Michael D. Fabius

Of Counsel

Tel 215.864.8246
Fax 215.525.5098

Michael D. Fabius is a Co-Practice Leader of the firm's Gaming Group. He is an administrative law attorney with particular experience advising clients in the highly-regulated gaming and racing industries, and in litigating claims in front of administrative agencies. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey's well-established gaming markets, Mike has advised three casino applicants in competitive application proceedings—two were successful. He also actively advises numerous casino clients, manufacturers, and other companies serving the gaming industry on gaming licensing, compliance, and transactions. This includes frequent meetings with staff and public presentations to gaming and racing regulatory agencies. In addition, Mike has extensive experience as lead regulatory counsel advising clients on compliance for large, multi-jurisdictional transactions requiring notices and approvals from several independent regulatory agencies.

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, including multiple successful appeals to Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court on behalf of private sector clients.

In his administrative law practice, Mike helps clients structure and obtain requisite approvals for transactions, and litigates matters before administrative agencies. He has also represented clients in front of Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court in the court's appellate and original jurisdiction. Among his unique experiences, Mike may be one of the only lawyers to represent a private sector defendant in a mandamus action.

Pro Bono Experience

Mike has demonstrated his commitment to the Ballard Way by providing at least 100 hours of pro bono legal services in nearly 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 ensured the City of Philadelphia, the Borough of Yeadon, and the surrounding community 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. Recently, on behalf of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, he researched the impact of the Voting Rights Act. Mike was recognized in 2013 by the Senior Law Center and 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 restrictive 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. He also maintains a survey of consent agreements entered into between the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and licensees to create a resource that helps licensees in negotiating future consent agreements when the need arises.

International Masters of Gaming Law, General Member, 2019

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Best Lawyers in America, gaming law, 2021

Recipient of the 2018 Murray Friedman Emerging Leader Award, awarded by the Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey Chapter of American Jewish Committee (AJC) in recognition of leadership in Jewish advocacy

Named to AJC's national Sholom D. Comay "Leadership for the Future" Fellowship for 2018-2019

Recipient of 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


Co-author, "Colorado Gaming Commission Moves to Ban Licensees From Involvement in Marijuana Industry," Ballard Spahr alert, September 24, 2018

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:

"Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Enforcement Matters: Overview of Recent Underage Consent Agreements," Pennsylvania Casino Security Directors Conference, 2015 

"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, 2012

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

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

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

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 Philadelphia Mayor Michael 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.

From 2010 to 2017, Mike served his local community as a committeeperson on the 5th Ward Executive Committee for a local political party in Philadelphia. As a committeeperson, he represented approximately 1,100 voters in his neighborhood to the political party and volunteered every Election Day to help turn out the vote in his neighborhood and ensure his polling place ran smoothly. While he transitioned this role to one of his neighbors, he continues to be actively engaged in promoting local politics and empowering voters.

Board Memberships

Mike is an active member of the Board and Executive Committee for American Jewish Committee (AJC) 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