Michael Crawford was a defense lawyer.
In 1985, Michael was one of the town's active lawyers.
In 1986, Jill Abbott approached Michael for representation in her divorce from John Abbott. An ecstatic Jill was in a flirtatious mood during her discussion with Michael about her divorce settlement. Jill learned from Michael that John's fortune was much bigger than expected. Jill had dinner with Michael and they grow closer. Jill had another meeting with Michael assuring him that nothing could shake her case. Katherine Chancellor handed a surprised John the photographic display of Jill's adulterous affair just as Jill confessed to Michael that she kept an important part of their case a secret.
After her intense talk with Michael, Jill called Sven Petersen, the Genoa City Hotel masseur, to render his services. Michael and Jill had a talk about the latest twist in her case: the resurfaced photographs. Michael informed Jill that they would have to drastically lower their demands. Jill is celebrating her impending victory in the divorce proceedings with Michael Crawford. The lawyer stuns Jill by kissing her. David Kimble romanced his boss Jill knowing that she was connected to the Chancellor fortune and hoping to get his hands on it.
But Jill moved on to Michael and fired David. Jill and Michael began having an affair. Jill decided to hold a press conference. She got panicky about whether or not to call off the press conference. In spite of Michael's advice she decided to go through with it after all when a movie producer approached her and offered to shoot a film of her life. In the press room Katherine was parading amidst the reporters. She was surprised to find John in the background. Realizing that Jill would indeed announce that the reason for their divorce was her affair with Jack Abbott, John stopped the press conference and ushered a grinning Jill out of the room.
At the Genoa City Hotel, Michael found Jill soaked in blood in the shower. As Jill was rushed to the hospital, police detectives Carl Williams and Salena Wylie took on the case and started to question Michael about who would have motive to kill Jill. At Genoa City Memorial Hospital, Michael was pacing up and down the halls as Dr. Hank Steele was fighting to save Jill's life. Michael hired Paul Williams to investigate Jill's shooting. Carl and Paul question Michael about Jill's divorce settlement because it could have served as John's motive to shoot Jill.
Katherine was confronted by the police about being at the Genoa City Hotel the night of the shooting. Brock Reynolds urged his mother to cooperate. With Michael, Liz Foster and Phillip Chancellor III by her side, Jill finally awoke for a few seconds. Jill was certain that Jack and Katherine were plotting against her again. Michael wondered why Jill was finding solace in the fact that her son left town so she told him the story of her pregnancy. Jill told Michael that Ashley Abbott tried to persuade her from showing up at court by threatening to block all her plans for Jabot Cosmetics.
Jill tried to convince herself and Michael that Kay was her shooter. Fully recovered, Jill informed Michael of the promising developments regarding her men's line. Michael consoled Jill about her insecurities and fears that her shooter could return to finish the job. Jill admitted her doubts that it wasn't Kay who tried to kill her after all. After a conversation with Michael, Jill went to see Jack. Jill confided in Michael. When Jill could not reach Michael on the phone, she hurried out of her room and was shocked to run directly into Sven!
After revealing he was her shooter and kidnapping her, Sven let Jill call Michael but was listening in carefully on their conversation. Afterward, Sven restrained Jill preventing her from fleeing his apartment. Jack learned that Jill did not go with Michael on his trip as planned. After she was rescued, Michael informed Jill that Sven had not yet been captured and was still on the run. Jill explained her complex relationship with her son to Michael maintaining that she loved Phillip more than anything despite their frictions.
Jill explained her plan to override the Abbotts at Jabot to Michael. Michael surprised Jill with a romantic dinner in her suite and later proposed. Jill shied away from an immediate answer. Michael was shocked to hear that Jill received mail from Mitchell Sherman but threw the documents away. Michael continued to be worried that Jill threw away a letter from Kay's attorney and wanted to delve into the matter further. Jill informed Michael of Kay's scheme to steal Phillip from her by adopting him.
Jill assured Michael that she was going to fight Kay with everything she had. Jill explained to Michael that Katherine's actions were especially outrageous since it was Kay who stripped the boy of the Chancellor name in the first place. Jill was unsure how to react to Michael's proposal. He thought married life would increase Jill's chances in court but she remained hesitant. Michael and Jill later ended their relationship. He then dated Mandy Kemper.
In 1989, Michael represented Nina Webster in her lawsuit against Katherine and Jill for possession of Phillip's estate after his death.
In 1990, Michael moved to Chicago.