Articles by Michael Norton
Wealth Preservation and Estate Planning
Avoiding the Pitfalls of 1031Exchanges
Preventing Liability for Unsolicited Fax Advertisements
Michael J. Norton
- Complex Civil Litigation
- White Collar Criminal Defense
Michael J. Norton is Senior Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. The Alliance Defense Fund is a legal alliance of attorneys which defends the right of people to hear and speak the Truth – the Gospel of Jesus Christ. ADF provides resources to seek to transform the legal system through the defense and advocacy of religious freedom, sanctity of life, and marriage and family. Norton’s specific focus with ADF is with ADF’s Life Team and with civil litigation that seeks to oppose abortion and protect the sanctity of human life.
Prior to joining the Alliance Defense Fund, Norton was a senior member of the law firm of Burns Figa & Will, P.C., Greenwood Village, Colorado. Norton specialized in complex civil litigation, white collar criminal defense, and complex estate planning. Norton continues to serve as special consultant to Burns Figa & Will, P.C.
From 1988 to 1993, Norton served as the United States Attorney for the District of Colorado. Norton was first appointed to this position by President Ronald Reagan and then reappointed by President George H. W. Bush. As United States Attorney, Norton directed the U.S. Justice Department's criminal and civil justice priorities in the State of Colorado. Norton coordinated investigations and prosecutions of organized crime activities in narcotics and dangerous drug distributions, environmental crimes, financial crimes, and securities frauds. Norton led the government's intensive criminal investigation and prosecution of Rockwell International Corporation for environmental crimes at the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant, Golden, Colorado, which resulted in the imposition of a fine of $18.5 million - the largest criminal hazardous waste fine in U.S. history to that date.
Norton spent several years in the private sector and in the practice of law. In 1965, Norton joined the National Milk Producers Federation, Washington, D.C., as assistant general counsel. In 1969, Norton became Director of Congressional Affairs for the United States General Services Administration, Washington, DC. In 1972, Norton was appointed GSA's Region 8 Administrator, Denver, CO, for the six Rocky Mountain States.
Norton is married to the former Jane Ellen Bergman of Grand Junction, CO. Mrs. Norton served as Colorado’s 46th Lieutenant Governor from 2003 to 2007. Mrs. Norton also served as Executive Director of the Denver Police Foundation. In 2010, Mrs. Norton was a candidate for the United States Senate from Colorado.
Together, the Norton have four children - Lori, Joe, Lacee and Tyler – six grandchildren – Sam, Liz, Tommy, Cassidy, Jackson, Jonah, and Gia – and one great grandchild - Macie. The Nortons’ oldest son Jeff died of leukemia in 1983. The Nortons are active in their church, Smoky Hill Vineyard, Centennial, CO, where Norton serves on the board of directors and as legal counsel. He and his wife Jane serve as small group leaders and Bible teachers.
Norton received a B.A. degree from Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, in 1960. Norton was active in varsity sports and received varsity letters in swimming and lacrosse. Norton received his J.D. degree from American University's Washington College of Law, Washington, DC, in June 1968. Norton received his Masters of Divinity degree from Denver Seminary, Denver, Colorado, in May 2009. Norton serves as an adjunct professor of Denver Seminary and teaches church law courses.
Norton has appeared in federal and state courts in several states including Colorado, Texas, California, Pennsylvania and Missouri. He is a member of the bars of the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, the Colorado State Supreme Court, and the Virginia State Supreme Court.
Norton served eight years as a member and chair of the Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline. Norton has also served on the Board of Governors of the Colorado Bar Association and as a member of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Judicial Code Commission. Norton has served as a member of the Governor of Colorado's Law Enforcement Council, the Colorado Governor's Energy Task Force, the Colorado Governor's Military Affairs Advisory Council, and the Business Advisory Council of the University of Denver's College of Business Administration.
Norton has been active as a continuing legal education lecturer and author on criminal justice issues, securities law enforcement, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, environmental law enforcement, and prosecutorial ethics. In 2000 and 2004, Norton served as Colorado Counsel to the George W. Bush for President Campaign. He has served on the Board of Directors of professional football punter Mike Horan's Punts with a Purpose, and the Rocky Mountain Family Council. Norton has been a Boy Scout and a Girl Scout leader and has coached boys and girls baseball and soccer teams.
Please feel free to read his Curriculum Vitae.
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