Michael L. O

Michael L. O'Donnell

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2005

Mike O'Donnell is a founder and the chairman of Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell.  His national litigation practice focuses on complex civil litigation involving product liability, professional liability, torts, class actions and mass actions, commercial litigation, and bet-the-company matters.  Mike has appeared as lead counsel in state and federal courts in 25 states.   Mike has served as national and regional counsel for a number of Fortune 500 companies, including General Electric, Advanced Bionics, McKesson, Boston Scientific, and Pfizer.  He represented NBC Universal in a case involving a catastrophic fire at Universal Studios and  is national resolution counsel to GE on product liability cases across the country.  

Mike was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, served as the chairman of its Colorado chapter for two consecutive years, and currently serves as the Regent for the 10th Circuit. He was also elected a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and to the American Board of Trial Advocates.  Mike is a former chairman of The Network of Trial Law Firms, a 7,000-member lawyer organization that offers continuing legal education programs on litigation topics.

Mike is ranked the number one lawyer in Colorado on the 2013 Colorado Super Lawyers list and has been on its top 10 list every year since 2009. Best Lawyers lists Mike in five litigation practice areas and named him "Denver Legal Malpractice Lawyer of the Year" for 2011 and "Denver Product Liability Litigation Lawyer of the Year" for 2012 and 2013.  In 2011, Law Week Colorado selected Mike as one of 10 "Lawyers of the Decade" in Colorado. In a survey conducted by Law Week Colorado in 2010, Mike was selected by his peers as the "Best Trial Lawyer" in Colorado.   

In 2012, Mike was honored with the DU Law Outstanding Alumni Award which is presented each year to one DU Law graduate who has demonstrated professional achievement and humanitarian service to the community.  In 2008, Mike became the seventh defense lawyer to receive an award from the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association for the highest standards of competency, ethics, and professionalism. 

University of Notre DameBA 1976University of Denver College of LawJ.D. 1979

Client Comments

"Mike O'Donnell is a great trial lawyer with 30 years of experience, a fine leader of his firm, and an attorney who really understands business needs. "

"Mike was chief outside counsel in several hundred product liability cases and claims involving a medical device when I joined Guidant Endovascular Solutions as General Counsel in 2003. He is the ideal retained lawyer - extremely responsive to client needs and desires, legally savvy about national litigation issues, mindful of costs, and one of the most patient settlement negotiators that I have encountered. He is a very capable manager, both of his own team and of the many issues that arise in mass tort litigation. He keeps his client well informed and never takes the client for granted. Above all, Mike is a nice guy whose honesty and sincerity are beyond question, and he is one who also demonstrates a well-developed sense of humor. Our business relationship ended when Boston Scientific and Abbott acquired Guidant in 2006. "

-Jon Nygaard
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

"In my last job, I was the general counsel of a Fortune 500 medical products company that had a lot of litigation. I worked with a number of outside lawyers and none came close to measuring up to Mike O'Donnell. He is an outstanding legal strategist, effective communicator at all levels of personnel (for the client and with opposing counsel and the court), and a very effective collaborator when there are multiple parties to bring together. Moreover, Mike was always frank and candid with me. He didn't tell me what I wanted to hear - he told me what I needed to hear. His timeliness is the best I have ever seen, and his efficiency in getting complex matters done without over billing is simply outstanding. Simply put, Mike is the best!"

-Debra Minott
State Personnel Director
State of Indiana

Office Location

370 Seventeenth Street, Suite 4500
Denver, CO 80202-5647
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2017 Lawyer of the Year in Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants of the Denver Metro Area2015 Lawyer of the Year in Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants of the Denver Metro Area2014 Lawyer of the Year in Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants of the Denver Metro Area2013 Lawyer of the Year in Product Liability Litigation - Defendants of the Denver Metro Area2012 Lawyer of the Year in Product Liability Litigation of the Denver Metro Area2011 Lawyer of the Year in Legal Malpractice Law of the Denver Metro Area
Michael L. O'Donnell has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2017!Michael L. O'Donnell has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2015!Michael L. O'Donnell has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2014!Michael L. O'Donnell has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2013!Michael L. O'Donnell has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2012!Michael L. O'Donnell has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2011!

Practice Areas

Bet-the-Company Litigation
Commercial Litigation (Civil Litigation, Class Actions, Complex Litigation, Insurance, Mass Tort, Product Liability, Professional Malpractice)
Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants
Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants
Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
Product Liability Litigation - Defendants
Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants