Overview

Mike is one of the founding partners of Frantz Ward. He has a broad-based general litigation practice involving both business litigation and personal injury litigation. Mike’s business litigation practice includes general contract and business torts, ERISA, insurance coverage litigation, professional malpractice, regulatory, consumer sales practices, and health care, including the defense of class action claims in several of those areas. He also represents a wide variety of companies in defending personal injury claims, including product liability, premise liability, and employer intentional tort cases. Mike also devotes significant time advising clients on how to avoid future litigation.

Practices

    • Secured defense verdict and favorable verdict on counterclaim for manufacturer accused of manufacturing defective pressure sensors that allegedly resulted in multi-million dollar recall campaign.
    • Obtained summary judgment for insurer in multi-million dollar insurance coverage action in which insured sought additional coverage associated with thousands of personal injury asbestos claims.
    • Regularly represents large regional health insurer in successfully defending coverage decisions and in defending claims brought by providers in connection with reimbursement claims.
    • Regularly represents insurers in complex insurance coverage actions involving mass tort and environmental liability claims.
    • Secured defense verdicts for auto manufacturer involving various claims of significant personal injury/product defect, including rollover instability and sudden acceleration.
    • Secured defense verdict for auto manufacturer on claim by car dealership alleging improper termination of franchise agreement.
    • Assisted international manufacturer of pressure sensor components in developing sales terms and conditions for U.S. and overseas sales, in reviewing contracts with international suppliers, and evaluating appropriate insurance coverage in U.S. and European markets.
    • Advised global manufacturer/seller of sophisticated underwater cabling equipment as to supplier, purchaser and service contracts and reviewed insurance policies for applicable coverage in addressing potential claims and in assessing coverage needs.
    • Reviewed and rewrote standard sales, warranty and other applicable Uniform Commercial Code provisions for large manufacturer of material handling equipment.
    • Drafted and negotiated terms in sales, supply and franchise agreements for manufacturer/seller of protection products and collision warning systems for use in industrial and public parking garage settings.
  • Education

    • Case Western Reserve University College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, Order of the Coif, 1989
    • University of Notre Dame, B.A., magna cum laude, 1986

    Admissions

    • State of Ohio
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit and Sixth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio and Southern District of Ohio
  • Professional Affiliations

    • Ohio State Bar Association—Member
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association–Member; Certified Grievance Committee (Past Member)
    • Defense Research Institute—Member
    • Judicial Conference of Eighth Judicial District—Life Member

    Community Involvement

    • Community of Hope—Board Chair (2018-Present)
    • The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland—Attorney Volunteer (2015-Present)
    • Kinship Caregiver Legal Assistance Workshop—Attorney Volunteer (2014-Present)
    • West Side Catholic Center—Volunteer (2003-Present)
    • CYO High School Girls Basketball—Assistant Coach (2013-Present)
    • St. Clement Catholic Church—Lector (2011-Present)
    • Lakewood Community Care Center—President of the Board of Trustees (2003-2007)
    • Lakewood Catholic Academy—President/VP of the Board of Trustees (2007-2011); Chair of the Technology Subcommittee (2007-2008)
    • St. Malachi Center—President of the Board of Trustees (2004-2007)

    Firm Involvement

    • General Counsel—Frantz Ward LLP
    • Founding Partner—Frantz Ward LLP
    • Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Commercial Litigation and Litigation-Insurance (2016-2019)
    • "Eighth District Confirms Trial Court's Obligation to Consider Validity of Arbitration Clause Prior to Enforcement," Frantz Ward Litigation News Item (February 2018)
    • "Dismissal of Insurer's Disclosure Obligations Under ERISA," Frantz Ward Litigation News Item (August 2017) 
    • "Eighth District Court of Appeals Revisits Age-Old Problem of Whether Insurance Agent/Broker Is An Agent for The Insurer or Insured," Frantz Ward Litigation News Item (August 2017)
    • " Actual Injury" Requirements Sinks Certification of Class Action," Frantz Ward Litigation News Item (June 2017)
    • "Chilton-Clark V. Fishel -Professional Liability and Expert Testimony," Frantz Ward Litigation New Item (October 2016)
    • “Disqualification, Disgorgement and Discipline as the Price of Disloyalty,” Ohio Lawyer Magazine (September 2016)
    • “Privilege and the Continued Pitfalls of Corporate Representative Depositions,” Northeast Ohio Association of Corporate Counsel Quarterly Newsletter (4th Quarter 2015)
    • “Is Insurer’s Claim to Recoup Overcharges by Health Care Provider Governed by ERISA?” Defense Research Institute’s ERISA Report, Vol. 10, Issue 2 (2015)
    • "The Ineffectivness of Rule 11 'Warning Letters,'" Defense Research Institute Today (April 2015)
    • “Without Caps, Liability Suits Can Get Ugly,” Crain’s Cleveland Business, Vol. 19, No. 32
    • "Ethical Issues for In-House Counsel," Frantz Ward Litigation Panel Series, Cleveland, OH (September 2018)
    • "Insurance: Risk Management and Policy Coverage Issues," Association of Corporate Counsel, Cleveland, OH (June 2017)
    • “Minimizing Risk and Improving Litigation Readiness: How to Better Prepare Your Company for Litigation,” Frantz Ward Litigation Seminar, Cleveland, OH (October 2015)
    • “Best Practices for Medical Spa Contracting—Preventive Medicine in Order to Avoid Disputes,” American Med Spa Association, Cleveland, OH (October 2015)
    • “Avoiding the Runaway Train: How to Effectively Manage Your Company’s Litigation Costs,” Crain’s Cleveland Business, Cleveland, OH (November 2014)