Michael J. Pugh

Headshot of Michael J. Pugh


Michael J. Pugh practices in the areas of real estate development, real estate, land use, business transactions, estate planning and probate. His practice includes representing clients before city councils, planning boards and boards of adjustment throughout the state of Iowa. He has also represented numerous lenders in commercial loan transactions.

Mr. Pugh has achieved Martindale-Hubbell's top "AV" Peer Review Rating, is LEED® Green Associate and is regularly listed in the Best Lawyers of in America® for Real Estate Law and Land Use and Zoning Law.

He has been actively involved in the Iowa City community for many years. In his free time, Mike enjoys spending time with his wife Cathy, and four children, running and cycling.



  • Bachelor’s Degree, University of Iowa
  • Juris Doctorate with honors, Indiana University


  • Bradley & Riley PC, Iowa City, Iowa
  • Phelan, Tucker, Mullen, Walker, Tucker & Gelman L.L.P., Iowa City, Iowa
  • Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Chicago, Illinois

Involvement and Recognition


  • American Bar Association
  • Business Law Section Organization
  • Real Property, Probate and Trust Section
  • Iowa State Bar Association
  • Business Law Section
  • Real Estate and Title Law Section
  • Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Johnson County Bar Association
  • Title Standards/Real Estate Committee, Co-Chair
  • Urban Land Institute
  • Community Associations Institute
  • University of Iowa College of Business, former Adjunct Lecturer

Professional Recognition

  • Martingale-Hubbell's top ("AV") Peer Review Rating
  • Best Lawyers in America® 2020 "Lawyer of the Year" for Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Associate

Civic and Volunteer Involvement

  • Iowa City Area Development Group Board of Directors
  • United Way of Johnson County Board of Directors
    • Past Board Chair
  • Greater Iowa City Area Homebuilders Association
    • Board of Directors
  • Iowa City High School, Varsity Assistant Football Coach
  • Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership Program
  • City High Alumni Association, Past President and Director
  • St. Mary’s Catholic Church
    • Finance Council
    • Lay Director
  • Iowa City Downtown Association, Past Director and Treasurer
  • Iowa City Historic Preservation Commission, former Vice-Chair
    • Community Investment Committee Chair