Michael T. Mihm, Esq.
Michael Mihm is a trial attorney who focuses on legal malpractice and business litigation. Michael has obtained some of the largest plaintiff legal malpractice jury verdicts and settlements in the United States. He is included among 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 is also the managing editor and an author ofLawyers’ Professional Liability in Colorado, 2015 Ed. (Michael T. Mihm, ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc.), a two-volume, 1,500-page treatise on legal ethics and lawyers’ professional liability.
Michael is the Immediate Past President of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA), the largest specialty bar organization in Colorado.
Michael’s Philosophy of Client-Centered Litigation
Michael believes that litigation clients are best served by intense preparation, tenacious representation and unfailing professionalism. While Michael and his team are relentless about preparing the client’s case for trial, they understand that the client’s goals and objectives are paramount. Thus, they include the client in every step of the litigation process. Michael understands that every client has a compelling story and Michael makes the client’s story the center of every case. Michael and his team routinely use focus groups, cutting-edge trial techniques and multi-media technology to sharpen their message and best present the client’s case.
Here is a sample of recent matters in which Michael has successfully led trial teams:
- Legal Malpractice – Breach of Fiduciary Duty / Corporate Control – $2.5 Million Jury Verdict. 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. Deborah Shpall, et al. v. Jay Chapman, Esq., et al., Case No. 2013CV32307, District Court, City and County of Denver, State of Colorado.
- Legal Malpractice – Land Use Application – $12.8 Million Jury Verdict. After a national law firm mishandled a client’s subdivision application for an 8,600-acre ranch near Park City, Utah, causing the client to lose 40% of its density rights, the client retained Michael to pursue a legal malpractice claim. In June 2013, Michael led the Ogborn Mihm LLP trial team that obtained one of the largest legal malpractice jury verdicts in recent U.S. history. After a 14-day trial, a Salt Lake City jury awarded all of the $21.36 million that Michael requested at trial, but assessed 40% comparative fault to the client, thus reducing the award to $12.8 million. The trial court later awarded the client an additional $1.46 million for prejudgment interest, for a total judgment of more than $14.2 million. 910 Cattle Company v. Stoel Rives, LLP, Case No. Civil No. 100907407, Third District Court, Salt Lake County, Utah. Click here to see the press coverage on this verdict.
- Business Tort – Fraud and Embezzlement – $632,000 Jury Verdict. When a private equity fund discovered that the CEO of one its company’s was embezzling by selling off-the-books inventory and laundering the proceeds through offshore bank accounts, the fund sued the CEO and his wife. After a year of litigation, the fund fired its first law firm and hired Michael to lead the trial team. After a 10-day trial, a Fort Worth, Texas, jury awarded $632,000 to Michael’s client as compensation for its losses caused by the CEO’s theft. International Beauty Products, LLC v. Garth Beveridge, Dinah Beveridge and Craig Beveridge, District Court for Tarrant County Texas, 48th Judicial District.
- Personal Injury – Construction Accident – $2.875 Million Settlement. When a careless crane operator dragged a 21-ton concrete beam onto the head of a welder working in a cherry picker, the beam crushed the welder’s face and he lost his sight. The welder and his wife retained Michael to pursue a lawsuit against the negligent crane company. Michael filed suit, and settled the case for $2.875 million before trial. Paul Snow and Patrece Snow v. Rocky Mountain Structures, Denver Colorado. Case No. 07CV11784, District Court, City and County of Denver, Colorado.
- Corporate Control – Squeeze Out – $3.4 Million Settlement. When the senior management of a $1 billion (sales) company squeezed out the minority investors, Michael and Elizabeth Hyatt represented the minority investors in a lawsuit alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, securities fraud and other claims. Michael led the negotiations that resulted in $3.4 million settlement for the clients before trial. U.S. District Court for the District of Utah.
Michael’s Publications and Bar Leadership
As Immediate Past President of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, Michael led approximately 1,300 plaintiff and consumer trial lawyers in Colorado. Michael also works with CTLA’s professional staff and lobbyists on matters of legislative interest to Colorado consumers.
Since 2005, Michael has served as the managing editor of Lawyers’ Professional Liability in Colorado, 2015 Ed. (Michael T. Mihm, ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc.), a two-volume, 1,500-page treatise on legal ethics and lawyers’ professional liability. Michael also authored or co-wrote a number of chapters and he updates the treatise each year. Click here to see more about or purchase Lawyers’ Professional Liability in Colorado, 2015 Edition.
Michael is the immediate past-president of the Board of Directors of CLE in Colorado, Inc., the publishing and continuing education arm of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations. In addition to CTLA and the Colorado Bar Association, Michael has been very active with the American Bar Association (ABA), the American Association for Justice (AAJ), and the International Society of Primerus Law Firms. Michael writes and often speaks on trial practice, professional ethics and malpractice prevention to lawyers and bar associations.
Michael is admitted to practice in California and Colorado, and handles litigation throughout the United States. He has represented clients or tried cases to verdict in state or federal courts in California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
Michael grew up in rural Michigan and Oregon, the eldest of six children. Michael worked his way through college and graduated with honors. While in college, Michael also served for a year as a missionary in the Republic of Indonesia, teaching English as a Second Language.
After college, Michael attended the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. Michael began his legal career in 1983 as an associate attorney with a banking law firm in Beverly Hills, California. He moved his young family to Colorado in 1985, resolving to become a trial attorney, and soon became a trial partner in one of Colorado’s largest defense firms. In 2003, Michael formed the trial law firm of Starrs, Mihm & Caschette LLP to focus on plaintiff-side legal malpractice litigation and commercial and business tort litigation. In 2012, after both of Michael’s partners became district judges, Michael formed Ogborn Mihm, LLP, with Murray and Mike Ogborn.
Michael is married to Nanette Amier Mihm, a real estate broker and volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in the legal system. Michael and Nanette have two children, Stefanie Mihm Albrecht, a master’s level teacher in Ohio, and Nicholas Mihm, an associate producer working in the film and television industry in Los Angeles. Michael and Nanette spent many years as hockey parents and still love the game. They and their two dogs make their home in scenic Roxborough, Colorado.
Areas of Practice:
- Legal Malpractice
- Business Litigation
- Catastrophic Personal Injury
- University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Los Angeles, California
- Walla Walla College, College Place, Washington, B.A., Religion, cum laude
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit