General Commercial Litigation
Mr. Portinga has handled a wide variety of complicated commercial cases. His clients have included oil and gas producers, a manufacturer of implantable medical devices, a national communications company, the co-inventor of a popular ultrasonic toothbrush and a chain of truck stops.
Insurance Coverage Litigation
Mr. Portinga chairs Miller Johnson's insurance coverage practice group. He has assisted policyholders in enforcing their rights to a defense and indemnification from their insurers in numerous matters, many of which involved millions of dollars. He has also represented policyholders in obtaining coverage for property damage and environmental contamination at their businesses. He was an inaugural member of the governing council of the Insurance and Indemnity Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.
Mr. Portinga has handled ERISA cases in the Western District of Michigan, the Eastern District of Michigan and the Sixth Circuit, representing employee welfare plans, third-party administrators and insurance carriers. Mr. Portinga’s cases have involved both employee welfare plans and employee pension plans. Mr. Portinga is an active member of the Defense Research Institute’s Life, Health and Disability Litigation Committee and is a contributor to the committee’s newsletter.
As a former law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, Mr. Portinga has seen the inside and outside of appellate process. He has handled appeals in the Federal Circuit, the Sixth Circuit, the Seventh Circuit and in the Michigan Court of Appeals. These cases have covered diverse topics, including ERISA, insurance, oil and gas law and patents. Some of Mr. Portinga’s appeals include:
- Stryker v. XL Ins. Am., 735 F.3d 349 (6th Cir. 2012)(representing the policyholder in a multi-million dollar coverage dispute)
- Genaw v Genaw, 486 Mich. 940 (2010) (obtaining peremptory relief in the Michigan Supreme Court in a case involving life insurance benefits)
- Moore v. Lafayette Life Insurance Co., 458 F.3d 416 (6th Cir. 2006) (representing the insurer in an ERISA case while the Sixth Circuit affirmed an attorneys’ fee award to the insurer).
- DFS Secured Healthcare v. Caregivers Great Lakes, 384 F.3d 338 (7th Cir. 2004)(representing the appellant in a case where three issues of first impression under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act were certified to the Indiana Supreme Court, whereupon the case settled).
- Rorke v. Savoy Energy, 260 Mich. App. 251; 159 Oil & Gas Rptr. 681 (2003)(representing an oil and gas producer in successfully enforcing its rights under a lease).
Professional Affiliations and Activities
Mr. Portinga currently serves as the treasurer for the Western District of Michigan's chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He also serves on the advisory committee for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education and on the Character and Fitness Committee for the State Bar of Michigan. Mr. Portinga served as chair of the State Bar of Michigan's United States Courts Committee for the 2010-2011 bar year. He also served as a member of State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners from 2002-2005 and in 2007, he was elected to the inaugural council of the State Bar of Michigan Insurance and Indemnity Law Section. He is a former chair of Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar.