303.592.5900

Michael T. Mihm
Tenacity and Professionalism in the Courtroom

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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 certified as a specialist in legal malpractice law by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He is included among The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Legal Malpractice Law-Plaintiff, for which he was twice named the Denver "Lawyer of the Year," first in 2015 and again for 2017. He is also the managing editor and an author of Lawyers’ Professional Liability in Colorado, 2016 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 a Past President (2014-2015) 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 focus relentlessly on 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

When he served as President of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, Michael led approximately 1,300 plaintiff and consumer trial lawyers in Colorado. Michael works with CTLA's professional staff and lobbyists on matters of legislative interest to Colorado consumers. He continues to be active in CTLA’s leadership and legislative activities.

Since 2005, Michael has served as the managing editor of Lawyers’ Professional Liability in Colorado, 2016 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, 2016 Edition.

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. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. 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.

Personal

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 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 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 adult children, Stefanie Mihm Albrecht, a master’s level pre-kindergarten teacher in Ohio, and Nicholas Mihm, a director working in the film and television industry in Los Angeles, and one grandchild. Michael and Nanette and their two dogs make their home in scenic Roxborough, Colorado.

Profile

Areas of Practice:

  • Legal Malpractice
  • Business Litigation
  • Catastrophic Personal Injury
  • Inheritance Litigation

Education:

  • University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Los Angeles, California
  • Walla Walla College, College Place, Washington, B.A., Religion, cum laude

Board Certifications: 1

Certified as a specialist in legal malpractice law by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization (2016)

Admissions:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • 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

Professional

Publications and Blawg

  1. Author, “New Lawyers: The Key to CTLA’s Future,” TRIAL TALK, Vol. 64, Issue 3, April/May 2015, at 5
  2. Author, “Finding Our Moral High Ground,” TRIAL TALK, Vol. 64, Issue 2, February /March 2015, at 5.
  3. Managing Editor, LAWYER’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY IN COLORADO, 2015 Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc.). This two-volume, 1500 page treatise focuses on legal ethics and lawyers’ professional liability issues.
  4. Author, Chapter 4, “Conflicts of Interest,” in LAWYER’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY IN COLORADO, 2015 Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc.)
  5. Editor, Chapter 20, “Managing Trust Accounts and Clients’ Property” (authored by the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel), LAWYER’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY IN COLORADO, 2015 Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc.)
  6. Co-Author, with Pulkrabek, R., Martinez, A., Chapter 49, “Common Law Legal Malpractice Claims by Clients,” in LAWYER’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY IN COLORADO, 2015 Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc.)
  7. Co-Author, with Hyatt, E., Chapter 50, “Statutory Legal Malpractice Claims by Clients,” in LAWYER’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY IN COLORADO, 2015 Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc.)
  8. Co-Author, with Pulkrabek, R., Martinez, A., Chapter 51, “Liability to Third Parties,” in LAWYER’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY IN COLORADO, 2015 Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc.)
  9. Co-Author, with Hyatt, E., Chapter 52, “Damages for Injuries or Losses Caused by Legal Malpractice,” in LAWYER’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY IN COLORADO, 2015 Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc.)
  10. Co-Author, with Wartell, D., Martinez, A., Chapter 52, “Defenses to Legal Malpractice Claims,” in LAWYER’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY HANDBOOK, 2015 Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc.)
  11. Co-Author, with Quintana, N, “Tort or Breach of Contact? The Economic Loss Rule and Why It is Important to Your Practice,” TRIAL TALK, Vol. 63, Issue 5, August/September 2014, at 29.
  12. Author, “Tip Of The Spear,” TRIAL TALK, Vol. 63, Issue 5, August/September 2014, at 5.
  13. Author, “Avoiding legal Malpractice in Interstate Trucking Cases,” The Lawyer’s Log Book, Vol. 1, No. 4, Oct-Nov 2011, at 32.
  14. Co-Author, with Starrs, E., “Top Ten Ways for Lawyers in Small Law Offices to Get Sued (or Grieved), Utah State Bar (November 2008)
  15. Co-Author, with Starrs, E., “Let’s Chat About Conflicts of Interest,” Utah State Bar (November 2008)
  16. Managing Editor, LAWYER’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY IN COLORADO, (CLE in Colorado, Inc. 2005) (including annual updates from 2006 through 2015). This two-volume, book focuses on legal ethics and lawyers’ professional liability issues.
  17. Author, Chapter 5, “Conflicts of Interest,” in LAWYER’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY IN COLORADO, Second Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc. 2005, Supp. 2011)
  18. Co-Author, with Pulkrabek, R., Martinez, A., Chapter 28, “Common Law Legal Malpractice Claims by Clients,” in LAWYER’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY IN COLORADO, Second Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc. 2005, Supp. 2011)
  19. Co-Author, with Hyatt, E., Chapter 29, “Statutory Legal Malpractice Claims by Clients,” in LAWYER’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY IN COLORADO, Second Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc. 2005, Supp. 2011)
  20. Co-Author, with Pulkrabek, R., Martinez, A., Chapter 30, “Liability to Third Parties,” in LAWYER’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY IN COLORADO, Second Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc. 2005, Supp. 2011)
  21. Co-Author, with Hyatt, E., Chapter 31, “Damages for Injuries or Losses Caused by Legal Malpractice,” in LAWYER’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY IN COLORADO, Second Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc. 2005, Supp. 2011)
  22. Co-Author, with Wartell, D., Martinez, A., Chapter 32, “Defenses to Legal Malpractice Claims,” in LAWYER’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY HANDBOOK, Second Ed. (Michael T. Mihm ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc. 2005, Supp. 2011)
  23. Author, “Finding Insurance for Your Professional Negligence Claim,” in Finding Insurance for Your Personal Injury Claim, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (2005)
  24. Author, “Practice Management Software” in OVERCOMING YOUR FEARS: USING TECHNOLOGY IN LITIGATION, National Business Institute, Inc. (2005)
  25. Author, “Electronic Discovery” in OVERCOMING YOUR FEARS: USING TECHNOLOGY IN LITIGATION, National Business Institute, Inc. (2005)
  26. Co-author, with Dolan, L., Chapter 10, “Conflicts of Interest,” COLORADO ATTORNEY’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY HANDBOOK (Robin L. Beatty ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc., 1999)
  27. Co-author, with Dolan, L., Chapter 11, “Damages for Injuries or Losses Caused by Legal Malpractice,” COLORADO ATTORNEY’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY HANDBOOK (Robin L. Beatty ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc., 1999)
  28. Co-author, with Dolan, L., Chapter 12, “Defenses to Legal Malpractice Claims,” COLORADO ATTORNEY’S PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY HANDBOOK (Robin L. Beatty ed., CLE in Colorado, Inc., 1999)
  29. Author, “Risks of Multi-State Practice of Law,” WHOOPS: COLORADO BAR ASSOCIATION MALPRACTICE PREVENTION NEWS, April, 1999
  30. Author, “Software Piracy and the Personal Computer: Is the 1980 Software Copyright Act Effective?,” IV COMPUTER LAW JOURNAL 1971 (1983)

Moderator or Speaker

  1. Speaker, “Ethical Pitfalls of Auto Accident Cases,” 2015 CTLA Blockbuster Auto Seminar, Denver, Colorado (January 2015)
  2. Speaker, "Rules of the Road for Trial Lawyers: Protecting Clients and Preventing Legal Malpractice," Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Annual Convention, Snowmass, Colorado (August 2014)
  3. Speaker, “Is it a Breach of Contract or a Business Tort? Why it Makes a Difference in Business Litigation,” Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Annual Convention, Snowmass, Colorado (August 2013)
  4. Speaker, “Malpractice Prevention: Lawyers’ Duties to Prospective Clients and Non-Clients,” CLE in Colorado, Inc., Denver, Colorado (live and video web presentation) (June 2012)
  5. Moderator and Program Planner, “Malpractice Prevention for Boutique Law Firms,” International Society of Primerus Law Firms (telephone and audio webinar) (November 2011)
  6. Speaker, “How to Avoid Legal Malpractice in Interstate Trucking Cases,” 2011 APITLA Super Summit, Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America, St. Louis, Missouri (September 2011)
  7. Speaker, “Ten Things You Don’t Want Me to Find in Your File,” 2011 CTLA Blockbuster Auto Seminar, Denver, Colorado (January 2011)
  8. Speaker, “Legal Malpractice from a Plaintiff’s Perspective,” Legal Malpractice Prevention Seminars, Colorado Bar Association and CLE in Colorado, Inc., Denver & Colorado Springs, Colorado (January 2011)
  9. Michael Mihm, Moderator and Program Co-Chair, "Beating Goliath: How CTLA's Davids Took on One of the World's Largest Corporations and Won," Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Annual Convention, Vail, Colorado (August 2010)
  10. Moderator and Program Planner, “Hardball Tactics and Stupid Lawyer Tricks: Maintaining Civility in Litigation,” ABA Section of Litigation and ABA Center for Continuing Education (telephone and webcast seminar) (February 2010).
  11. Speaker, “Conflicts of Interest” and “Top 10 Ways to Get Sued or Grieved in Small Law Offices,” Utah State Bar Fall Forum, Salt Lake City, Utah (November 2008)
  12. Speaker, “Common Law and Statutory Legal Malpractice Claims,” 2007 Preventing Legal Malpractice Seminars, Colorado Bar Association (January 2007)
  13. Co-Chair and Moderator, 2006 Preventing Legal Malpractice Seminars, Colorado Bar Association (January - February 2006)
  14. Speaker, “Finding Insurance for Your Professional Negligence Claim,” in Finding Insurance for Your Personal Injury Claim Seminar, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, Denver, Colorado (April 2005)
  15. Speaker, “Practice Management Software” and “Electronic Discovery” in “Overcoming Your Fears: Using Technology in Ligation Seminar,” National Business Institute, Inc., Denver, Colorado (March 2005)
  16. Speaker and Moderator, “Advanced Trial Advocacy Seminar,” with Ewing, M., National Business Institute, Inc., Denver, Colorado (July 2004)
  17. Speaker and Moderator, “Damages in Colorado Civil Trial Practice,” with Brown, D., National Business Institute, Inc., Denver, Colorado (March 2003)
  18. Speaker and Moderator, “Damages in Colorado Civil Trial Practice,” with Brown, D., National Business Institute, Inc., Lakewood, Colorado (January 2002)
  19. Speaker, “Hiring and Firing Clients,” Tuesdays at the Bar, Colorado Bar Association (February 2001)
  20. Speaker, “Successfully Presenting the Complex Case to a Colorado Jury,” with Burg, M., National Business Institute, Inc., Denver, Colorado (January 2001)
  21. Speaker, “Restatement (Third) of Law Governing Lawyers: Malpractice Highlights and New Directions,” Colorado Bar Association Convention, Vail Colorado (September 1999)
  22. Speaker, “Recent Developments in Professional Liability Cases,” 1999 Legal Malpractice Seminars, Colorado Bar Association and CBA/CLE in Colorado, Inc. (Jan-Feb, 1999)
  23. Speaker, “Preventing Legal Malpractice,” Boulder County Bar Association (December 1997)
  24. Speaker, “Fee Agreements and Client Communication,” 1997 Legal Malpractice Seminars, Colorado Bar Association and CBA/CLE in Colorado, Inc., (January 1997)
  25. Speaker, “Legal Malpractice: Trends and Prevention,” Weld County Bar Association (November 1996)
  26. Speaker, with Breakstone, D., “Lawyer Liability Under the Restatement (Third) of Law Governing Lawyers,” Colorado Bar Association Convention, Vail, Colorado (September 1996)
  27. Program Chair and Moderator, 1996 Legal Malpractice Prevention Seminars, Colorado Bar Association and CBA/CLE in Colorado, Inc. (January-February 1996)
  28. Speaker, “How to Terminate the Attorney-Client Relationship Without Getting Sued,” 1995 Legal Malpractice Prevention Seminars, Colorado Bar Association and CBA/CLE in Colorado, Inc., Fort Collins, Colorado (February 1995)
  29. Program Chair and Speaker, “Malpractice Prevention: Detecting and Handling Conflicts of Interest Issues in a General Practice,” Colorado Bar Association Convention, Keystone, Colorado (September 1994)
  30. Speaker, with Tucker, H., “Malpractice Prevention Tips for Elder Law Attorneys,” 1994 Elder Law Seminar, CBA/CLE in Colorado, Inc., (June 1994)

