Michael Christian has deep experience in natural resources administrative law and litigation. For over 25 years he has represented interests in mining, ranching, and oil and gas. He currently represents the two active operators in oil and gas exploration in Idaho for all local legal needs, and as a result has been a central participant in the creation of a new oil and gas industry in Idaho over the last several years. He provides services including:

  • title opinions
  • contract preparation and review including oil and gas leases, purchase and sale agreements, easement agreements, and surface use agreements
  • representing clients in proceedings before the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, including applications for spacing orders and applications for integration orders
  • representing clients before county planning and zoning commissions and boards of county commissioners regarding applications for local entitlements
  • litigation of contract, real estate and other disputes
  • governmental relations including drafting legislation and representing clients in the legislature as a registered lobbyist, and representing of clients in the negotiation and drafting of county ordinances
  • representation of clients in administrative hearings before the Department of Interior’s Office of Hearings and Appeals including mining claim contest actions and public lands grazing permit renewal appeals, and appeals to the Interior Board of Land Appeals

Michael has litigated a broad range of business and real estate issues, including both enforcing and defending against claims under non-compete agreements, enforcing confidentiality and non-solicitation agreements, intellectual property disputes, boundary and easement disputes, and a variety of contract disputes. He has conducted bench and jury trials of up to a month in length, in Ada, Bonneville, Cassia, Canyon and Kootenai counties, and the United States District Court and Bankruptcy Court for the District of Idaho. He has successfully argued appeals to the Idaho Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.


Michael received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University in 1987, and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Washington in 1990.


“A Summary of Revisions to Idaho’s Oil and Gas Conservation Act and Rules: Responding as Production in Idaho Nears Reality,” Idaho Law Review Vol. 49, No. 2 (2013).