Mike has extensive experience defending corporations in product liability and commercial litigation claims in more than 25 states nationwide.

Biography – View PDF Bio

Associations

Bar Admissions

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

Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Commercial Litigation, 2015-2020
    • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2014-2020
  • Who's Who Legal
    • Product Liability Defense, 2016-2019
  • Martindale-Hubbell®
    • AV®– PreeminentPeer Review Rated
  • Super Lawyers®
    • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2011-2018
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • During 2009, obtained summary judgment and judgment for costs against farm entity in connection with claim for alleged crop injury purportedly related to herbicide applications made in potato fields.  Matthews v. FMC Corporation & Ag Tech, Inc; District Court for the Fifth Judicial District of Idaho in and for Cassia County; Case No. CV-06-1125.  
  • More...

Papers, Presentations, & Publications

  • Speaker, “Anticipating Potential Litigation Challenges and Concerns of In-House Counsel,” Chem/Pertrochem Product Liabilty & 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.