Salt Lake City Business Lawyer Max Wheeler

Max D. Wheeler


Max Wheeler’s practice focuses on complex civil litigation and white-collar criminal defense. He has a reputable practice for his many high-profile cases, both as a federal prosecutor and while in private practice. Two of his noteworthy cases, include the Novell v. Microsoft antitrust case and the 2002 Utah Olympics bribery case.
Max’s practice includes many years as a trial lawyer which began in Washington D.C., where he joined the Criminal Section of the Tax Division, United States Department of Justice. In that position, he traveled throughout the United States prosecuting criminal tax cases in various federal courts.
Max has practiced law in the highest echelons in Utah, during his time in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah, where he represented the federal government in both civil and criminal cases. He held various positions under several administrations and under four different United States attorneys, including Chief Criminal Assistant and First Assistant, United States Attorney.
After leaving government service in 1979, Max entered private practice and joined SCM. 


  • J.D., University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law, 1968
  • B.S., Weber State University, Political Science, 1965

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Utah State Bar
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court, District of Utah

Legal Services

  • Salt Lake Bar Association
  • Utah Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Public Prosecutors Committee – Chairman
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Federal Criminal Rules Committee – Chairman
  • Bar Exam Writers Committee on Evidence – Chairman
  • American Inns of Court VII – President
  • Federal Courts Disciplinary Committee – Chairman
  • National Trial Lawyers
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • University of Utah, College of Law – Adjunct Professor
  • Best Lawyers® 2017 Bet-the-Company Litigation “Lawyer of the Year” in Salt Lake City
  • Best Lawyers® 2013 and 2019 Criminal Defense: White-Collar “Lawyer of the Year” in Salt Lake City
  • Distinguished Service Award, The Federal Bar Association, 2003
  • Utah Trial Lawyer of the Year, 1997
  • American College of Trial Lawyers – Fellow
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America® for Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, and Criminal Defense: White-Collar
  • Named Lawyer of the Year, 2006
  • Ranked in Chambers USA
  • Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer review as AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5.
  • Recognized as Utah Legal Elite by Utah Business Magazine

Outside of the office, Max is the father of four children, a grandfather to eight children, and has been married 51 years to the former Diane Smurthwaite. Max was born and raised in Ogden, Utah.