Michael D. Fabius

Of Counsel

Tel 215.864.8246
Fax 215.525.5098

Michael D. Fabius is of counsel in Ballard's Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs and Contracting Group. Mike's practice focuses on gaming law, political and ethics law, general business and nonprofit corporate law, health care licensing and regulatory law, and administrative litigation and appeals. He frequently represents clients in front of state and local government agencies, including quasi-judicial bodies.

Mike is one of very few attorneys in Pennsylvania to have represented three casino applicants in competitive application proceedings. He also actively advises his casino and other gaming clients on gaming compliance, including frequent meetings with staff and public presentations to the commissioners of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Mike advises public sector and private sector clients on various areas of political and ethics laws addressing the public’s access to records, open meetings, ethics, government contracting, elections, and campaign finance, and lobbying disclosure. He is a frequent presenter on Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law, drawing upon his extensive experience advising clients, including multiple successful appeals to Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court on behalf of private sector clients. Recently, Mike advised a foundation on lobbying compliance as it relates to grants to organizations that may also engage in lobbying efforts.

With his experiences in political and ethics law, Mike also advises for-profit and not-for-profit clients on their corporate governance policies as they relate to good governance, including codes of conduct and whistleblower and compensation policies. He often advises nonprofit clients on fundamental matters requiring support of the Office of Attorney General, Charitable Organization Division and the approval of the Orphans’ Court Division of Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

In his regulatory practice, Mike helps clients structure and obtain requisite approvals for transactions and litigate matters before quasi-judicial administrative law tribunals, including the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Office of Open Records, and Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Other representative matters have included license applications and compliance matters before the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Mike has also assisted clients in multiple original jurisdiction lawsuits brought in Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court.

Pro Bono Experience

Mike has demonstrated his commitment to the Ballard way with more than 100 hours of pro bono legal services in every year of his practice. He frequently assists small nonprofits on corporate governance matters, including corporate formation and dissolution. Most notably, Mike and other Ballard Spahr lawyers were successful in obtaining the support of the Office of Attorney General and the approval of the Orphans’ Court Division of Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas for the appointment of a client as the Receiver for an abandoned 200-acre cemetery in Southwest Philadelphia. After years of neglect, the firm's representation helped the City of Philadelphia, the Borough of Yeadon, and the surrounding community ensure that there would be an organization acting for the cemetery.

Mike also frequently volunteers his legal services for voter protection, voting rights, and civic organizations. In each instance, his work reflects a personal commitment to promoting civic engagement, particularly in the form of full and fair participation on election day. A recent example of his work includes voting rights research for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on the impact of the Voting Rights Act. In 2013, Mike was recognized by the Senior Law Center and by Ballard Spahr for his significant contributions as part of the Senior Law Center’s campaign to protect senior voters in light of Pennsylvania’s attempt to require voter identification on election day.

Professional Activities

Mike is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and its Administrative Law Section. He also serves on the Gaming Law Committee, where he tracks and reports on all current developments affecting Pennsylvania’s casino industry. Recently, Mike surveyed the consent agreements entered into between the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and Pennsylvania casinos or other regulated entities to create a resource that helps in negotiating future consent agreements when the need arises.

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Legal Intelligencer's 2015 Lawyers on the Fast Track

Named by LEADERSHIP Philadelphia as one of Philadelphia’s “Keepers,” an honor bestowed upon the city’s most promising young leaders, (professionals under 35), December 10, 2014

Speaking Engagements

Mike is a frequent speaker on a variety of relevant regulatory topics related to the Right-to-Know Law, lobbying compliance, and other areas of political law, including these presentations:

"The Right-to-Know Law: 2015 Update on Best Practices and Recent Developments," PELRAS, 2015

"Before You Hit Send: How E-Mail Can Get Employers in Trouble," Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, October 1, 2014

"E-Mail, Social Media, and Right-to-Know for Elected Officials," PELRAS, January 31, 2014

"Right-to-Know Year in Review for 2013," PELRAS, 2013&

"The Right-to-Know Law: Four Years Later," PELRAS, 2013

"Before You Hit Send: How E-Mail Can Get Employers in Trouble,” PELRAS, 2013

"Me, A Lobbyist? Philadelphia's New Lobbying Ordinance and What It Means for Nonprofits," Ballard Spahr breakfast briefing, Philadelphia, May 31, 2012

"Right-to-Know Year in Review for 2012," PELRAS, March 21, 2012

"Pennsylvania’s New Right-to-Know Law," Pennsylvania Bar Institute CLE, February 15, 2012

"Pennsylvania’s New Right-to-Know Law," Ballard Spahr presentation, April 25, 2011

"Allowable Advocacy for 501(c)(3)Nonprofits," Ballard Spahr presentation, February 5, 2010

"Stimulating the Economy under the Obama Administration," Ballard Spahr presentation, June 3, 2009

"Ethics and the Revolving Door: Concerns and Responsibilities of Public and Private Attorneys When Dealing with Former Colleagues and Clients," Pennsylvania Governor's Office of General Counsel, part of CLE University for all attorneys in the state executive branch, Hershey, Pa., September 16, 2008

Community Activities

Mike volunteered on the Vote Philadelphia transition committee organized by City Commissioners Stephanie Singer and Al Schmidt upon their election. Specifically, he served on the Law and Policy subcommittee and assisted in the drafting of the transition committee’s report. Previously, Mike served as part of Mayor Nutter’s Emergency Management transition team and was a lead draftsman on the Emergency Management transition memo. He has also guest-lectured in a high school advanced civics class on government and the political process.

Mike serves his local community as a committeeperson on the 5th Ward Executive Committee for a local political party in Philadelphia. As a committeeperson, he represents approximately 1,100 voters in his neighborhood to the political party and volunteers every election day to help turn out the vote in his neighborhood.

Board Memberships

Mike is a member of the Board for American Jewish Committee of Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey, where he assists AJC’s mission of promoting tolerance and advocating for the well-being of Jewish people.

Mike is an alumnus of the Board for Young Involved Philadelphia, where he helped to revive the organization’s mission to promote civic engagement as a means to empower and connect young professionals in Philadelphia.

Emory University School of Law (J.D. 2007)
Recipient, Dean's Public Service Award; Recipient, Emory Public Interest Committee 3L Award; Justice, Conduct Court; Chairman, National Steering Committee for Just Democracy; President, Emory Chapter, National Steering Committee for Just Democracy

Vassar College (B.A. 2004)

New Jersey