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Overview

Michael is a commercial litigation attorney who sees litigation as a chess match—and who aims to be three moves ahead.

He is passionate about litigation’s intellectual challenges, and digs deeply into case details. Michael sees it as a privilege to help clients solve their business problems.

Michael’s practice is concentrated on commercial litigation and product liability, and he serves clients in a diverse range of industries. He represents hedge funds, partnerships, public and private corporations, and REITs in breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, mass tort and class action product liability. Michael’s experience is both national and international—serving as national coordinating trial counsel in mass tort and class action suits, and representing clients in mediations and arbitrations both domestically and in Europe, the Caribbean and Asia.

Because of this breadth of clients, Michael offers an in-depth understanding of varied industries. While each client represents a unique business and a unique situation, Michael’s decades of experience ensures he’s handled a similar case.
 


Industries

Service

Education

  • J.D. , Loyola University Chicago
  • B.S., Marquette University
    • summa cum laude

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
Experience

Intellectual Property

  • Obtained favorable result for professional services company in non-compete, trade secret and breach of contract dispute against former employee attempting to take over $12 million of client business.
  • Prevailed in trade secret matter in which client's proprietary drawings and technology migrated to competing company via former employee. Matter concluded in less than 60 days with all client's intellectual property returned and agreed restrictions accepted by opposing company and former employee.
  • Represented professional services client and new employees in breach of contract, breach of non-compete obligations, trade secret violations and tortious interference claims by competing firm. New employees had left competing company, bringing over $60 million of business to our client. Resolved matter on terms very favorable to both our client and newly joined employees.

Real Estate

  • Obtained favorable resolution for major REIT shopping mall owner and developer in multi-billion dollar breach of contract, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of loyalty action initiated by investors and limited partners.
  • Secured successful resolution for international commercial real estate developer when foundation for planned 38-story office building on adjacent property improperly infringed on client's property.
  • Represented commercial real estate developer in partnership dispute against general partner and manager involving claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, self-dealing, fraud and conversion. Matter was fully resolved creatively utilizing 1031 exchanges, distributions and cash payments.

Food and Agribusiness

  • Served as lead plaintiff counsel appointed by federal court in multi-district action involving 12 national distributors and +180 end-users of contaminated food product sold by a single producer. Plaintiffs' collective damages exceeded $150 million. Settlement avoided defendant bankruptcy filing and most plaintiffs recovered in excess of 80% of supported damages.
  • Defended agrichemical client in fraud and breach of contract case against its chemical supplier seeking damages in excess of $50 million. On eighth day of trial, case settled when defendant offered to pay nearly 85% of our client's damages plus all attorney fees incurred in instant lawsuit.

Transportation

  • Represented major airline following fatal crash of commercial passenger jet. Court found insufficient basis for plaintiffs to seek punitive damages, which led to resolution of pending personal injury cases.

Healthcare

  • Defended medical services company in breach of contract case. Major physician group claimed failure to collect sufficient percentage of physicians' billings over multi-year period involving +300,000 transactions with multiple locations, operating systems and payer contracts. Case was tried to verdict where plaintiff was awarded only fraction of its claimed damages. Matter proceeded to appeal and was subsequently resolved.

American Arbitration Act

  • Represented Japanese company in breach of contract dispute with German company covering multiple contracts over several years with claimed damages in excess of $200 million. Under American Arbitration Act, opposing party was awarded only small fraction of claimed damages and far less than had been demanded in settlement. Matter was subsequently disputed in confirmation hearings held in Southern District of New York, where award was eventually affirmed to benefit of our client.

Mass Tort and Product Liability

  • Successfully represented international client as national trial counsel for toxic tort exposure matters in thousands of cases across United States for more than 10 years, often in nation's most plaintiff-friendly venues (Madison County, IL; St. Clair County, IL; Kanawha County, WV; Allegheny County, PA; St. Louis City, MO; Cook County, IL; Philadelphia, PA). Despite millions of dollars in settlement demands, to date, only two settlement payments have been made, both at very de minumus amounts.

Manufacturing

  • Secured dismissal on summary judgment for commercial curtain wall manufacturer in multi-defendant construction case filed by owner and developer of 40-story condominium building claiming breach of contracts had caused permanent damage to building value and lost profits due to delays.

Tax

  • Defended publicly traded company in business filings and tax dispute wherein State of Illinois sought over $2 million in fines and penalties. Matter was successfully resolved with client paying less than $30,000.
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