Mr. Snipes graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1976. He was an active duty Army officer until 1990, serving first as an Armor officer with the 2d Armored Division in Fort Hood, Texas. His duty positions included Tank Platoon Leader and Tank Company Executive Officer. After being selected for the Army's Funded Legal Education Program, Mr. Snipes attended law school at The University of Texas where he was chosen as the Fulbright & Jaworski second year law student of the year, won an American Jurisprudence Award for legal research and writing, and was selected as the Best Advocate in the Hildenbrand Moot Court Competition. In his last year at UT, he taught research and writing to first year law students.
Mr. Snipes served a six-year active duty commitment to the Army in exchange for his law school education. He first served as a trial defense counsel with the 7th Infantry Division and was deployed to the Sinai Peninsula for six months with the Multinational Force and Observers. CPT Snipes returned from the Middle East in June 1986 and assumed duties as a prosecutor and finally as the Chief of Justice at Fort Ord, California, supervising five other Army prosecutors. Mr. Snipes received an advanced law degree, Master of Law, at the Army Judge Advocate General's school, located on the grounds of the University of Virginia, in 1988. He was then reassigned to the 3d Infantry Division in Kitzingen, Germany, where he served as legal advisor to the future Chief of Staff of the Army, General Eric Shinseki. He continued to try cases until the end of his active duty military career in June 1990, when he was honorably discharged and joined the U.S. Army Reserves.
From 1990 to 1991, Mr. Snipes was an associate in the products liability litigation section of a large Dallas law firm, where he was in charge of civil discovery in numerous lawsuits. He then returned to public service as a federal prosecutor in the Dallas Division of the Northern District of Texas. Mr. Snipes prosecuted cases for the U.S. Attorney's Office for more than 13 years. During that time, he worked in all four of the criminal division's major sections, including General Crimes, Narcotics and Violent Crime, the Appellate Section and finally in White Collar Fraud and Public Corruption.
Mr. Snipes won numerous awards for his work in the U.S. Attorney's Office, including awards from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for cases with the Joint Terrorism Task Force. He was awarded the Chief Postal Inspector's Special Award in both 1995 and 2001. He is the only two-time winner of the International Association of Financial Crimes Prosecutor of the Year Award, winning in 1999 and again in 2002. He was also awarded the Greater Dallas Crimes Commission's Barefoot Sanders Prosecutor of the Year award in 2003.
As a U.S. Army reservist, Mr. Snipes achieved the rank of Colonel and graduated from the prestigious Army War College. He was recalled to active duty in February 2004 and served overseas with the Army's First Infantry Division, first in Germany and later in Iraq, where he served as political advisor to General John Batiste, Commander of the 1st Infantry Division. His military awards include five Army Commendation medals, three Meritorious Service Medals and the Legion of Merit.
Mr. Snipes was elected judge of Dallas County Criminal District Court #7 in November 2006 and sworn in by the Honorable Barefoot Sanders in January 2007. Between January 2007 and January 2009, his court completed 85 jury trials to verdict. In 2008, he began teaching as an Adjunct Professor in the University of Texas at Dallas School of Economic, Political and Policy Studies. Mr. Snipes teaches Law of Public Policy and Urban Zoning and Redevelopment.
Mr. Snipes has three children: Michael, Jr. is a Professor of Economics at Eastern New Mexico University; Katie is a graduate student at the University of Charleston; and Morgan is an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia.