Mike is an appellate lawyer who focuses on class actions and other consolidated litigation, primarily in data privacy and product liability lawsuits. Mike has authored over a hundred appellate briefs in federal and state courts nationwide, and he has conducted dozens of oral arguments in the federal courts of appeal, New York’s Appellate Division, and other courts. 

In addition to traditional appeals, Mike develops legal strategy at the trial level to ensure that his client’s rights are protected at every step. Mike has worked on about 25 jury trials in all aspects of appellate preservation, including arguing motions in limine, directed verdict motions, and proposed jury instructions.  

Law360
named Mike a “Rising Star”—a recognition for “attorneys under 40 whose legal accomplishments transcend their age”—in “Cybersecurity & Privacy,” explaining that Mike “has amassed victories for Facebook and other companies over a career that has also been marked by his dedication to pro bono work.” Among other things, Mike won a Ninth Circuit appeal in which the plaintiffs challenged Facebook’s use of pixel technology to assist with targeted advertising. Mike argued a successful summary judgment motion on behalf of Facebook in a biometrics suit about the company’s facial recognition technology. And he represented Facebook at a trial challenging the company’s rights to the Oculus Rift, which resulted in a directed verdict in favor of Facebook. Mike currently represents the National Football League in two data privacy suits alleging violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act.  

Mike has handled a wide range of product liability litigation brought by plaintiffs claiming injuries from tobacco use, asbestos exposure, and other sources. He has briefed five appeals for Philip Morris USA that resulted in vacated damages awards, and routinely works alongside the company’s trial lawyers to handle motion practice and legal strategy. Mike defended Monsanto Company at a two-month trial involving its manufacture of polychlorinated biphenyls, where the jury entered a defense verdict as to three of the four plaintiffs. 

Mike devotes a large part of his practice to individuals facing threats to their life or liberty. He has represented clients convicted of murder, armed robbery, sexual assault, and drug trafficking, and numerous immigrants facing deportation from the United States. Mike’s victories include a decision by the Second Circuit reversing the conviction of a client convicted of murder for hire, a decision by the South Carolina Court of Appeals vacating a client’s conviction for robbery, and four appellate court rulings barring the government from deporting immigrants to Mexico, Honduras and Poland.  

Mike received his J.D. with high honors from The University of Chicago Law School, where he was a comments editor on The University of Chicago Law Review. After law school, Mike was a law clerk to Judge Jay Bybee of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and to Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York. Before joining Shook, Mike was a partner at an Am Law 100 firm.         

Presentations

Preserving Issues for Appeal, New York Law Journal, August 25, 2014 (with Scott Chesin).

Media Coverage

Trump Granted Hip-Hop Manager Clemency but Left Him in Prison, Lawyers Claim, The Washington Post, October 7, 2021.

Citi Wins Freeze of Hedge Fund’s $175 Million Revlon Loan Payment, The Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2020.

Rising Star: Mayer Brown’s Michael Rayfield, Law360, October 2, 2019.

Circuit Overturns Former Rap Mogul’s Murder Conviction, New York Law Journal, November 1, 2016.

CA7 (Posner) on Mexico, CAT, La Linea - Mendoza-Sanchez v. Lynch, LexisNexis Legal Newsroom, December 24, 2015.