As a member of Husch Blackwell's Financial Services industry team, Michael brings considerable experience to the litigation and insolvency matters of his clients. He was first exposed to the financial industry by way of his father, who worked at a Utah-based bank for more than 25 years where he was a regional vice president. Michael combines his financial adeptness with his passion for justice and defends creditors and enforces their rights in business bankruptcy and commercial litigation matters on a national basis. He represents secured and unsecured creditors, unsecured creditors committees, Chapter 7 and 11 trustees and Chapter 11 debtors in complex bankruptcy proceedings. Michael is just one of a small handful of attorneys in Missouri and Kansas who is board certified in Business Bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification.*
Michael also prosecutes and defends commercial litigation matters and has tried several cases, including jury trials. Throughout his career, he has represented the receivers of insolvent insurance carriers on novel matters, including a landmark tax refund case. He has significant experience managing numerous interrelated cases for a single client.
Over the years, Michael has prosecuted or defended hundreds of preferential transfer and fraudulent conveyance actions, including the resolution of several cases with claims in excess of a million dollars. As part of his extensive work in this area, he has developed a sophisticated computer program that enables him to quickly analyze a client's payment history and identify optimal defensive positions. By combining technology with his vast experience in this area of the law, Michael has been able to negotiate favorable settlements for his clients while simultaneously minimizing their litigation expenses.
Michael's noteworthy experience includes:
•Defended several preferential transfer claims that sought recoveries in excess of a million dollars.
Obtained a court ruling that granted a motion to dismiss more than $12 million in counterclaims.
Defended against various motions that sought to dismiss avoidance action claims seeking recovery of millions of dollars.
Obtained a summary judgment denying administrative expense claim for indenture trustee of notes held by securitized lenders.
In addition, Michael speaks at national, regional and local conferences on topics dealing with bankruptcy, avoidance actions, landlord-tenant issues, evidence, electronically stored information, arbitration, international litigation and ethics. He has also written numerous articles nationally and internationally in well-respected bankruptcy publications.
*The American Board of Certification's Business Bankruptcy certification program is accredited by the American Bar Association. Neither the Supreme Court of Missouri nor The Missouri Bar reviews or approves certifying organizations or special designations.
Awards and Recognitions
Kansas City Business Journal, Best of the Bar, 2013
•Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights, 2011-2013; Rising Star, 2008-2010
City of Independence, Mo., Personnel Board of Directors, 2011-2012
•Boy Scouts of America, Heart of America Council, Troop 1175 and Pack 4175, unit commissioner, 2013
•Boy Scouts of America, Heart of America Council, Troop 1946, 11-year-olds scoutmaster, 2012-present
•Legal Aid of Western Missouri, volunteer
Defended several preferential transfer claims that sought recoveries in excess of a million dollars. Notable preference settlements: Peterson v. Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. (In re Agri-Best Holdings LLC, Bankr.N.D.Ill. 12-01455), $1.4 million preference settled for $32,500; Davis v. Invista S.A.R.L. (In re Fabrics Estate Inc., et al., Bankr.E.D.Tenn. 10-01210), $388,243.03 preference claim settled for $4,000.
•Obtained a court ruling granting a motion to dismiss more than $12 million in counterclaims. Redmond v. NCMIC Finance Corp. (In re Brooke Corp.), 485 B.R. 650 (Bankr.D.Kan. 2013)
•Defended against various motions that sought to dismiss avoidance action claims seeking recovery of millions of dollars. In re Brooke Corp., 2012 WL 2120736 (D.Kan. 2012) and In re Brooke Corp., 2012 WL 2412151 (Bankr.D.Kan. 2012)
•Obtained a summary judgment denying administrative expense claim for indenture trustee of notes held by securitized lenders. In re Brooke Corp., 443 B.R. 856 (Bankr.D.Kan. 2011)
•Defended claim that sought post-confirmation award of bank's attorneys' fees. In re Farmers Cooperative Association, 323 B.R. 494 (Bankr.D.Kan. 2005), aff'd 2006 WL 950189 (D.Kan. 2006)
•Prosecuted various discharge complaints seeking denial of debtor's bankruptcy discharge: In re Patterson, 2013 WL 3376780 (Bankr. N.D. Ala. 2013), granting of summary judgment and denying discharge of a $807,500 debt); Quinn Capital LLC v. Ballard (Bankr. D. Kan. Case No. 11-06202), agreed judgment for $1.5 million; In re Glenn, 335 B.R. 703 (Bankr. W.D. Mo. 2005), denying debtor's discharge under 11 U.S.C. 727); Automotive Finance Corp. v. Knotts, (Bankr. D. Kan. Case No. 12-5102), agreed judgment.
•Obtained court order confirming foreign arbitration award. Guang Dong Light Headgear Factory Co. Ltd. v. ACI International Inc., 521 F.Supp.2d 1153 (D.Kan. 2007)
•Served as principal author of an amicus curiae brief for a significant number of Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees whose rationale was adopted by the U.S. Court of Appeals. In re Benn, 491 F.3d 811 (Eighth Circuit, 2007)
•Lead attorney in the Chapter 11 reorganization of Fortress Women's Center, St. Louis, Mo., which provides services for homeless and abused women and children (Bankr.E.D.Mo. Case No. 06-40160).
•Defended the Dominican Republic and its state-owned electric utility against enforcement of an adverse foreign arbitration award. Cayman Power Barge I Ltd. v. the State of the Dominican Republic, Case No. 06CV01362 (D.D.C.)
•Represented banks and other financial institutions in bankruptcy proceedings, including cash collateral issues, adequate protection payments, stay relief proceedings, plan confirmations, enforcement of rights and prosecution of discharge complaints.
6.11.14 Corporate Counsel CLE
Seminar Kansas City, MO
6.01.14 How to Minimize the Risk of Bankruptcy Avoidance Actions, The RMA Journal Financial Services Article
5.15.14 Corporate Counsel CLE
Seminar St. Louis, MO
4.16.14 Avoiding Bankruptcy Whammies for Secured Creditors, Young Professionals of the Kansas City Chapter of the Risk Management Association
Financial Services Speaking Engagement Kansas City, MO
3.07.14 Identifying Fraudulent Conveyances, National Business Institute
Financial Services Speaking Engagement Overland Park, KS
3.07.14 Creditor Remedies Available in Bankruptcy, National Business Institute
Financial Services Speaking Engagement Overland Park, KS
March 2014 Aggressively Protect Your Collateral When Borrowers Attempt Asset Transfers, The RMA Journal Article
9.11.13 Bankruptcy Litigation 101, National Business Institute
6.10.13 Common Landlord Tenant Issues in Bankruptcy, National Business Institute
Speaking Engagement Overland Park, KS
10.09.12 Benn & the State of Missouri Exemptions, Missouri Bar Commercial Law Committee webinar
In The News
10.16.13 In Missouri, 76 Husch Blackwell Attorneys Named 2013 Super Lawyers & Rising Stars
10.15.12 A Combined 84 Husch Blackwell Attorneys are Named 2012 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in Missouri and Nebraska
1.04.12 Twelve Husch Blackwell Attorneys Added to Partnership in 2012
Real Estate, Development & Construction