R. Michael Vang was born and raised in Casper Wyoming, where he graduated from Kelly Walsh High School in 1982. R. Michael Vang and his high school debate partner qualified to attend the National Forensic League’s High School Debate Tournament at the University of San Francisco (USF) in June 2012. The day after Mr. Vang returned from the national high school debate tournament at USF, a person, who was later convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide for drinking and driving, killed his parents. (Felske v. State, 706 P.2d 257 (Wyo. 1985)). Mr. Vang received a debate scholarship to attend the University of Wyoming, where he graduated with a B.S. degree in Political Science and where he also attended law school and obtained his J.D degree. Mr. Vang was admitted to the Wyoming State Bar and Wyoming Federal District Court in 1995 and was admitted to practice in the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal in 1997.
Mr. Vang’s second jury trial involved a person accused of a driving under the influence (DUI). Given his personal experience, Mr. Vang was initially leery of representing the person accused of the DUI charge. However, after reviewing the discovery in the case and doing his own research on the science being used to support the DUI charge, Mr. Vang agreed to take the case and was able to convince a jury that the DUI charge was not fair under the facts of his client’s case. Over the years, Mr. Vang has discovered that the DUI laws are based more on political expediency than science, which causes gross injustices with wrongful convictions and plea-bargains in DUI cases. As a consequence, approximately ninety-five percent (95%) of Mr. Vang’s practice is dedicated to defending those accused of impaired driving.
Mr. Vang is a founding member of the DUI Defense Lawyers Association (DUIDLA), as well as a co-chairman of the DUIDLA Amicus Committee. Mr. Vang has been a member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD) since 1997; a sustaining member of NCDD since 2000; and has been the Wyoming State Delegate for the NCDD since the NCDD State Delegate program was created. Mr. Vang is a member of the Wyoming Trial Lawyer’s Association (WTLA) and the WTLA frequently asks Mr. Vang to present lectures for the WTLA concerning the subject of impaired driving laws. Mr. Vang has also been invited to speak on the subject of impaired driving laws by the Wyoming Governors Conference on Impaired Driving; the Wyoming State Bar Association (WSBA); the NCDD, the DUIDLA, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ); and, the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia (ICLEG). Mr. Vang has nineteen reported cases with the Wyoming Supreme Court, which specifically address DUI and implied consent issues. Mr. Vang is the only lawyer in the State of Wyoming that has earned “The ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer Scientist Designation as recognized by the Chemistry and Law Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS).”