Michael Mihm’s trial practice focuses on representing plaintiffs in legal malpractice litigation and commercial, corporate, and business tort litigation. Michael is also represents clients in larger probate litigation matters.
His legal malpractice clients are often companies or business people. His legal malpractice cases typically involve underlying business or real estate transactions, including tax, estate planning, intellectual property, land use, and many other matters. Michael's trial teams have recovered some of the largest legal malpractice jury verdicts and settlements in the U.S.
In recent years, Michael has tried cases to verdict or handled lawsuits in California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Texas. In June 2013, Michael and his partner, Mike Ogborn, obtained a $12.8 million jury verdict in state district court of Salt Lake City, Utah. The verdict, one of the largest plaintiff legal malpractice jury verdicts in recent U.S. history, arose out of a prominent law firm's mishandling of a development application for a 8,650 acre ranch near Park City, Utah. http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/2013/06/stoel-rives-ordered-to-pay-128m-in.html?page=all . In April 2014, Michael obtained a $2.5 million jury verdict on behalf of the owners of a prominent Colorado retail business, Applejack Associates, Inc., in a legal malpractice case arising out of an attorney's breach of fiduciary duty when aiding a trustee in an attempt to seize control of the family-owned company.
Michael's business litigation often involves claims arising from breach of contract, corporate control, oil & gas transactions, real estate disputes, oppression of minority business owners, and claims arising from breaches of fiduciary duty and other misconduct by company insiders.
Michael typically becomes involved in probate litigation matters at the request of probate lawyers when it appears that a matter is likely to go to trial.
Michael is the Immediate Past President of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA), an approximately 1,300 member organization for plaintiff and consumer trial lawyers in Colorado. Michael served as President of CTLA from August 2014 - August 2015.
Michael has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 editions of The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Legal Malpractice Law-Plaintiff, for which he was named the 2015 Denver Lawyer of the Year. He has also been selected as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Since 2005, Michael has served as managing editor of Lawyers' Professional Liability in Colorado, 2015 Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc., 2015).
This two-volume, 50-chapter treatise, updated annually, focuses on lawyers' professional liability and legal ethics issues. Michael recruited some of Colorado’s most knowledgeable lawyers in their respective fields to write chapters for the book. Michael wrote or co-wrote 6 chapters in the book.
Michael is rated AV® Preeminent™ and 5.0 out of 5.0 by Martindale-Hubbell, and is rated “10.0 out of 10 Superb” by Avvo.com.
In 2006, Michael was designated as a Colorado Super Lawyer®, and he has received this designation each year since 2006. Michael is also active in the International Society of Primerus Law Firms, a highly-selective alliance of more than 190 top-rated, independent law firms located in more than 135 cities around the world.
Michael is married to Nanette Mihm; they have two adult children, and one newborn grandchild. Michael and Nanette make their home in Roxborough, Colorado. When not practicing law, Michael’s outside interests include travel, film, jazz, and American History.
Plaintiff Legal Malpractice. Business and Probate Litigation — Michael focuses his practice on representing plaintiffs in legal malpractice cases, mostly involving underlying business transactions and on business litigation. Upon request of probate lawyers, he also handles the trials of estate and probate litigation matters.
Legal Malpractice - $2.5 million Jury Verdict - Denver, Colorado — Michael and his trial team represented the owners of a prominent Colorado business in a legal malpractice lawsuit against the owners’ former lawyer. The lawyer had secretly worked with disgruntled family members in an attempt to seize control of the company, resulting in expensive litigation. The owners retained Michael to recover their losses caused by the lawyer’s betrayal. Michael sued the lawyer and his law firm for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and other claims. In April 2014, after 9-day trial, a Denver jury awarded $2.5 million to Michael’s clients.
Legal Malpractice - $12.8 million Jury Verdict - Salt Lake City, Utah — In June 2013, Michael and his partner, Mike Ogborn, obtained a $12.8 million jury verdict in Salt Lake County District Court in a lawsuit arising out of the defendant law firm's mishandling of a development application for a 8,650 acre ranch near Park City, Utah. After a 3-week trial, the jury returned a verdict of $21.36 for Michael client, but allocated 40% comparative fault to the client, thus reducing the verdict to $12.8 million. The case is now in the post-trial motion phase. http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/2013/06/stoel-rives-ordered-to-pay-128m-in.html?page=all
Catastrophic Personal Injury - $2.875 million settlement - Denver, Colorado — In 2009, Michael obtained a $2.875 million settlement for a client crushed in a crane accident on a construction site.
Fraud and Embezzlement - $632,000 jury verdict - Fort Worth, Texas — In 2008, Michael represented a private equity fund who sued the former CEO of one of its companies for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and embezzlement. After a 10-day trial, during which the defendant filed bankruptcy, a state court jury in Fort Worth, Texas, found the defendants liable for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and civil conspiracy, and awarded damages of $632,000 to our client; the trial court later awarded attorney fees and costs, and other relief. The following year, Michael successfully tried the same case in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court as an adversary proceeding to deny the defendant's discharge in bankruptcy. International Beauty Products, LLC vs. Garth Beveridge, Dinah Beveridge and Craig Beveridge, District Court for Tarrant County Texas, 48th Judicial District
Minority Owner Squeeze Out - $3.45 million settlement - Salt Lake City, Utah — In 2008, Michael and Elizabeth Hyatt negotiated a $3.45 million settlement for their clients, investors in a start-up business that had grown to more than $1 billion in annual sales in less than 5 years. The defendants, the company and its senior management, had squeezed out our clients from the business. We filed a lawsuit in U.S. Distrtict Court for the District of Utah, and settled the case several weeks before trial.