Michael L. O'Donnell: Lawyer with Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP

Michael L. O'Donnell

Partner and Chairman
Denver,  CO  U.S.A.

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AV® Preeminent

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Experience & Credentials Ratings & Reviews

Practice Areas

  • Class Actions
  • Commercial
  • Personal Injury Defense
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Toxic Torts
  • Asbestos
  • Automotive
  • Construction & Engineering
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Health Care
  • Legal Services
  • Medical Devices & Pharmaceuticals
  • Professional Services
  • Telecommunications
University University of Notre Dame, B.A., English, 1976
Law SchoolUniversity of Denver Sturm College of Law, J.D., 1979 Intern to the Honorable Sherman Finesilver, United States District Court for the District of Colorado
Admitted1980, Colorado; 1992, Wyoming; U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois; U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado; U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; U.S. Supreme Court

Michael O'Donnell is a founder and the chairman of Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell. His national litigation practice focuses on complex civil litigation involving product liability, professional liability, torts, class actions and mass actions, commercial litigation, and bet-the-company matters. Mike has appeared as lead counsel in state and federal courts in 25 states.

Mike has served as national and regional counsel for Fortune 500 companies, including General Electric, Advanced Bionics, McKesson, Boston Scientific, and Pfizer. He represented NBC Universal in a case involving a catastrophic fire at Universal Studios and is national resolution counsel to GE on product liability cases across the country.

A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Mike served as the chairman of its Colorado chapter for two consecutive years and currently serves as the Regent for the 10th Circuit. He was also elected a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and to the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mike is a former chairman of The Network of Trial Law Firms, a 7,000-member lawyer organization that offers continuing legal education programs on litigation topics.

Colorado Super Lawyer s has ranked Mike the number one lawyer in Colorado for two years in a row (2013 and 2014) based on a survey of his peers, and he has been named to its top 10 list every year since 2009. Best Lawyers lists Mike in five litigation practice areas and named him "Denver Legal Malpractice Lawyer of the Year" for 2011 and "Denver Product Liability Litigation Lawyer of the Year" for 2012 and 2013. In 2011, Law Week Colorado selected Mike as one of 10 "Lawyers of the Decade" in Colorado. In a survey conducted by Law Week Colorado in 2010, Mike was selected by his peers as the "Best Trial Lawyer" in Colorado.

In 2012, Mike was honored with the DU Law Outstanding Alumni Awardwhich is presented each year to one DU Law graduate who has demonstrated professional achievement and humanitarian service to the community. In 2008, he became only the seventh defense lawyer to receive an award from the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association for the highest standards of competency, ethics, and professionalism.

Legal Memberships, Activities, and Honors

fellow of American College of Trial Lawyers
Regent, 2012-2016
Regent's Nominating Committee, 2014
Special Problems in the Administration of Justice Committee, Vice Chairman, 2011-2012
Adjunct State Committee, 2011-2012
Colorado State Committee, Chairman, 2008-2010
Chairman-Elect, 2007-2008, Vice Chairman, 2006-2007
Code of Conduct Committee, 2007-2008
Complex Litigation Committee 2004-2005

fellow of International Academy of Trial Lawyers

American Board of Trial Advocates

Law Week Colorado
"Barrister's Best" Best Class Action/Mass Tort Defense Lawyer, 2012
Lawyers of the Decade, 2011
"Barrister's Best" Best Trial Lawyer, 2010

Best Lawyers
Denver Product Liability Litigation Lawyer of the Year, 2012-2013
Denver Legal Malpractice Lawyer of the Year, 2011, 2014
Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2005-2014
Commercial Litigation, 2005-2014
Legal Malpractice Law, 2005-2014
Personal Injury Litigation, 2005-2014
Product Liability Litigation, 2005-2014

Chambers USA
Commercial Litigation - Colorado, 2009-2014

The Legal 500 United States
Litigation: Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense, 2007, 2009-2011, 2013

Benchmark Litigation
Commercial Litigation - Colorado, 2011-2014
Product Liability - Colorado, 2013-2014
Professional Liability - Colorado, 2013-2014

Colorado Super Lawyers
Ranked #1 in Colorado, 2013-2014
Top 10, 2007, 2009-2014
Personal Injury Defense: Products, 2009-2014
Class Action/Mass Torts, 2006-2008

