Michael is a reliable and knowledgeable attorney known by his clients to steer their patent applications effectively through the prosecution process. With formal training in aeronautical engineering and hands-on engineering work at the U.S. Air Force flight dynamics lab, coupled with real world experience piloting military and commercial aircraft, he fully understands aircraft systems and control technologies. As a result, he efficiently and eloquently translates engineering details into an effective, easily understandable description of the invention. Michael's clients also rely on his steadiness and dependability, qualities honed by his extensive experience piloting special ops forces and rescue missions for the Air Force.

From 2014–2019, he was selected for inclusion in the Illinois Rising Stars® lists, featuring outstanding young attorneys in the state. Michael was also designated as an “Emerging Lawyer” in the 2015–2019 editions of Emerging Lawyers Magazine, in which individuals are recognized among the top up-and-coming attorneys in Illinois. Since 2020, he has been recognized as a "Leading Lawyer" by Leading Lawyers, a division of Law Bulletin Publishing Company.

Representative Experience

  • During an in-person interview with a patent office examiner, Michael's interpersonal skills and technical knowledge let him efficiently secure a patent for a well respected medical research university. Its innovation was a customized sizing system for an artificial joint.
  • Michael capably prepared a patent application on a next generation avionics suite for a major aircraft manufacturer. Success depended on his seamlessly translating between engineers and operators, and then explaining the technical details of the invention to the patent examiners.
  • Michael's detailed knowledge of aircraft systems allowed him to secure a patent for a landing gear safety device for a major aircraft manufacturer. The patent was critical to the success of a new long-range variant of a successful airliner.

In handling prosecutions for aerospace and defense clients, Michael brings technical experience in such areas as:

  • Aircraft systems & controls
  • Avionics and Navigation Systems
  • Turbojet and Turboprop engines
  • Electronic Countermeasure Systems
  • FAR Part 121 Operations
  • Command and Control Systems
  • Fluid control valves

Background and Credentials

Michael's value to clients in gaining aerospace and defense patents is no surprise.

Prior to joining Marshall Gerstein, he spent 13 years as a pilot for both American Airlines and the U.S. Air Force. He has logged over 8000 flight hours and holds type ratings in the B-787, B-737, MD-80, and L-382 aircraft. He is currently qualified in the B-787. He has also flown the B-727, Fk-100, T-38, T-37, and numerous general aviation aircraft.

While in the U.S. Air Force, he was both instructor pilot and chief pilot in the Air Force Special Operations Command. He piloted the MC-130H throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia, specializing in insertion and recovery of special operations forces, and also in search and rescue operations.

He also worked at the Air Force flight dynamics laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, modeling airflow in the post stall region for the F-16 VISTA program. He held a Top Secret Security Clearance while in the Air Force.

Michael received his J.D. from Northern Illinois University, cum laude, in 2009 and he received his B.S. in aeronautical engineering from the United States Air Force Academy, where he was named to the Dean's list.


  • Northern Illinois University College of Law (J.D., cum laude)
  • U.S. Air Force Academy (B.S.)
    • Aeronautical Engineering

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
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