Michael Dawkins, shareholder in the Jackson office, concentrates his practice in the areas of white collar criminal defense, environmental law, conducting internal investigations and defending investigations of all types conducted by state and federal government departments and agencies.
Mr. Dawkins’ white collar practice involves his defense of individuals and companies investigated or charged with various white collar crimes, including financial and tax fraud, economic espionage, theft of trade secrets, crimes against the environment and charges of mail fraud and wire fraud.
With regard to investigations and lawsuits under the civil Federal False Claims Act he has decades of experience defending individuals and companies, including government contractors.
Mr. Dawkins’ environmental practice includes conducting confidential compliance reviews and audits, encompassing all areas of state and federal environmental law and regulation.
He advises clients in situations where environmental violations have been self-detected in these reviews and audits and advises clients on questions of self-reporting and the employment of best practices to reduce the future risk of noncompliance.
He advises with regard to Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments and other aspects of due diligence in the sale and acquisition of property and the development of contaminated property, including Brownfields.
He has nearly 30 years of experience in the defense of clients in administrative, civil and criminal investigations and enforcement matters involving environmental permitting, regulatory and statutory noncompliance. He frequently works with consulting engineers, toxicologists and other experts, including experts in the fields of the fate and transport of hazardous and toxic substances into the environment.
In the area of internal investigations, most recently, he has conducted internal investigations of allegations of financial statement misstatements and insurance fraud. He often works on investigations with forensic accountants and financial statement auditors in the testing and investigation of fraud. He has several years of experience defending criminal federal income tax and state sales tax investigations and prosecutions.
Due in large part to his experience in accounting, auditing and the performance of internal investigations, Mr. Dawkins conducts systems reviews for the purpose of monitoring compliance with requirements of federal and state statutes and regulations, as well as compliance with best practices procedures implemented for the purpose of systematizing and maintaining that compliance. He advises clients on changes to practices, policies and procedures in order to improve compliance and avoid violations of statute and regulation.
Mr. Dawkins worked in public accounting for four years, principally in the areas of auditing and tax, and he has maintained his license as a certified public accountant since 1984. He has represented CPAs in professional liability cases, disciplinary proceedings and in civil and criminal matters involving allegations of violations tax law.
- University of Alabama, J.D., 1988
- University of Mississippi, Bachelor of Accountancy, 1981
- Meridian Junior College, A.A., 1979
- Mississippi, 1988
- Alabama, 1990
- Tennessee, 2008
- Obtained a Brownfield designation from the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality on behalf of a regional biofuel company.
- Defended an engineer in an environmental crimes investigation involving wastewater violations of the Clean Water Act, resulting in no indictment.
- Defended a NASA contractor accused of submitting false claims for reimbursement of labor charges incurred under cost reimbursement contract, three-month trial in federal district court, resulting in a verdict for less than three percent of amount sought by the government.
- Represented a hospital management company in a lawsuit filed by the hospital, establishing the negligence of the independent CPA’s performance of annual audits and failure to comply with generally accepted auditing standards.
- Represented the defendant in a federal perjury investigation, resulting in no indictment.
- Conducted a timecard internal investigation for an Eastern seaboard civil engineering company/government contractor.
Professional Honors & Activities:
- Member – ABA Section of Litigation, Criminal Litigation Committee; Chair, Ethics Subcommittee (2012 – 2013)
- Fellow – American Bar Foundation
- Named the 2013 Volunteer of the Year by Mission First Legal Aid Office
- Certified Public Accountant since 1984*
- Mentor – Baker Elementary School (1990 – 2000)
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