Michael is the firm's supervising attorney for the Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Practice Group in the state of Florida. The group assists insurers in all aspects of a coverage dispute, including responses to civil remedy notices of insurer violations, pre-suit investigations and coverage evaluations, declaratory judgment and bad faith litigation. In particular, Michael defends property insurers throughout Florida in first party coverage matters, where he responds to claims for sinkhole, windstorm, fire, mold, theft, and water losses. Michael's group also conducts examinations under oath and SIU investigations.
In both the state and federal courts, Michael has participated in a number of bench and jury trials through verdict, all of which resulted in either a defense verdict or a verdict which was less than the amount demanded.
In addition, Michael is often asked to serve as coverage and bad faith counsel in third party actions, including monitoring the defense of litigation, as well as trial. As part of this role, Michael is often asked to draft reservation of rights, declinations and prosecute declaratory relief actions.
Michael has substantial experience in alternative dispute resolution, having represented clients in thousands of mediations, neutral evaluations and arbitration proceedings. Michael routinely advises clients on the evaluation and resolution of multi-claimant matters, often times where the injuries and damages exceed the available policy limits.
Over the past ten years, Michael and his group have defended in excess of three hundred sinkhole lawsuits, as well as hundreds of other first party lawsuits. The group has defended a number of cases through trial and appeal, including four sinkhole trials during recent years. In addition, the group represents more than ten statewide insurance carriers in first party property damage lawsuits, including four out of the five largest carriers in Florida.
Michael routinely speaks at regional and nationwide industry conferences, specifically addressing coverage issues under first party property and third party liability policies. He has also presented a number of seminars on auto negligence, uninsured motorist and bad faith claims. Michael frequently travels around the country to provide in-house claims seminars with claims professionals. In addition, he has lectured on defending first party property damage claims including sinkhole and mold claims, which included review and analysis of claims handling procedures, as well as recommendations for the same. Michael has also written numerous articles for industry publications addressing Florida-specific claim handling issues and insurance companies' rights and obligations in defending first and third party coverage actions.
In 1994 Michael earned his Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Albany. Subsequently, Michael obtained his juris doctor in 1997 from the University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, Florida, where he graduated cum laude.
Michael is married to Nicole Packer and they live with their three children in Weston, Florida.
•Insurance Coverage and Bad-Faith Insurance Issues Under Florida Law, Marshall Dennehey Florida Claims Symposium - The Best Defense is a Good Offense, Orlando, FL, September 17, 2014
•Protecting Your Clients' Interest During Settlement, WIND Conference, 2013
•American Conference Institute Bad Faith Litigation Conference (co-chairperson and lecturer) 2012
•American Conference Institute Bad Faith Litigation Conference (lecturer) 2011
• Why Insurers Shouldn't Produce Claims Files in Florida , Claims Journal, September 2014
Honors & Awards
• AV Preeminent by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell
•South Florida Legal Guide - Top Lawyers, 2013
•South Florida Legal Guide - Top Lawyers in Insurance Litigation, 2014
•Trend s Florida Legal Elite - Top Up and Comer, 2012
Year Joined Organization: 2007