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Michael Paul Bruckheim

About me

I was born and raised in Montgomery County, Maryland, and graduated from Walt Whitman High School in 1989. I attended Brandeis University where I graduated cum laude with a B.A. in economics in 1993. I received my juris doctor from the American University Washington College of Law in 1996. While in law school, I was a member of the Law Review and the Moot Court Executive Board. In my third year, I participated in the Criminal Justice Clinic, and had the opportunity to represent clients in criminal matters in the Montgomery County District and Circuit Courts. I also spent a semester prosecuting criminal matters as a Rule 16 student in the State’s Attorney’s Office for Montgomery County.


Prior to opening my law office in April, 2010, I enjoyed a diverse career litigating in the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia (OAG) for over 11 years. I began my OAG career as a prosecutor in the Criminal Section where I conducted numerous bench and jury trials in traffic and criminal misdemeanor matters. Later in my OAG career, I served as Chief of the Criminal Section where I supervised the prosecution of DUI offenses in the District, and directed a staff of over 20 attorneys. I was responsible for formulating office policy for the prosecution of DUIs, as well as all traffic and criminal offenses under OAG’s jurisdiction.


I have successfully completed a variety of intensive trainings that has him uniquely prepared to attack the prosecution of every type of DUI case.   I am trained to administer field sobriety tests according to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) standards, and also trained as a NHTSA field sobriety test Instructor.  I’ve completed trainings in Forensic Chromatography, which is the process used to analyze blood and urine samples in DUI and drug cases. I have been trained in the use of and weaknesses of the Intoximeter EC/IR II, which is the breath testing machine used in the District of Columbia and Maryland.  I have been trained in Drug Recognition, which is the same training officers have taken for purposes of prosecuting DUI-drug cases.   I am one of a small number of DUI lawyers in America to be named a Forensic Drug and Alcohol Lawyer Specialist by the American Chemical Society.


I also spent several years practicing in OAG’s Civil Division where I represented the District of Columbia in all phases of litigation in a variety of subjects, including employment discrimination, failure to accommodate disabilities, police misconduct, and personal injury. I gained additional experience in the Personnel, Labor & Employment Division where I represented the District’s interests in all employment-related matters, including workers’ compensation, disciplinary actions, and discrimination complaints.   During my tenure at OAG, I also served as the Attorney/Advisor in the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights. I reviewed hundreds of cases alleging disparate treatment, hostile work environment, retaliation, failure to accommodate disabilities, and violations of the District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act.


I am a trained mediator and arbitrator, and I have successfully mediated several employment discrimination claims. I am an Adjunct Professor of Law in the Trial Advocacy Program at the American University Washington College of Law. Since 2008, I have taught courses in Evidentiary Foundations and Objections, Evidence, and Pre-Trial Civil Litigation. I served as an Adjunct Faculty Coach for the American University Mock Trial Honor Society where I coached teams of law students in trial advocacy competitions.


I have several publications to my credit.  I have written a book entitled "Facing a DUI Charge in DC."  I also have contributed chapters for two publications from Aspatore Publishing:  Trends in DUI Discovery and Witness Preparation and Examination for DUI Proceedings.  I also edited the Criminal Traffic Offenses chapter in the 2014 Edition of the District of Columbia Practice Manual.


I am admitted to the Bars of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and the United States District Courts for the District of Columbia and Maryland. I am a member of the National College of DUI Defense where I am serving as the District of Columbia Delegate.  I am a Founding Member of the DUI Defense Lawyers Association.  I also am a member of the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, the District of Columbia Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  In my spare time, I enjoy reading, traveling, and being with my family.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. DUI & DWI: 70%
    3 years
  2. Criminal Defense: 30%
    3 years



Free consultation (60 minutes)

Payment types:

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Attorney endorsements

19 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Geoffrey Scott Platnick

    I have known Michael for nearly twenty years and find him to be a pleasure to work with. His strategic thinking is masterful, he is scrupulously honest, he is always prepared, he is expert at criminal defense, and a client can count on him to deliver quality, competent and zealous representation in every situation. Unlike many criminal defense attorneys, Michael keeps a proper perspective on litigation, which is critical to obtain clients the best results. Your cause will be well served with Michael in your corner.


    Geoffrey Platnick Family Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Sheridan Leigh England

    I endorse this lawyer. I've seen Mr. Bruckheim in action, and he is very thorough.


    Sheridan England Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Bruckheim & Patel

One Church Street
Suite 910
Rockville, MD, 20850

Bruckheim & Patel

601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
South Building, Suite 900
Washington, DC, 20004



DCActive 199707/06/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Maryland Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2016
District of Columbia Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2016
Alumni of the Month-June, 2016American University Washington College of Law2016
Top 100 Trial LawyersNational Trial Lawyers Association2015
Forensic Drug and Alcohol Lawyer SpecialistAmerican Chemical Society2014
Top 100 Trial LawyersNational Trial Lawyers Association2014
Top 100 Trial LawyersNational Trial Lawyers Association2013
Top Attorneys in Washington, DCNewsweek Magazine2013
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerBruckheim & Patel, LLC2015 - Present
Attorney/OwnerLaw Office of Michael Bruckheim, LLC2010 - Present
Association namePosition nameDuration
DUI Defense Lawyers AssociationFounding Member2014 - Present
National College for DUI DefenseDelegate-District of Columbia2010 - Present
National Association for Criminal Defense LawyersN/A2010 - Present
District of Columbia Superior Court Trial Lawyers AssociationN/A2010 - Present
Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys' AssociationN/A2010 - Present
Publication nameTitleDate
Quick PrepUnderstanding Changes to DC DUI Laws2015
District of Columbia Practice Manual-2014 EditionCriminal Traffic Offenses2014
Aspatore Book PublicationFacing a DUI Charge in DC2013
Witness Preparation and Examination for DUI Proceedings (Inside the Minds)Dealing with Witnesses During a DUI Case2012
Trends in DUI DiscoveryDUI Discovery: Keeping Pace With the Other Side2012
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
American University, Washington College of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1996
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
SALSA Career Advice Boot Camp"I Want to Start My Own Law Practice"2016
Alumni WebinarNotes and Bolts of Defending DUI Cases in Washington, DC2016
2016 Rites of SpringTraffic Litigation Issues2016
Continuing Legal EducationDefending DUIs- Trial Strategy2015
Continuing Legal Education for DCDefending Breath Tests in DC DUI Cases2014
Meeting for DC Superior Court JudgesDiscussion of DC's New DUI Law2013
Continuing Legal EducationField Sobriety Testing2013
Continuing Legal EducationCross Exam in DUI Cases2013