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Michael J. Pearce



  • J.D., University of Arizona, 1981
  • B.A., University of Michigan, 1978
  • Profile

Michael J. (Mike) Pearce is a Member at Gammage & Burnham. Since 1989, his professional career has focused exclusively on water rights, water management and water policy matters. In his practice, he has been involved in interstate litigation concerning the Colorado River Basin, the Missouri River Basin and the Apalachicola/Chattahoochee/Flint River Basin. He has also represented several interests in the Arizona general stream adjudications and through the Arizona Assured Water Supply program. Mike is known for getting things done, and has successfully assisted numerous cities, districts, mining companies, private land developers, and individuals in complicated water development, allocation and transfer issues. Mr. Pearce graduated with his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Arizona in 1981, and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1978, both with distinction.

Mr. Pearce was formerly a Director in the Phoenix law firm of Fennemore Craig, P.C. (2002-2005), and was a founding member of Maguire, Pearce, & Storey (2007-2020). He was also Chief Counsel of the Arizona Department of Water Resources (1995-2002), representing the State of Arizona in interstate and international water issues and managing the Department’s nine member legal division. Before joining the Arizona Department of Water Resources in 1989, he worked in private practice in Phoenix, focusing primarily on banking transactions.

Mr. Pearce is licensed to practice in the states of Arizona and California, the United States Supreme Court, the Ninth and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeals, and in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. He has written and spoken widely on matters of water policy and served many years on the Council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. He is the former Chair of both the Arizona State Bar Environment and Natural Resources Law Section and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce Water and Natural Resources Policy Committee.