Mike Dowling focuses his practice on general commercial litigation and federal criminal defense. An experienced litigator and tough competitor, Mike thrives in the courtroom and spends much of his time in the state and federal trial courts of North Carolina.
Mike represents individuals facing serious felony charges in the federal courts, both at the trial and appellate levels. Mike has experience with a wide array of federal criminal matters, including those involving multi-defendant drug conspiracies, firearms violations, immigration fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, environmental crimes, EBT benefits fraud, money laundering, false statements to federal agents, trade secret theft, and other white collar criminal matters.
Mike has developed substantial experience with complex pre-trial motions in federal criminal matters addressing, and attempting to exclude the use of, electronic and technical evidence, including evidence related to emails, chats, computer programs, and similar digital media.
Mike tried what is believed to be the very first computer hacking prosecution in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina under 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(5)(A), the most serious violation possible under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Mike has experience in a broad range of business and commercial litigation in federal and state court. His experience includes cases involving contract disputes, unfair business practices, the Lanham Act, the North Carolina Trade Secrets Protection Act, as well as the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Mike also has substantial experience litigating a wide array of tort claims arising under the common law of North Carolina, including claims for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, unfair competition, and negligent misrepresentation. A small sampling of the type of matters Mike has handled includes:
- The defense of a building supply company against claims for breach of warranty and defective construction with respect to a multi-family condominium project.
- The defense of a hospital accounting/billing firm against alleged violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act as well as state consumer protection laws.
- The defense of two home sellers, one of whom was a licensed realtor, against claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and violation of the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
- The representation of a commercial landlord in a dispute with a former tenant over lost rent and other damages.
- The representation of a major lender in an action against several borrowers and guarantors who defaulted on a commercial loan worth over a million dollars.
Recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) as a "Rising Star" in Criminal Defense (2017-2018)
Recognized by his peers for inclusion in Business North Carolina's "Legal Elite" in the Young Guns category (2018)
Recognized and honored by the North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division as a “Young Lawyer of the Quarter,” in connection with his work on the Young Lawyers Division’s “Legal Feeding Frenzy” food drive (2013)
Appointed by the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of North Carolina to serve as a panel attorney for the Criminal Justice Act Panel
Appointed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to serve as a panel attorney for the Fourth Circuit's Criminal Justice Act Panel
Member, Tenth Judicial District Attorney Grievance Committee
Pro Bono Committee Chair, Eastern District of North Carolina Chapter of the Federal Bar Association
Presenter, "Identifying and Challenging Technological Surveillance," Part II of Digital Evidence Series, North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, January 2018 (presentation authored by Elliot Abrams)