Michael C. Naughton

Top rated Criminal Defense attorney in Traverse City, Michigan

North Coast Legal, PLC
Michael C. Naughton
North Coast Legal, PLC

Practice Areas: Criminal Defense, Civil Rights, Employment & Labor; view more

Licensed in Michigan since: 2007

Education: University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2023 Selected to Rising Stars: 2013 - 2018
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North Coast Legal, PLC

800 Cottage View Dr
Suite 1088
Traverse City, MI 49684 Visit website


Attorney Michael C. Naughton is a partner with North Coast Legal, PLC, in Traverse City, Michigan. Widely regarded as one of the top attorneys in his region, Mr. Naughton provides unmatched representation and support to a diverse range of clients throughout Traverse City and the greater Detroit metro who have legal needs involving any of the following:

· Criminal and civil appeals

· Technology and litigation support

· Employment law for corporations, small businesses and other employers

· Estate planning

· Health care law

Over the course of his legal career, Mr. Naughton has established himself as a recognized authority on digital privacy, corporate privacy compliance, and electronic communication. He has successfully handled a number of trials before various state and federal courts across his region, and he has represented the City of Detroit and other notable clients with their complex civil disputes. He also has extensive appellate experience and has argued before the U.S. and Michigan Supreme Courts, the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

Whether fighting for his clients in court, helping them challenge a previous ruling regarding their cases or negotiating favorable settlements outside the courtroom, Mr. Naughton maintains an unwavering focus on protecting his clients' rights and interests at all turns and helping them pursue the positive results they seek as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Honored for his professionalism and service, he has earned perennial top rankings and endorsements from his peers since 2013, and Traverse City Business News named him as a Top 40 Under 40 in 2017.

A 2002 graduate of Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and member of the National Honor Society, Mr. Naughton attended the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, where he served as member of the moot court. He obtained his Juris Doctor in 2007, and he is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan and the Northern District of Illinois as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

A leader in his legal community, Mr. Naughton has served as president of the Grand Traverse-Leelanau-Antrim Bar Association, and he is the current chairman of the technology committee for the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, where he served as District 3 representative from 2015 to 2018. He has also written extensively and conducted numerous lectures and seminars across his region on a variety of legal topics.

Among his other professional affiliations, Mr. Naughton is serving a six-year appointment as treasurer of the Grand Traverse County Economic Development Corporation, and he serves as vice president of the Utopia Foundation as well as board member of TC New Tech and 20 Fathoms.

Practice areas

Criminal Defense, Civil Rights, Employment & Labor: Employee, Immigration: Business, Estate Planning & Probate, Health Care

Focus areas

Arrest & Arraignment, Assault & Battery, Criminal Domestic Violence, Criminal Fraud, Criminal Law, Drug & Alcohol Violations, False Accusations, Felony, Misdemeanor, Motor Vehicle Offenses, Murder, Sex Offenses, Tax Evasion, Theft

  • 20% Criminal Defense
  • 20% Civil Rights
  • 20% Employment & Labor: Employee
  • 20% Immigration: Business
  • 10% Estate Planning & Probate
  • 10% Health Care

First Admitted: 2007, Michigan

Professional Webpage: https://www.thenorthcoastlegal.com/michael-c-naughton/

Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Board of Directors, ACLU of Michigan  
  • Utopia Foundation, Vice President, 2015 - Present
  • Third Level Pro Bono Volunteer
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • The Nimble and the Lazy: ESI and Criminal Practice, Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan Spring Conference (March, 2012)
  • U.S./Russian Federation Human Rights Comparative Analysis, Human Rights Symposium in Yoshkar Ola, Russia (June, 2005)
  • Electronic Discovery, Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, Spring Conference (March, 2011)
  • Advanced Overview of New Forms of Electronic Discovery, Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan Fall Conference (November, 2011)
  • FBA Panel Discussion with Judge Robert Cleland, Judge David Lawson, Daniel Lemisch, Chief of the Criminal Division (U.S. Attorney’s Office, Detroit), FBI Special Agent Matthew Zentz and Joseph Richotte on ESI and federal criminal practice (May, 2012)
  • Criminal Defense Series: Trial Strategy and Tactics, ICLE (June, 2012)
  • Electronic Discovery and the Canada Evidence Act, Upper Canada Legal Institute
  • Opening the Large Paper Case in the Digital Age, CJA Panel Attorneys Seminar (September, 2012)
  • ESI as a Teaching Tool for Juries, Michigan Young Lawyers Section (June, 2013)
  • Seeing is Believing: Presenting Electronic Evidence to a Jury, Upper Michigan Legal Institute (May, 2013)
  • Buttressing Your Investigation with Cell Phone Data, Institute for Criminal Justice Education, Auburn University, Alabama (September, 2013)
  • Law Firms Under Cyber-Siege, Master Lawyers Section State Bar of Michigan, (Spring, 2018)
  • Managing E-Discovery Costs, ICLE (July, 2015)
  • Stored Communications Act and Entrepreneurs, TCNewTech (October, 2015)
  • Report on Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (June, 2016)
  • Update on MIDC, Court Staff for SCAO Region III & IV (September, 2016)
  • Update on MIDC, District Court Judges for SCAO Region III & IV (October, 2016)
  • Update on MIDC, Circuit Court Judges for SCAO Region III & IV (October, 2016)
  • MIDC Compliance and the Upper Peninsula, State Bar of Michigan (October, 2016)
  • Practicing Smarter to Save Time and Money, Michigan Assigned Appellate Attorney Service (November, 2016)
  • How to Stay Out of Legal Trouble, Startology presentation (October, 2017)
  • A Modern Practice, GTLA Bar Association Presentation (April, 2018)
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Northern District of Illinois
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Eastern District of Michigan
  • Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, District 3 Representative, 2015 - 2018
  • Western District of Michigan
  • TCNewTech, Board, 2016 - Present
  • Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, Chairman of Technology Committee, 2012 - Present
  • Board of the 20 Fathoms incubator
  • Member of the Michigan Technological University exploratory committee
  • Treasurer of the Grand Traverse County Economic Development Corporation
  • President, Grand Traverse Leelanau Antrim County Bar Association
  • Rising Star, Super Lawyers Magazine, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
  • 40 Under 40, Traverse City Business News, 2018
Educational Background:
  • Wayne State University, 2002
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • Successfully represented client in drug conspiracy matter., 2017
  • Successfully represented client in trial in Macomb County Circuit Court, 2009
  • Successfully represented client in the United States Supreme Court, 2014
  • Successfully represented client in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals., 2012
  • Michigan Supreme Court Decision in Sondra Hardy v. Jocelyn Benson, 2020
  • Michigan Supreme Court Decision in People v. Warren, 2020
  • Oral argument on People v. Kelly Warren. Attorney General Dana Nessel filed an amicus brief and argued in support of my client’s position. Michigan Supreme Court published a 5 - 2 opinion granting relief requested., Michigan Supreme Court Oral Argument, Appeals, Criminal Defense, 2019

Office location for Michael C. Naughton

800 Cottage View Dr
Suite 1088
Traverse City, MI 49684

Phone: 231-751-0329


4 Years Super Lawyers
6 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2023
  • Rising Stars: 2013 - 2018

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