Michelle was born in Maryland and raised in South Carolina. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Carolina and thereafter was a successful district manager for a well-known restaurant chain before she decided to return to school to obtain her law degree. Michelle moved to South Florida to attend law school at St. Thomas University School of Law and received an academic scholarship from the law school, scholarship from the Young Lawyer's Division of the Florida Bar for an essay she wrote on integrity, and a service scholarship from her fraternity. An active member of the student community, Michelle was appointed a Senior Articles Editor for the St. Thomas Law Review, honored in Who's Who Among American Law Students, elected Vice Justice (vice president) and subsequently Justice (president) of the Mentschikoff Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, and was a member of the Editorial Board and a staff writer for the law school newspaper. Due to her scholarship, she received awards for the highest grades in several classes and was asked to be a research assistant, teaching assistant, and tutor for the law school. Furthering her education, Michelle attended New York University School of Law and obtained a Master of Laws degree in Taxation. When she graduated from law school, she decided to remain in South Florida as she just couldn't bear to leave the sunshine. Beginning her legal career as a litigator, Michelle represented major insurance companies and servicers in a wide variety of issues such as contract disputes, products liability, sexual harassment, discrimination, premises liability, slip and fall, negligence, wrongful death and insurance defense. Thereafter, she operated her own law firm where she utilized her tax law degree and worked with several other lawyers as of counsel assisting with matters related to estate and gift tax planning probate administration (summary and ancillary) trust administration guardianship general tax matters tax controversy family corporate structuring and governance and general litigation. It was at that time she began performing residential real estate closings and issuing title insurance commitments and policies. When the foreclosure crisis hit South Florida Michelle was contacted by a former colleague and asked to join a law firm in need of attorneys with a strong legal background and that were capable of hiring building and managing a large team of lawyers and legal assistants. She decided to accept the challenge and began working in the real estate default legal industry building a team which handled several thousand files successfully. Working in a volume atmosphere Michelle obtained significant legal experience which most attorneys in other practice areas take a lifetime to obtain. When that firm closed Michelle went to another law firm which specialized in real estate default and was a litigation attorney. It was there she met attorney Neil Dhawan who shortly thereafter became her law partner and Shupe Dhawan was formed in 2013. Michelle is a seasoned attorney with significant legal experience and has handled a wide variety of litigation and transactional matters for the firm. She can often be found in court zealously arguing on behalf of the firm's clients.
Highlights of Michelle's legal career:
Conducted several hundred non-jury trials throughout the State of Florida.
Practiced in and familiar with the courts in most counties within the State of Florida.
Experienced in estate and gift tax planning, probate administration (summary and ancillary), trust administration, guardianship, tax controversy, corporate governance and restructuring.
Title Agent who has performed numerous real estate closings and issued title insurance.
Wrote and argued several successful appeals.
Represented major banks, mortgage servicers, investors, and lenders in litigation and real estate default matters.
Represented major insurance companies and servicers in contract disputes, products liability, sexual harassment, discrimination, premises liability, slip and fall, negligence, wrongful death and insurance defense.
Capable of handling a wide variety of litigation and transactional issues.