Professional Successes, Professional Development, and Bar Association Involvement

  • Michael was named the 2015 Denver "Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Legal Malpractice Law-Plaintiff.
  • In November 2014, Michael was inducted as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).
  • In April 2014, Michael, with his colleagues Thomas Neville and Clayton Wire, obtained a $2.5 million jury verdict in a legal malpractice case involving control over a successful family-owned company.
  • In June 2013, Michael Mihm, with his partner Mike Ogborn and trial team at Ogborn Mihm LLP, obtained one of the largest legal malpractice verdicts in the United States in recent years against one of America’s largest law firms. http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/2013/06/stoel-rives-ordered-to-pay-128m-in.html?page=all .
  • Michael Mihm has for five years been named among The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Legal Malpractice-Plaintiff. U.S. News & World Report-Best Law Firms also ranks Ogborn Mihm, LLP as a Tier 1 Firm in the field of Legal Malpractice - Plaintiff.
  • Michael is the Immediate Past President of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA), at 1,300 members the largest specialty practice bar association in Colorado. CTLA is the primary organization for plaintiff and consumer attorneys in Colorado. Michael is 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-authored six chapters in the treatise.
  • Michael previously served as president of the Board of Directors of CLE in Colorado, Inc., the nonprofit publishing and education arm of the Colorado and Denver bar associations, and the premier legal publishing and education organization in the state. CLE in Colorado annually publishes more than 30 books and practice guides and presents more than 100 live education programs on a multitude of legal topics.

Involvement

Human Interest, Volunteer Work

Michael volunteers countless hours for the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association. His work includes testifying before the state legislature in favor of consumer-friendly legislation, taking on pro bono matters at the firm through CTLA for disaster assistance such as flood and fire, and direct advocacy.  He also spent many years as a member of the Board of Directors of CLE in Colorado, Inc., the publishing and continuing legal education arm of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations.

Videos

Videos

Who Am I: Michael Mihm


 Who Am I: Michael Mihm
Who Am I: Michael Mihm
 Our Client Centered Practice
Our Client Centered Practice
 Our Trial Experience
Our Trial Experience

 Telling the Clients Story at Trial
Telling the Clients Story at Trial
 Why We Do Jury Research
Why We Do Jury Research
 Working With In House Counsel & Co Counsel
Working With In House Counsel & Co Counsel

 When do Cases Settle?
When do Cases Settle?
 Considering The Cost Of Litigation
Considering The Cost Of Litigation
 
 

Note: Colorado does not certify lawyers as specialists in any field.

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