Mike is a partner in our business litigation practice group and serves insurance and reinsurance clients with their complex commercial litigation needs. In practice since 1974, he has substantial experience litigating a wide variety of business disputes, including corporate governance matters, reinsurance matters, insurance insolvency matters, securities and fraud litigation, antitrust litigation, and consumer class-action litigation and contractual disputes. He has extensive trial experience in state and federal courts in Illinois, New York, California, and other states, and in business arbitrations. He has also successfully argued cases before the United States Courts of Appeal for the Second, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits.
Mike joined Butler Rubin in 2007 from Lord Bissell & Brook, where he had been a partner since 1983 and had served as chairman of the Business Litigation Department from 2001-2004. He is a member of the Management Committee at Butler Rubin.
Mike was named as a leader in insurance law in The Best Lawyers in America (2012 and 2013). In 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012, he was named as a leader in business litigation by Illinois Super Lawyers. And, as part of the Law Bulletin Publishing Group’s 2012 survey of the top lawyers in the state, Mike was designated as a "Leading Lawyer" in Illinois in Commercial Litigation.
Mike is representing a mortgage insurer and a credit insurer in lawsuits against various lenders concerning mortgage and credit insurance policies. He is currently handling the following pending matters for Old Republic Insurance Company:
- Old Republic Insurance Company, et al. v. The Bank of New York Mellon, Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., et al., Case No. 08-CH 47501 (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois): Successful in withstanding motions to dismiss Old Republic’s fraud and rescission counts against Countrywide per order of March 27, 2010.
- M&I Bank FSB v. Old Republic Ins. Co., No. 09-CV-7648 (Circuit Court of Milwaukee Co.)
- Guaranty Bank, F.S.B., v. Old Republic Ins. Co., No. 09-CV-013592 (Circuit Court of Milwaukee Co.)
- Bank of America, N.A. v. Old Republic Insurance Company, Case No. 3:10-cv-553 (U.S. District Court, W.D.N.C)
- The Federal Deposit Ins. Co. as Receiver of Amtrust Bank v. Old Republic Insurance Company, Case No. 1:11-cv-371-JG (U.S. District Court, N.D. OH)
And, he's representing Republic Mortgage Insurance Company in the following matters:
- Republic Mortgage Insurance Company and Republic Mortgage Insurance Company of North Carolina v. Countrywide Financial Corporation, et al., Index No. 09-603915 (Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York): Countrywide’s Motion to Compel arbitration of the dispute was granted. See Republic Mortgage Insurance Company and Republic Mortgage Insurance Company of North Carolina v. Countrywide Financial Corporation, et al., 87 A.D.3d 457, 928 N.Y.S.2d 42 (Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, August 18, 2011).
- First Tennessee Bank N. A. v. Republic Mortgage Insurance Company and Republic Mortgage Insurance Company of North Carolina, Case No. 2:10-cv-02513-JPM-cgc (U.S. District Court, W.D. TN): Republic Mortgage Insurance Company’s Motion to Dismiss was granted in part. See First Tennessee Bank N. A. v. Republic Mortgage Insurance Company and Republic Mortgage Insurance Company of North Carolina, Case No. 2:10-cv-02513-JPM-cgc (U.S. District Court, W.D. TN, Feb. 25, 2011).
- JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Republic Mortgage Insurance Company, Case No.: 2:10-CV-06141 (U.S. District Court, NJ): Republic Mortgage Insurance Company’s Motion to Dismiss was granted (with leave to amend) pursuant to Opinion set forth at JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Republic Mortgage Insurance Company, 2011 WL 1750439 (D.N.J., May 4, 2011).
In addition, during his career Mike has been involved in a multitude of noteworthy cases.
Reinsurance arbitration/litigation matters include:
- Served as trial counsel for a state Life & Health Guaranty Association in connection with setoff litigation against a reinsurer (obtained a judgment valued at $53 million; judgment was vacated on appeal when legislation amended the setoff law)
- Obtained multimillion recovery in an arbitration for reinsurers based on cedent’s misrepresentations regarding location and spread of property risks in connection with Hurricane Andrew losses
- Obtained favorable settlement for reinsurers after arbitration of whether cedent submitted professional liability losses in bad faith
- Successfully defended reinsurer against cedent’s lawsuit for reimbursement of declaratory judgment expenses incurred by cedent in underlying case
- In the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, successfully defended arbitration award for reinsurers against claim that it was based on “manifest disregard of law”
- Obtained for recovery for cedent under letters of credit posted by alien reinsurer who was the subject of a Section 304 bankruptcy proceeding
Other matters include:
- Defended officers and directors of a mutual insurance company against class action lawsuit alleging breach of fiduciary duty, seeking over $500 million in damages (matter settled)
- Successfully defended actuarial firm against $50 million fraud, negligent misrepresentation and malpractice claims brought by the receiver of an insolvent life insurer after a two-week trial and subsequent appeal
- Successfully defending against a motion to enjoin the merger of a mutual insurance company with $1 billion in assets into an $8 billion asset mutual company
- Obtained reversal by Alabama Supreme Court of $30 million jury verdict for compensatory and punitive damages on the basis that the award was barred res judicata and collateral estoppel effects of prior arbitration award
- Successfully defending an insurance company against a consumer class-action claim relating to its obligation under its auto insurance policies to pay for repairs made with after-market parts
- Successfully obtained a vacation of an insurance department order requiring a mutual insurance company to adopt SEC-type proxy disclosure standards regarding the election of its directors
- Conducted an extensive Rule 2001 examination on behalf of a bankrupt airline and its committee of equity security holders to determine whether American Airlines was guilty of predatory pricing in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act
- Defended auto insurer in connection with claims by insurance regulator and policyholders regarding its nonstandard auto policy
- Represents insurer in profession malpractice claim against law firm for its defense of the insured in environmental pollution declaratory judgment claim (matter pending)
Affirmed on appeal, Trustmark Insurance Company v. General & Cologne Life Re of America, 424 F.3d 543 (7th Cir. 2005) — Successfully defended life reinsurer against breach of contract and promissory estoppel claims regarding the acquisition of a $35 million block of insurance business after a two-week trial.