Michael was born outside of New York City and attended a private Quaker school, Friends Academy, in Locust Valley, NY. He played travel soccer growing up on a team that won the minor league New York State Cup. In high school, Michael was a peer AIDS educator, volunteered at hospitals and conducted clinical research on pacemaker electrodes that was published in peer reviewed medical journals. Later, Michael attended Emory University in Atlanta, GA where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, was a member of the phi sigma pi honor society, and was a volunteer science teacher for inner city underserved public schools. One summer he worked for Duke University Medical School and analyzed all of their public health initiatives, including but not limited to, conversions of 40 ft buses to dental suites equipped with x-ray rooms, social worker diversion programs for high ER utilizers, and retirement communities with medical suites that enable independent living for people with serious health conditions. After college, Michael attended SUNY Downstate Medical School where he served on ethics committees and honored in public health. His focus shifted during medical school to entrepreneurship and unfortunately he did not finish medical school. After business setbacks, Michael started over and took various positions, including associate at a local lumber mill, until deciding to apply to law school.
Michael attended CUNY School of Law in New York City, where he was elected to student government and founded the Health Law Society. Michael was awarded the Charles H. Revson Public Interest Legal Fellowship and interned with the New York City Human Resources Administration, Adult Protective Services branch. Michael also interned with the Center for Constitutional Rights where he helped sue the Royal Dutch Shell Company for environmental and human rights abuse. After obtaining his bar license, he briefly practiced in New York before moving to Hawaii.
Once in Hawaii, Michael quickly found opportunities to volunteer in Waimea Valley Botanical Garden and was hired as a lecturer of ethics and law in Honolulu. Michael held positions on the Board of Directors for the Outdoor Circle, the oldest environmental nonprofit in Hawaii, and the Hawaii Farmers Union Waimanalo Chapter. Michael started at the Hawaii State Capitol in 2015 volunteering for then Rep. Jarret Keohokalole, now senator. He was then hired as a Legislative Attorney at HMIR where he covered Agriculture, Health, Higher Education and Housing House Committees. Next, Michael was hired as clerk for the chair of the Agriculture Committee, Rep. Richard Creagan, then clerk for the Vice Chair of Public Safety, Rep. Cedric Gates. He has successfully written legislation that has been enacted into law each session, including "Abandoned Vehicles," which requires counties to pick up abandoned vehicles within 10 business days and "Food Hubs," which codifies commercial food service operations on agricultural lands. Michael left the capitol to be a deputy prosecutor on Kauai where he handled all misdemeanor, environmental and mental health cases for the county. Disappointed with the lack of social services and preventative alternatives to incarceration, Michael left the prosecutor’s office to pursue private practice, involving mostly corporate, health law and Hawaiian/First amendment cases. In 2020, Michael was a Hawaii Bar Association Leadership Institute Fellow. Michael enjoys being in nature, gardening, walks, golf, photography, woodworking, music, sewing and embroidery. Michael looks forward to utilizing his diverse experiences to continue the vital work of the Maui AIDS Foundation.