Michael is a commercial trial lawyer who concentrates his practice on major life insurance secondary market and software litigation cases. Michael also represents insurers in property, casualty, commercial, and environmental insurance coverage cases, life and disability insurance coverage cases, alleged agent and broker fraud and Ponzi scheme cases, RICO cases, and countless cases involving annuities. Michael has litigated a broad range of commercial issues, including life insurance, software, real estate, equipment leasing, lending agreements, shareholder disputes, and construction cases. With an insurance litigation practice that is national in scope, Michael has a record of successfully litigating the full spectrum of cases involving the sale of life insurance policies and annuities in the secondary market — including stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI) cases and attempts by “factoring companies” to effectuate purchases of structured settlement annuity payment streams.
Michael has an impressive track record representing software firms involved in software defect, implementation, and licensing disputes. These cases are litigated and tried in courts all across the country and in international arbitration centers.
Michael has been especially focused on cases arising out of the improper sale of life insurance policies (and interests therein) on the secondary market (i.e., STOLI). As chair of the Life Insurance & Annuities Group, Michael plays a role in virtually all of the group’s STOLI cases. Michael has a record of successfully litigating the full spectrum of case variations that arise out of STOLI. Michael has also assisted with drafting model secondary market legislation.
In addition to his experience in commercial litigation issues, Michael has taken the lead in complex insurance transactional matters, including complex environmental risk transfer issues, owner- and contractor-controlled insurance programs, and captive issues. Michael negotiates contracts for transfers of complex environmentally contaminated real estate, and then works with brokers and underwriters to draft insurance policies designed to address these risks. He was closely involved in "Early Transfer" transactions at the Mare Island Navy Base (California) and the Fort Ord Army Base (California).
Michael has been recognized for several years as a "Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation. Insurance industry associations often invite Michael to speak at their conferences, and he is a regular presenter at the National Structured Settlements Trade Association (NSSTA) meetings. Michael currently serves as outside general counsel to NSSTA.
Michael earned his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from the University of South Florida. Michael earned his law degree, cum laude, from Temple University Beasley School of Law where he was on law review.