Michael W. Pearson

Michael W. Pearson

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Aviation & Aerospace Attorney in Phoenix, AZ

Curry Pearson & Wooten PLC
 | 814 West Roosevelt Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602-258-1000
Fax: 602-523-9000
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2017 - 2021
Licensed Since: 1994
Practice Areas:
  • Aviation and Aerospace (40%),
  • General Litigation (40%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (20%)
    Attorney Profile

    Michael W. Pearson is a partner with Curry, Pearson & Wooten PLC. His practice is devoted largely to complex litigation including aviation accidents, aviation regulation, personal injury, wrongful death, state and federal FOIA litigation, and commercial litigation. In addition, he often consults with clients regarding Federal Aviation Regulation compliance. Michael is one of Arizona's Finest Lawyers, AV rated, is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and has achieved the highest rating possible by "AVVO." He has also been honored by the National Trial Lawyers Association as a "Top 100 Trial Attorney" and has been selected by his peers as a "SuperLawyer" in both the personal injury and general litigation categories.

    Michael teaches aviation law and regulation classes at Arizona State University and is the author of "Foundations of Aviation Law" a textbook used in graduate and undergraduate courses.

    Mr. Pearson has successfully handled matters, as Arizona litigation counsel, for such international firms as Gosschalks Solicitors, Stewarts Law, Air France, S.A. and Zest Airways. Among his many domestic cases he represented various family members in the deaths of 19 firefighter "hotshot" crew members who perished in a wildfire near Yarnell, Arizona in 2013. He is currently litigating a 2014 class action lawsuit on behalf of FAA- CTI (collegiate training institution) students, who were "purged" from the preferred applicant register due to racial discrimination, by the Federal Aviation Administration. Pearson is also lead counsel in an additional class action lawsuit, filed in 2018, alleging that the FAA’s 2014 use of a biographical assessment during the air traffic control hiring process resulted in disparate treatment as well as impact based on race.

    Specialties: Aviation law, wrongful death, personal injury, FAA enforcement action cases, state and federal FOIA litigation, and complex litigation.

    Pilot and expert regarding air traffic control.

    About Michael Pearson

    Admitted: 1994, Arizona

    Professional Webpage: http://www.azlaw.com/bio/michael-pearson.cfm

    Honors/Awards:

    • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates. The Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States.  Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country.  Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members. The quality of our membership is very impressive and includes many of the top trial lawyers in the country. Many of our members have achieved numerous million and multi-million dollar results (several members have won billion dollar cases). Their practice areas include most areas of litigation, including: major personal injury, products liability, malpractice, construction, environmental, employment, insurance and business litigation. The common fact is that they have each demonstrated, in an objective and tangible way, their ability to accomplish superior results in complex cases. Certification by the Million Dollar Advocates Forum provides recognition of such accomplishment and a national network of experienced colleagues for information exchange, assistance and professional referral., Multi-Million Dollar Advocate, 2019
    • AV Rating Preeminent. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings reflect a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating. An AV® certification mark is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence. Mr. Pearson has held a 5.0 rating since 1996., AV Rating Preeminent, 2019
    • Premier 100 Trial Attorney by The National Academy of Jurisprudence.  NAJ is an invitation-only, national organization of premier attorneys actively practicing law. Formed and managed by a board of trial attorneys, NAJ focuses not only on offering distinction and recognition for top attorneys who provide excellent service, but also benefits and support for those attorneys to continue to deliver. NAJ membership is comprised of attorneys with only exceptional legal credentials and a dedication to premier representation of their clients. Each attorney is held to the highest professional standards of ethics. The NAJ’s membership is exclusively by invitation only. Each nomination undergoes a strict vetting process to ensure that only the leading attorneys are invited to join the organization. Membership may be revoked at any time due to disciplinary actions through the attorney’s State Bar.   The purpose of the National Academy of Jurisprudence (NAJ) is to promote through recognition the professionalism and excellence of those Trial Attorneys who have earned the designation as a Premier 100 trial attorney as found by the National Academy of Jurisprudence. The Attorneys selected as Premier 100 Trial Attorneys have been recognized by the bench and bar as leading Trial Attorneys in the United States as found by the National Academy of Jurisprudence., Premier 100 Trial Attorney, 2019
    • Superior Rating -10 AVVO. AVVO profiles contain helpful information including experience, background, disciplinary history, and reviews from clients.The AVVO Rating evaluates a lawyer's background, based on the information known about the lawyer. The rating is calculated using a mathematical model that considers the information shown in a lawyer's profile, including a lawyer's years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition., AVVO Superior Rating 10, 2019
    • Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. For over 90 years, the Bar Register has been a unique guide to the legal community's most eminent professionals. It includes only those select law practices that have earned the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and have been designated by their colleagues as preeminent in their field., Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, 2019
    • America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators. It is the mission of America’s Top 100 to recognize annually and on a lifetime basis the most qualified and accomplished professionals in law (among other professionals). Membership in each specific category is by invitation-only after a multi-phase selection process including third-party research and statistical analysis of a candidate’s professional experience, achievements, significant results, community impact, peer reputation, consumer satisfaction, and other proprietary factors specific to each profession. With these high standards, less than 1% of professionals in the United States are selected for membership as one of America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators. Membership selection is intended to help the community identify the cream of the crop in each profession and assist with professional networking among the Nation’s top legal professionals., Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, 2019
    • Arizona's Finest Lawyers. Membership in Arizona's Finest Lawyers is peer-reviewed. Nominations come from current members and our Executive and Advisory Boards. All nominations must identify proposed members with demonstrated leadership and professional standards consistent with AFL’s established criteria and guidelines for membership.  Except for law faculty, membership is limited to licensed members (both active and inactive) of the Arizona State Bar for at least ten years. Exceptions may be made for in-house counsel registered with the Arizona State Bar Association, on an ad hoc basis. We will also consider for membership law professors who might not be Arizona State Bar members, but who have established substantial contacts in, and have contributed to the Arizona legal community through legal scholarship, and outreach. Each nominee will have demonstrated a level of competence and recognition within the top ten percent of bar membership, registration, or law faculty, and will have been widely accepted as honest, ethical, and professional. Nominees, except exempt individuals, such as law faculty, will have consistently complied with all State Bar CLE standards, and will not have a public record of formal discipline. , Arizona's Finest Lawyers, 2019
    • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100. is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. Membership is extended only to the select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state or region who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by objective and uniformly applied standards in compliance with state bar and national rules., National Trial Lawyers Top 100, 2019
    • America's Top 100 Attorneys. Lifetime Achievement Recipient. It is the mission of America’s Top 100 to recognize annually and on a lifetime basis the most qualified and accomplished professionals in law (among other professionals). Membership in each specific category is by invitation-only after a multi-phase selection process including third-party research and statistical analysis of a candidate’s professional experience, achievements, significant results, community impact, peer reputation, consumer satisfaction, and other proprietary factors specific to each profession. With these high standards, less than 1% of professionals in the United States are selected for membership as one of America's Top 100 Attorneys. Membership selection is intended to help the community identify the cream of the crop in each profession and assist with professional networking among the Nation’s top legal professionals., America's Top 100 Attorney's Lifetime Achievement Recipient, 2019

    Special Licenses/Certifications:

    • 1984 through 2019: FAA - Control Tower Operator (CTO), Certified Professional Controller (CPC) and Private Pilot ratings.

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Member Colorado Bar, 1995
    • Member Arizona Bar, 1995
    • Member District of Columbia (DC) Bar, 2010

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • United States Contract Tower Association (USCTA), AAAE- Board Member
    • Board Member- Arizona Center for Youth Resources (ACYR)

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • 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.
    • Mr. Pearson has taught aviation law as well as other classes at several university's. He has been a professor at Arizona State University since 1994.
    • Author of college law book/text "Foundations of Aviation Law."
    • When The FAA Investigates You. Is a publication written for those suspected by, and charged with, violations of the federal aviation regulations (FARs). A basic guide to assist airports, mechanics, pilots, and any Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate holder in handling their specific issue with the FAA.

    Verdicts/Settlements:

    • Since the firms inception Curry, Pearson & Wooten, PLC has successfully tried, and settled, multiple seven figure cases.

    Representative Clients:

    • Air France, Zest Airways, TALON Air, FUGA, Global Jet, Keystone Aviation, APFL, IAFF, Pacific Financial Association, Inc., Dutch Brothers Coffee, and hundreds of civil, personal injury, and other litigated cases.

    Educational Background:

    • BS, MBA, JD
    • Education Awards- Mr. Pearson completed his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, at the University of Houston. Michael also holds MBA and Juris Doctorate degrees, with high honors, from the Arizona State University. While attending law school, Mr. Pearson was nominated as a Pedrick Scholar due to academic excellence, and awarded honors in legal writing and research. He graduated at the top of his class. As an undergrad, He graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA from the University of Houston. 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. 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. He is a private pilot. Mike teaches 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.

    Industry Groups

    • AAJ
    • AZTLA
    • IATSBA
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    Office Location for Michael W. Pearson

    814 West Roosevelt Street
    Phoenix, AZ 85007

    Michael W. Pearson:

    Last Updated: 10/16/2020

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