Michael T. Mihm
Tenacity and Professionalism in the Courtroom

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303.592.5900
303.592.5910 (fax)
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Michael Mihm’s unique trial practice focuses on plaintiff-side legal malpractice, commercial, and personal injury litigation. He is admitted to practice in California and Colorado, but represents clients in courtrooms nationwide. Michael has obtained some of the largest plaintiff legal malpractice jury verdicts and settlements in the United States, and many multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements in commercial and personal injury litigation.  Michael is a co-founder of Ogborn Mihm, LLP, and practices from both the Denver and Los Angeles offices.  He 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.  

Michael is included among The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Commercial Litigation and, also, Legal Malpractice Law-Plaintiff, for which he was three times named the Denver "Lawyer of the Year" (first in 2015, again in 2017, and again for 2019).  In 2018, Michael was named by Colorado Super Lawyers® magazine as of one of Colorado’s “Top 100” lawyers.  Michael is a Past President of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, the largest specialty bar organization in Colorado.

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.

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. 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.

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.

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When do Cases Settle?


 When do Cases Settle?
When do Cases Settle?
 Considering The Cost Of Litigation
Considering The Cost Of Litigation
 Why We Do Jury Research
Why We Do Jury Research

 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

 Working With In House Counsel & Co Counsel
Working With In House Counsel & Co Counsel
 Who Am I: Michael Mihm
Who Am I: Michael Mihm
 
 

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

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