Michael is a trial attorney and shareholder in Smith Haughey’s Litigation Practice Group. He focuses his litigation practice on professional liability defense and commercial litigation. As an attorney in Smith Haughey’s Grand Rapids office, Michael takes a proactive, results-oriented approach to litigation in order to obtain positive results for his clients. He has tried cases to juries in both state and federal courts in Michigan.
Michael focuses his practice primarily on the defense of lawyers faced with legal malpractice claims. In his role as a professional liability defense attorney, Michael has also successfully defended accountants, architects, engineers, land surveyors, real estate agents, insurance agents and brokers, and professional trustees faced with claims of professional negligence. He regularly represents attorneys in contempt proceedings and before the Attorney Grievance Commission.
Michael lives in Grand Rapids with his wife and two daughters. In his free time he enjoys golf, vacationing in Northern Michigan, and spending time with friends and family.
Legal Malpractice Defense: Legal malpractice action in which the plaintiff sought $9,000,000.00 in damages. The trial court granted defendant’s motion for summary disposition and awarded over $40,000 in attorney fees to the defendant. That decision was later affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Legal Malpractice Defense: Legal malpractice case in federal court arising out of commercial litigation in which the plaintiff sought seven figures in damages. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case.
Professional Liability Defense: Professional liability lawsuit against a professional trustee, alleging negligence in the administration of a trust. The trial court granted the trustee’s motion for summary disposition, dismissing plaintiff’s claims and awarding the trustee all of its attorney fees.
Professional Liability Defense: Professional liability case against an engineer. Following the filing of a motion for summary disposition, and before the hearing, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the engineer from the lawsuit.
Real Estate Litigation: Real estate dispute regarding the application of certain building and use restrictions to his client’s property. The parties filed cross motions for summary disposition. The trial court denied the plaintiff’s motion and granted the defendant’s motion, dismissing the case.
Products Liability Defense: Products liability action arising out of an injury that occurred while the plaintiff was deer hunting in a tree stand. Although plaintiff sought nearly seven-figures in damages, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing plaintiff’s case in its entirety.
General Liability Defense: Case in which a day-laborer suffered a significant injury while working with a forklift. Although a case evaluation panel assigned a value of nearly three quarters of a million dollars to the case, the trial court granted defendant’s motion for summary disposition and dismissed plaintiff’s case. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed that decision.
Summer Associate, Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge (2012)
Summer Associate, Wiedner & McAuliffe (2011)