​Consistently recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® and Mid-South Super Lawyers® in the areas of Product Liability and Commercial Litigation, Mike is also among an elite group of lawyers recognized by Who’s Who Legal: Product Liability Defense as the best in the United States. Mike is AV®-Preeminent™ Peer Review rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, is a member of the Product Liability Advisory Council and International Association of Defense Counsel and serves on the Steering Committee for the Defense Research Institute’s Product Liability Substantive Law Committee.

Biography – View PDF Bio

Narrative Bio

Mike has been practicing law for 32 years and has tried numerous cases to verdict in multiple states. Over the last 25 years, Mike has developed strong relationships with a number of manufacturing clients that regularly call on him for representation throughout the United States in all manner of product liability and tort cases, as well as commercial litigation claims and cases.  Mike has handled claims in cases – in many instances for the same clients over a period of two decades – in approximately thirty different states, in both federal and state courts.  Mike also serves as a trusted advisor to several clients with respect to regulatory compliance, risk assessment and mitigation, and best practices under the Uniform Commercial Code with respect warranty terms/conditions, disclaimers, and limitations of remedies.

Originally from East Tennessee, Mike obtained his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Tennessee and has practiced with Butler Snow for his entire legal career.  He is admitted to both the Tennessee and Mississippi Bar, all state and federal courts in both jurisdictions, as well as the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Circuits.

 

Associations

Bar Admissions

  • Mississippi, 1990
  • Tennessee, 2020
  • U.S. District Courts
    • Mississippi: Northern, Southern
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
    • 5th Circuit
    • 6th Circuit

Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Commercial Litigation, 2015-2022
    • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2014-2022
  • Who's Who Legal
    • Product Liability Defence, 2016-2021
  • Martindale-Hubbell®
    • AV®– PreeminentPeer Review Rated
  • Super Lawyers®
    • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2011-2021
  • Benchmark Litigation
    • Member of the team selected as nationwide Product Liability Firm of the Year, 2018.

Education & Honors

  • University of Tennessee, J.D., with high honors, 1990
    • Articles Editor, Tennessee Law Review
    • Order of the Coif
  • University of Tennessee, B.S., Business Administration, with honors, 1987
    • Phi Kappa Phi

Experience

  • National product liability counsel for manufacturer of commercial kitchen equipment.
  • Representation of numerous companies and manufacturers in product liability, toxic tort and commercial litigation claims in over 25 states in both state and federal courts.
  • Summary judgment for construction hoist manufacturer in connection with personal injury claim alleging a product malfunction. Trepagnier v. Alimak Hek, Inc. and Alimak Hek Rental Group, LLC, 784 Fed. Appx. 195 (5th Cir. 2019).   
  • Co-lead counsel in case involving thousands of missing/dead cattle that plaintiff blamed on a particular cattle vaccine despite the fact that cattle were inoculated with numerous different products, commingled after arriving from different locations, were not properly segregated by lots, etc.  Obtained summary dismissal of all claims in connection with record falsification and discovery abuse by plaintiff.  Franklin Livestock v. Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., 251 F. Supp. 3d 962 (E.D.N.C. 2017), aff’d per curiam (4th Cir. 2018).
  • Obtained summary judgment for El Paso Corporation and Tennessee Gas Pipeline in fuel gas explosion/personal injury case occurring in Marshall County, Mississippi.  The explosion was allegedly associated with clients’ transportation/delivery of natural gas via their interstate transmission pipeline.  Elliott v. El Paso Corp., et al., 181 So. 3d 263 (Miss. 2015).
  • Lead counsel in defeating plaintiffs’ claims to certify a nationwide class action regarding an FDA approved veterinary drug product.  The court denied plaintiffs class certification efforts following a four day hearing. Haley, et al. v. Merial Ltd., et al., 292 F.R.D. 339 (N.D. Miss. 2013).
  • Obtained summary judgment for client in fuel gas explosion/personal injury case in Canton, Mississippi. Blackmon v. City of Canton, et al., Circuit Court of Madison County, Mississippi (February 2013).
  • Lead counsel in Ortego v. Merial, LLC, a product liability case involving the efficacy of an animal drug product.  The case was tried in August 2011 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana and resulted in a defense verdict.  
  • Obtained summary judgment and dismissal of all claims against forklift manufacturer in case of alleged defective design resulting in serious personal injury in a work related accident.  Townsend v. Doosan Infracore American Corp., 3 So. 3d 150 (Miss. Ct. App. 2009).
  • More...

Papers, Presentations, & Publications

  • Speaker, “Anticipating Potential Litigation Challenges and Concerns of In-House Counsel,” Chem/Pertrochem Product Liability & Regulatory Reform Conference, Houston, Tx, January 2017.  
  • Co-Author, "An Overview of the Legal Standard Regarding Product Liability Design Defect Claims and a Fifty State Survey on the Applicable Law in Each Jurisdiction," IADC Product Liability Committee Newsletter, September 2014 & IADC Defense Counsel Journal, January 2015.  
  • Co-Author, "An Overview of the Legal Standard Regarding Product Liability Design Defect Claims and a Fifty State Survey on the Applicable Law in Each Jurisdiction," IADC Product Liability Committee Newsletter, September 2014.
  • ​Co-Author, "Taking Effective Depositions, Mechanics of the Deposition, Tactical Considerations," DRI Young Lawyer Seminar, San Diego, CA, June 2007.
  • Author and Speaker, "Taking Effective Depositions in Mississippi, Mechanics of the Deposition, Tactical Considerations," Lorman Education Services, July 2004 and 2005.
  • Author and Speaker, "Defending the Component Part Manufactured in the Product Liability Contract," Defense Research Institute Products Liability Seminar, San Francisco, CA, December 1999.