Michael Purpura

  • Lecturer in Law


  • JD Columbia Law School
  • BS United States Military Academy, West Point


Michael Purpura is a partner in the Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group and concentrates his practice on white collar criminal defense, internal investigations, complex civil litigation, crisis management, and appellate litigation.  Since joining Carlsmith Ball, Mike has represented individuals and corporations in investigations conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii, the Tax, Antitrust, and Environmental and Natural Resources Divisions of the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the State of Hawaii Securities Enforcement Branch.  In his civil practice, Mike has handled a variety of complex litigation, including contract, tax, copyright, patent, real property, and securities matters, in federal and state courts.

Mike has extensive government experience.  He served from May 2007 through December 2008 as Associate Counsel to the President, representing the White House in congressional investigations and other sensitive matters, as well as providing legal advice for both the President and senior White House officials. Immediately prior to joining the White House, Mike served as Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General in the United States Department of Justice, where he assisted the Deputy Attorney General in the management of the national security functions of the Department, including counterterrorism and counterespionage investigations. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York and the District of Hawaii, during which time he tried numerous cases in U.S. District Court and briefed and argued many appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals. While in the SDNY, Mike served in the Organized Crime and Terrorism Unit, where he led the investigation and prosecution of agents of the Iraqi Intelligence Service who operated in the U.S. and obtained convictions of multiple members and associates of the Genovese Organized Crime Family. Mike prosecuted complex public corruption and other white-collar criminal matters during his time as an AUSA in the District of Hawaii and managed all terrorism-related investigations in the district.