University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Outstanding Alumni Award, 2012

Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated

The International Who's Who of Product Liability Defense Lawyers, 2011, 2014

The International Who's Who of Life Sciences Lawyers, 2014

Colorado Trial Lawyers Association
Award for Competency, Ethics, and Professionalism, 2008

The American Lawyer
Top Commercial Litigation Lawyers, 2006

Colorado Corporate Counsel Black Book
Class Action Lawsuits, 2007

Best of the Bar, Denver Business Journal

Colorado Bar Foundation

The Network of Trial Law Firms
Chairman, 2005-2006

Denver Bar Association
Vice President, Board of Trustees

Colorado Bar Association
Member, Board of Governors

American Bar Association
Chairman, Issues Affecting the Legal Profession
Young Lawyers Section Liaison to Standing Committee on
Professional Discipline

American Bar Foundation

International Association of Defense Counsel

Judge William E. Doyle American Inn of Court, Master

Denver Law Club

Faculty of Federal Advocates
Board of Directors, 2004-2005

Defense Research Institute
Member, Professional Liability Committee

Colorado Defense Lawyers Association

USDC Colorado Committee on Conduct, 2012

Who's Who in Law, Denver Business Journal

University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Co-Chair of Reunion Committee, 2004

Colorado Judicial Institute
Board of Directors, 2004-present
Judicial Awards Committee, 2006-present

IAALS Law Firm Council
Founding member

Community Memberships, Activities, and Honors

Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell Foundation
Founder and President, 2005-present

Archdiocese of Denver
Finance Council, 2008-present

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Denver
Board Member, 2010-present

Denver Police Foundation
Board of Directors, 2004-present

Walking for Kids
Founding Member, Board of Directors, 2009-present

Trial.com Foundation, Inc.
President, 2005-2006

The Catholic Foundation
Board of Directors, Advancement Committee, 2004-2005

American Heart Association of Colorado and Wyoming
Chairman of the Board

American Heart Association of Colorado
Denver Metro Division, Chairman of the Board

Denver Tennis Club
Board of Directors

The Village Club

Hundred Club of Denver

Teaching Positions

BAR-BRI Course on Professional Responsibility

National Institute for Trial Advocacy

University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Guest Lecturer

University of Colorado at Denver, MBA Program
Guest Lecturer

Numerous CLE Presentations

Personal Interests






Represent a Fortune 5 company as national resolution counsel in hundreds of cases involving a medical imaging contrast agent alleged to induce a rare disease.

Represent a medical device company as national coordinating and trial counsel for the defense of product liability lawsuits involving a Class III medical device used to treat hearing loss.

Represent lawyers and law firms throughout the United States in defending legal malpractice claims.

Represented a Fortune 500 company as national trial counsel for hundreds of product liability claims and lawsuits involving a Class II medical device used to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Obtained summary judgment from a Texas district court in a case alleging WTO's client, a life insurance company, committed fraud and violated consumer protection laws.

Obtained dismissal of RICO and conspiracy claims brought against a prominent east coast law firm and one of its partners in U.S.D.C. for the Western District of Missouri.

Secured a ruling from a California appeals court affirming the preemption of claims brought against WTO's client Guidant for its abdominal stent medical device.

Moore v. Bertuzzi, The Vancouver Canucks Hockey Club et al. - Represented the Vancouver Canucks hockey club and former head coach in a lawsuit brought by a Colorado Avalanche player as a result of injuries sustained during a hockey game.

Vastano v. AT&T Wireless Class Action - Defended AT&T Wireless in a nationwide class action in Colorado state court involving the billing of wireless air time.

Representative Clients

Advanced Bionics - National Trial Counsel

Boston Scientific - National Trial Counsel


Crown Equipment

General Electric - National Resolution Counsel

General Electric - National Trial Counsel

Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance

Guidant - National Trial Counsel

High net-worth individuals

Lawyers and Law Firms




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#416 in weekly profile views out of 11,040 lawyers in Denver, Colorado
#41,985 in weekly profile views out of 1,530,397 total lawyers Overall

Office Information

Michael L. O'Donnell

370 Seventeenth Street, Suite 4500
DenverCO 80202-5647


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