Overview

Michael Rayfield is a partner in Mayer Brown’s Supreme Court & Appellate practice. He focuses on class actions and other consolidated litigation, primarily in data privacy, product liability, and securities lawsuits. He has argued cases in the Second, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits, as well as a variety of federal and state trial courts around the country. Mike has worked on over two dozen jury trials in all aspects of appellate preservation, including drafting and arguing motions in limine, directed-verdict motions, and proposed jury instructions.

In 2019, Law360 named Mike as one of its “Rising Stars”—a list of “175 attorneys under 40 whose legal accomplishments transcend their age”—in the category of “Cybersecurity & Privacy,” explaining that Mike “has amassed victories for Facebook and other companies over a career that has also been marked by his dedication to pro bono work.”

Among other things, Mike represents Facebook, Instagram, and Shutterfly in putative class actions alleging privacy violations under a state biometrics law, and recently argued a successful summary judgment motion in a suit against Facebook about its facial recognition technology. Mike is experienced in so-called “cookie” litigation—class actions challenging the use of cookies and other online tools to assist with targeted advertising. And Mike has briefed successful motions to dismiss securities class actions against Frontier Communications and Citibank.  

In addition to his work on behalf of corporate clients, Mike is devoted to representing individuals in criminal, immigration, and civil rights cases. Mike has represented clients convicted of murder, armed robbery, sexual assault, and drug trafficking. He represents several immigrants facing deportation from the United States, and has represented multiple prisoners seeking to hold officials accountable for abusive practices. Mike’s past victories include a decision by the Second Circuit reversing the conviction of a client convicted of murder for hire; three rulings by the Seventh Circuit, the Ninth Circuit, and the Board of Immigration Appeals barring the government from deporting immigrants to Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador; and three other decisions releasing clients from prison or ICE detention. In 2021, the Second Circuit appointed Mike to its Criminal Justice Act panel, through which he accepts court appointments to represent indigent criminal defendants on appeal.

Before joining Mayer Brown in 2013, Mike was a law clerk to Judge Jay S. Bybee of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York. He also spent a year as a litigation associate at another prominent firm. Mike received his JD with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a comments editor on the Law Review. He received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University.

Education

The University of Chicago Law School, JD, with high honors
Comments Editor, University Of Chicago Law Review

Cornell University, BA

Admissions

  • New York
  • Florida

Court

  • US Supreme Court
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • US District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • US District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit