction initiative.
  • Representation of a shale E&P with focus on legislative, regulatory, and water issues.
  • Formation and representation of an industrial water company.
  • Assisted pipeline EPC with state and FERC related issues.
  • PPP projects include multiple sports stadiums, highways, convention centers, and short line railroads.

Honors & Recognition

Presidential Citation Award, Academy of Medicine of Cleveland and Northern Ohio 

Forty Under 40: The Class of 1995, Crain's Cleveland Business

Leadership Cleveland: The Class of 1994

Ohio Roundtable Leadership in Government Award (1994)

Selected as a Best Lawyer in America (2020-2024)



Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary

Grove City College

Admissions – Court

Admissions – State

Professional & Civic

Professional Activities

Ohio Oil and Gas Leasing Commission 

American Council of Young Political Leaders


Community Involvement

Oil and Gas Land Management Commission Board Member (9/30/2018 - 9/29/2023)

Chagrin Falls Township Trustee (2009-2018)

Cuyahoga County Republican Party, Co-Chair (2000-2005)

Governor Taft’s Northeast Ohio Regional Representative (1999-2000)

Ohio State Representative; Chairman, Higher Education Subcommittee (1992-1998)

News & Insights

External News & Publications

"Utica Shale Production in a Slump, Waiting for Next Boom," Geauga County Maple Leaf, March 26, 2015

"How energy projects are driving the national, state and local economies," Smart Business Magazine, April 2012

"How to find the best electricity provider to meet your needs," Smart Business Magazine, July 2010

"Energy savvy business," Smart Business Magazine, August 2009


Speaking Engagements

Moderator, Energy Forum on Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV), June 7, 2012

"State Renewables Policies – Lessons Learned After a Decade of Success," ABA/ACORE Webinar, Moderator, February 15, 2012

Co-Chair of the monthly ABA/ACORE Webinar Series

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