“Mike is the consummate trial attorney prosecutor, he lives for trial advocacy, he lives to try cases,” said Dick Ginkowski, a retired prosecutor who worked with Graveley in the Kenosha office for many years. “He is in his element in front of a jury.”
Ginkowski said Graveley also acted as a mentor to younger attorneys, spending time each Friday helping them go over cases or work on trial strategy.
“Mike is a guy who knows exactly what is needed to try a case and he will be quick to identify whether there is sufficient evidence or not,” Ginkowski said.
Local defense attorneys described Graveley as collegial outside the courtroom but very determined and highly competitive when prosecuting a case. He was universally described as a strong, effective litigator driven by a desire to win.
“If I was going to give advice to an out-of-town attorney I would say you should be prepared to face a skilled trial lawyer,” one former defense attorney said.
Outside of court, local attorneys said, Graveley is politically savvy and carefully considers public opinion in the way he presents himself.
Involved in criminal justice reforms
Graveley has been involved in criminal justice reform issues, including helping found the Kenosha Unity Coalition, which aims to use a public health approach to address violence in the community. He has promoted treatment courts, jobs programs for people after incarceration, and pardons for some people his office has prosecuted after they have served time and been successful in the community.