Mr. Pearson has extensive civil litigation experience focusing his practice on trial law. Mike handles personal injury, wrongful death, complex civil litigation as well FAA enforcement action cases and aviation accident cases. Martindale Hubbell rates Mike, and the firm, Preeminent ( “AV”) which is the highest rating possible and he has achieved the highest rating possible by “AVVO.” In addition, Michael is listed in the Bar Register as a Preeminent Lawyer. He is a Multi-Million Dollar Advocate and was elected one of Arizona’s Finest Lawyers. He has also been honored by the National Trial Lawyers Association and named as one of the Top 100 Trial Attorneys throughout the entire state of Arizona, one of America’s Top 100 Attorneys, America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, the Nations Top One Percent, and selected as a “SuperLawyer” in the categories of litigation, personal injury, and aviation by his peers. While his office is in Arizona Michael litigates cases nationwide.
As a Personal Injury Lawyer, Michael often handles severe personal injury matters including cases where lives are lost. His practice varies from representing the families of the Arizona “Hotshots” who tragically lost their lives during an out-of-control inferno in a brush-choked canyon in the worst loss of life for U.S. wildland firefighters in eight decades to aviation clients including family members who have lost loved ones in accidents, airplane and helicopter accidents, and those injured on domestic and international flights.
Michael also represents airlines and entities and airmen accused by the FAA of violating the Federal Aviation Regulations. He has handled litigation cases for international airlines such as Air France and Zest Airways. His Part 135 clients include TALON Air, Keystone Aviation, FUGA, GlobalJet and many others. The FAA has been ordered to pay fees to his client at the conclusion of an enforcement case that was dismissed in his client’s favor. Michael has been interviewed by ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, Fox Business News, PBS as well as a multitude of print media sources on various issues due to his expertise regarding aviation and aviation law.
Michael also handles business and complex litigation matters. His clients range from home builders to bankers and everyday individuals who have lost property or have been unfairly treated. He has represented federal employees who were unfairly terminated due to whistle blowing activities before the MSPB as well as firefighters unfairly terminated due to union activities. Most recently he represented several thousand college graduates with specialized training in air traffic control, through a proposed class action, who were illegally and improperly “purged” from a employment referral list by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Air Traffic Controller and Pilot
Mike worked as a Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control specialist in the TRACON (approach control) and Tower environments (at several different high density facilities) for over 26 years. Mike also worked as a Quality Assurance Specialist for the FAA, where he gained intimate knowledge regarding the FAA’s enforcement action program and accident protocol. While working as a controller he was detailed to the FAA legal division for a period of time to assist FAA attorneys. He is a graduate of many FAA classes and courses including the Department of Transportation aviation accident investigation program where he gained valuable practical and technical insight into aviation accidents. Mike is a pilot and has written an aviation law textbook “Foundations of Aviation Law” used by numerous institutions of higher learning.
Mike has taught aviation law, aviation regulations, as well as other legal subjects, at Arizona State University since 1993 and is currently an Associate Professor. Prior to accepting his academic appointment at Arizona State University, Mike taught aviation law at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Mr. Pearson often speaks at academic and professional conferences regarding aviation topics. Most recently, Pearson spoke on the subject of human factors in air traffic control at the International Symposium on Aviation Psychology conference at Wright Patterson Air Force base at the invitation of the United States Air Force Research Laboratory.
Professional Honors & Activities:
Presentations & Speeches:
Air Traffic Control International Symposium on Aviation Psychology 2009, 2011, 2015
Human Factors in Air Traffic Control International Symposium on Aviation Psychology 2009
Aviation Accidents Arizona Aviation Conference 2004
Aviation Enforcement Actions Arizona Aviation Conference 2004
Larue v. Brown, 693 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 18 (App. Div. I, August 19, 2014); Gilding v. Carr, 608 F.Supp.2d 1147 (D.Ariz., 2009); Mitchell v. City of Flagstaff, 2011 WL 5826014 (D.Ariz. 2011); Rojas v. Fed. Aviation Admin., 927 F.3d 1046 (9th Cir. 2019); Rojas v. Fed. Aviation Admin., 941 F.3d 392 (9th Cir. 2019)