Michael is a Shareholder and member of Maynard Cooper's Litigation Section and its Insurance and Financial Services Practice group. Attorney, speaker, and storyteller, Michael has been called on as lead trial counsel since he was a senior associate – hired at the outset of cases – or developing his niche – parachuting into cases in every tort hell jurisdiction in the United States for his clients since the early 1990's. He has been involved in litigation in such jurisdictions including New York, California, Alaska, Florida, Texas, West Virginia, and 14 other states.
McWane, Inc. v. Lanier, 2015 WL 399582 (Del. Ch. Jan. 30, 2015)
Successfully opposed selling stockholders’ motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction in litigation following merger and obtained order dismissing related purported stockholder suit in another forum.
Michael's courtroom experience is significant and diverse.
Michael has obtained complete defense verdicts in fraud and bad faith cases in bet-the-company cases for a dozen companies in literally the most dangerous punitive damage jurisdictions in the United States, including: Southern California state court, West Virginia state court, Mississippi state court, Alabama state court and Texas state court, and others.
In 2017, after a 3 week jury trial in San Diego California, Michael obtained a complete defense verdict in a bet the company bad faith insurance case with huge potential impact on one of the most contested issues in the industry.
In 2017, Michael secured a summary judgment in a multi million dollar tower/excess layer liability case pending in the usually plaintiff friendly venue of Dallas Texas state court.
In 2016 he argued before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York and secured affirmance of a groundbreaking dismissal of a putative class action defeating allegations of exposure in excess of $100 million.
In 2016 Michael successfully defended a high exposure D&O coverage case before Judge David Carter in the Southern District of California.
In 2015 obtained a complete defense victory in a multi-week jury trial on bad faith claims involving issues of employee theft coverage in a $50 million damages claim in California Superior Court – Orange County.
When on the other side of the "V," Michael has had record-setting verdicts and resolutions for his corporate clients, including:
Recently obtained $11.4 million verdict after a three-week trial, argued and secured the verdict on appeal to the state Supreme Court, in a precedent-setting commercial dispute.
Obtained eight figure resolution for the law firm's longest standing commercial client resulting from fraud in the sale and acquisition of emerging technology companies.
Obtained summary judgment for insurer in Fidelity/Crime coverage and bad faith case defending claimed damages of $60 million. Affirmed by Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2011.
In 2011, Michael obtained summary judgment in a $10 million suicide case in Nevada.
Also in 2011, he achieved the dismissal of two separate national class actions pending in New York.
He and his firm serve as national trial counsel and national class action counsel for several companies in their IRS §412 [i] and §419 (A) (F) (6), and VEBA litigation.
He was also in the forefront of industry changing litigation involving Stranger Owned Life Insurance and premium finance cases. He has obtained summary judgments in STOLI cases in Colorado, Georgia, and California.
He served as lead counsel in securing the global resolution of over 10,000 class action opt-out claims over a three year period for several different Fortune 100 insurers and financial service companies relating to pending and threatened opt-out litigation in jurisdictions throughout the United States.
Michael is routinely engaged as lead counsel in the trial of high profile insurance, bad faith and coverage cases relating to Life Insurance, P&C, Reinsurance, D&O and Fidelity in dangerous punitive damage verdict venues regionally and nationally. He serves as the National Trial Counsel for several of the largest insurance companies and financial service companies in the United States. He has served as lead trial counsel for AIG/American General domestic life insurance companies, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, US Life Insurance Company, Hartford Life and Fire Insurance, USAA, CNA, Old Line Insurance Company, West Coast Life Insurance Company, FIC Insurance Group, One America Securities, Investors Life Insurance Company, American United Life Insurance Company, New York Life Insurance Company and the Principal Life Insurance Company.
Chambers USA, Leading Practitioner in Litigation: General Commercial (2009-present)