Michael T. Mihm
Michael Mihm’s unique trial practice focuses on plaintiff-side legal malpractice cases. The Best Lawyers in America® has four times named Michael as “Lawyer of the Year” in the field of Legal Malpractice Law–Plaintiff. Michael is one of the few plaintiffs’ attorneys in the United States to be certified as a specialist in legal malpractice law by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He brings malpractice lawsuits against some of the nation’s largest law firms involving some of the law’s most complex practice areas. Colorado Super Lawyers® magazine names Michael as of one of Colorado’s “Top 100” lawyers. In addition to Legal Malpractice Law, Michael is included among The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Commercial Litigation and Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiff.
Michael is a Past President of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, the largest specialty bar organization in Colorado. Michael has been inducted as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). He is a graduate of and remains active with the Trial Lawyer’s College®, an organization dedicated to teaching cutting-edge trial advocacy to civil plaintiff and criminal defense trial lawyers.
Michael is a co-founder of Ogborn Mihm, LLP, and practices from both the Denver and Los Angeles offices. Michael represents clients in courtrooms nationwide.
Michael’s Philosophy of Client-Centered Trials
Michael is student and practitioner of the art of trial persuasion. Michael believes that every client has a simple and compelling story, regardless of how complex the case may appear on the surface. Thus, Michael and his team make the client’s story the center of every case, and work tirelessly to find and tell the client’s story. Michael and his team routinely use focus groups, multi-media technology and cutting-edge trial techniques to discover and best present the client’s case at trial.
While Michael believes that a client is best served by intense preparation, tenacious representation, and unfailing professionalism, he and his team also under understand that a client’s goals and objectives are paramount. Thus, the team includes the client in every major decision of the litigation process. Michael and his team never forget that, ultimately, the case is the client’s case.
Michael’s Expertise in Legal Malpractice Litigation
Michael has prosecuted or defended hundreds of legal malpractice lawsuits, has tried many such cases, and has also served as an expert witness in many such suits.
Since 2005, Michael has served as an author and managing editor of Lawyers' Professional Liability in Colorado, 2017 Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc., 2017). This two-volume, 57-chapter treatise, updated annually, focuses on lawyers' professional liability and legal ethics issues. Click here to see more about or purchase Lawyers’ Professional Liability in Colorado, 2017 Edition.
Michael's legal malpractice clients come from all walks of life, but are most often companies or business people. His legal malpractice cases typically involve underlying business or real estate transactions, including tax, estate planning, intellectual property, patent law, land use, and many other matters. However, Michael also handles non-business related legal malpractice cases. For example, Michael and his colleague, Elizabeth “Betsy” Hyatt, recently represented pro bono a young man who was sentenced to life in prison at age 15 for a murder that he did not commit, and who, after 14 years in prison, was released from custody. Michael and Betsy sued the negligent criminal defense counsel on the young man's behalf and recovered a confidential settlement.
Michael’s Expertise in Commercial and Corporate Litigation
Michael also has a significant business and corporate litigation practice. Michael's business litigation often involves claims arising from breach of contract, corporate control, oil and gas transactions, real estate disputes, oppression of minority business owners, partnership disputes, theft of trade secrets, intellectual property disputes, computer fraud, and claims arising from breaches of fiduciary duty and other misconduct by company insiders.
Michael’s Expertise in Personal Injury Litigation
Michael also personally tries select medical malpractice, wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. For example, in 2017, Michael and his team tried (and lost) a medical malpractice case, but then negotiated a $3.0 million settlement in a wrongful death case arising from an automobile-bicycle accident. Michael’s firm has a significant personal injury practice, and recently obtained a $100 million settlement in a products liability claim arising from a helicopter crash. http://denver.cbslocal.com/2018/02/01/dave-repsher-air-crash-settlement.
Michael’s Trial Experience
In recent years, Michael has tried cases to verdict or handled lawsuits in California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Texas. In June 2017, Michael tried (and lost) a medical malpractice case. In October 2016, Michael obtained a nearly $2.0 million arbitration award (later confirmed as a judgment) in a breach of contract dispute on behalf of a minority owner being squeezed out of a recreational marijuana business. In June 2015, Michael obtained a jury verdict in a business fraud/partnership dispute that later resulted in a confidential settlement and favorable buy-out of our client's partnership interest. In April 2014, Michael obtained a $2.5 million jury verdict on behalf of the owners of a prominent Colorado retail business 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. 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, then one of the largest plaintiff legal malpractice jury verdicts in U.S. history, arose out of a prominent law firm's mishandling of a development application for an 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. Michael also represents clients in select probate or inheritance litigation matters, usually involving very large estates and usually at the request of probate lawyers when it appears that a matter is headed to trial.
Michael has been inducted as member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). He is a graduate of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer’s College in Dubois, Wyoming.
Michael’s Bar Leadership
Michael served many years as an officer and, in 2014-2015, as President of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA), an organization of approximately 1,300 plaintiff and consumer trial lawyers in Colorado. Michael continues to serve on the board of directors of CTLA.
Michael is a 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 active with the American Bar Association (ABA), the American Association for Justice (AAJ), and the International Society of Primerus Law Firms. Michael currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Primerus Personal Injury Institute.
Michael writes and often speaks on trial practice, professional ethics and malpractice prevention to lawyers and bar associations.
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. In 1985, he moved his young family to Colorado, 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 boutique 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 the father and son team of Murray and Mike Ogborn. Michael served as the firm’s managing partner for many years, and is now the co-managing partner with Mike Ogborn.
Michael is married to Nanette Amier Mihm, a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in the legal system. Michael and Nanette have two adult children and two small grandchildren with whom they are enamored.