About Mike Arnold

Mike is an Oregon attorney and entrepreneur who has a passion pursuing what conventional wisdom considers long shots or lost causes, particularly when it involves speaking truth to power.

Mike is experienced in jury trials and complex criminal and civil litigation involving multiple parties and witnesses, voluminous discovery, expert witnesses, and high stakes. He was managing partner of Arnold Law for 10 years and was the chief trial lawyer of the firm until he departed in June 2017.

In 2014, Mike was listed as one of Oregon’s top trial attorneys by the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers after a selection process that included peer nominations combined with third-party research (criteria includes reputation among peers, judiciary, public; previous year’s verdicts as a trial lawyer; etc.). In 2014, Mike was named in The Eugene Weekly‘s “Best of Eugene” awards as “Eugene’s Best DUI Lawyer.” Mike was also rated “Distinguished” (4.4/5.0) by Martindale-Hubble’s attorney peer-review rating system.

High-Profile Oregon Cases

Mike is also the author of Finishing Machine, a book about a client who was a Marine sniper and former UFC fighter that was accused of murdering an unarmed elderly man in a road rage incident.  This true crime story is a must read for anyone wishing to get a firsthand look at courthouse politics.  That book was eventually banned by the Oregon state prison system.  [Read about the squelching of free speech in the state of Oregon here.]

Mike also has a steady presence in national media including two CBS 48 Hours episodes entitled (“Trail of Tears” – watch the full episode) and his high-profile public response to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Occupation through his representation of Ammon Bundy. (Read The Atlantic, “The Nobility of Good Lawyers with Bad Clients“). Mike gained notoriety as an attorney when he stood on the courthouse steps as Ammon Bundy’s attorney and told the remaining occupiers of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge to “please stand down.”

In the aftermath of the standoff he was credited with assisting in negotiating a peaceful resolution for the remaining four protester holdouts. (“He truly is a hero,” state Assemblywoman Michele Fiore said of Arnold…[read more here])

Mike Arnold in 2016 at the federal courthouse in Portland imploring the final Malheur Standoff holdouts to “Please Stand Down.”

Mike has also represented businesses in trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty cases and hosted cannabis and hemp seminars for thousands in his home state of Missouri to educate potential start-up management teams and employees on corporate governance, scaled-up farming, and seed-to-sale cannabis and hemp. He is also an expert on the startup landscape in the emerging psychedelics medicine space.

To check and see if Mike Arnold is taking new clients or to get a referral elsewhere, text or call 541-797-0110 or send an email.

Attorney Practice Philosophy

Mike’s practice philosophy is simple: know more about the facts and law than the other lawyer, investigators, experts, and court. Hard work wins cases. Mike does not just ferry offers from the other side to his clients. He prepares every case for settlement as if it were going to trial.

Education and Background

Mike grew up in Parkville, Missouri, a small Midwestern suburb along the Missouri River, northwest of Kansas City. His father was a union pipefitter and his mother a self-employed screen printer.

He attended college at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, where he started all four years on Truman’s nationally-ranked rugby team and ultimately graduated summa cum laude. At Truman he competed in two Sweet 16’s and two Elite Eights as inside center. His rugby playing days spanned from high school until several years after law school when he was forced to quit do to head injuries.

After graduating from Truman State in December of 1997, he moved to Eugene to attend law school at the University of Oregon where Mike was honored with a prestigious Wayne Morse Fellowship.

For two years during law school, he worked two jobs at once: one at a small personal injury firm and the other at the Lane County District Attorney’s Office, all while continuing to compete around the Pacific Northwest with Eugene Rugby Club. At the DA’s Office, he conducted grand jury, allowing him to see the inner workings of this secret body. He prosecuted many jury trials, including a felony Marijuana grow, DUIIs, assaults, driving crimes, etc.

Employment History

Multi-tasking after a 2014 murder Case

After graduating from law school in 2001, Mike Arnold continued working at the litigation firm representing clients in personal injury jury trials and defending clients accused of crimes. In 2002, he joined his then-wife Jacy at Arnold Law Office, where he focused on personal injury litigation and prosecution for the city of Eugene.

During his first few years of practice he was averaging more civil jury trials per year than most seasoned plaintiff’s lawyers. He was also averaging a little over one criminal jury trial a month as well.

While preparing for and trying cases by day, at night he would sharpen his skills by reading and re-reading the Oregon evidence treatise, books on depositions, books on trial skills, expert materials (DSM-IV), etc. It is not called the practice of law for nothing. Mike realized early on that if you are not regularly trying cases and increasing your knowledge-base, your trial tools do not stay sharp.

Practice Interests

Mike enjoys representing clients in complex litigation, involving high stakes (financial or liberty interests), complicated legal issues or expert witnesses, confusing fact patterns with lengthy timelines, or multiple parties.

Mike enjoys meeting juries all around the state, particularly in the more rural counties. In the civil context, he has successfully resolved cases in Federal and state courts, including jury trials in Federal Court in Eugene and in state court in Lane, Marion, Linn, Lincoln, Jackson, and Josephine Counties. He has successfully litigated business, personal injury and employment cases before juries.

In the criminal context, he has won dismissals for clients in federal court in Eugene and Spokane, Washington, and in state and municipal courts in many counties and towns, including Jackson County, Douglas County, Deschutes, Lane, Lincoln, Eugene, Cottage Grove, Springfield, etc.

In 2013, he won a 45-minute not guilty verdict in a Manslaughter in the First Degree trial. In May 2014, he won a not guilty jury verdict for a client falsely accused of driving under the influence of Vicodin and Marijuana in Jackson County Circuit Court in Medford. In December 2014 he won a 17-minute not guilty verdict of a client falsely accused of assaulting his adult stepson by throwing him into a truck’s mirror. In April 2015, Mike won a 14-minute not guilty verdict in a .09% BAC DUII.

In May of 2015, Mike resolved a Murder case involving a retired professional mixed martial artist who shot and killed an unarmed man with an AR-15 after a traffic collision. After over 15 months of litigation, the case settled with a criminally negligent homicide plea.

When asked by newer lawyers about practical advice in the practice of law, Mike offers the following: “All you need to do to be a good lawyer is return all of your phone calls, treat people as you want to be treated, work hard until there are no hours left in the day and then hire more staff, and destroy liars and exaggerators in cross-examination.”

Hobbies and Interests

Mike & Quinn over 30-ft Big Brother falls

Mike works hard and plays hard. Over the years he has excelled in rugby, farming, whitewater rafting, and entrepreneurship. In years past, by the light of his headlamp, he would tend to his herd of rare American Guinea Hogs, raising poultry (chickens, turkeys, and quail), and fixing fence on his small farm outside of town.

With excess garden produce he would often turn grapes, apples and pears into wine, hard cider and hard perry. A moderate-sized beekeeping operation would assist in higher-than-average yields in the garden and orchard due to having hundreds of thousands of pollinators in their backyard. Over the years that has allowed his family (and clients) to enjoy a spoonful of honey in their coffee and gave plenty of raw materials for homemade mead. At the Lane County Fair, Mike earned a blue ribbon for his wine making.

After retiring a second time from Eugene Rugby Club in 2008, he began devoting his scarce free time to whitewater. Mike enjoys spending his time rafting class IV and V rivers in the Pacific Northwest. A photograph of him and his rafting partner dropping off of 30-ft. Big Brother Falls on the Upper White Salmon was featured in Canoe and Kayak Magazine’s Whitewater Annual in 2011.

In recent years, Mike has spent his non-law time working in nascent markets and startups. Most recently he has expanded his interest into the psychedelics space where in 2019 he filed a nonprovisional utility patent application for metered-dosing modalities.

Practice Emphasis

  • Trial Lawyer
  • Criminal Defense
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Personal Injury

Professional Organizations & Activities

  • Oregon State Bar
  • Federal Bar (United States District Court for the District of Oregon & United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit)
  • Lane County Bar Association (LCBA)
  • Roland K. Rodman American Inn of Court (1999-2017)
  • Trial Practice Instructor, University of Oregon School of Law (2003, 2005, & 2006)
  • Alumni Member, Eugene Rugby Football Club

To check and see if Mike Arnold is taking new clients or to get a referral elsewhere, text or call 541-797-0110 or send an email.