Mike Williams's practice focuses on complex business litigation and product liability litigation, especially class actions and national coordination of regulatory investigations and related "pattern" litigations. He has represented international manufacturers, small businesses, and individuals in more than 20 states across the country, including in trials, evidentiary hearings, and appeals. His experience includes advising clients in various industries regarding safety investigations, pre-suit preparedness and emergency response to product recalls and catastrophic accidents, crisis management, television and print media relations, and implementation of business strategies for avoiding litigation and reducing liability.
Mr. Williams is listed in Best Lawyers, The Legal 500 United States, and Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Stars. As reported in The Legal 500, clients and other lawyers have described Mr. Williams as "‘exceptional,'" "‘always available,'" "‘a great trial strategist,'" and possessing "‘the rare ability to communicate with business leaders in a meaningful way.'"
Mr. Williams's notable representations include the following:
- As national trial counsel for Whirlpool Corporation in consumer class actions since 2001, WTO has obtained numerous dismissals and non-class settlements, as well as defeated class certification, in cases alleging product defects, false advertising, and unfair consumer practices.
- Successfully tried to bench verdict a public interest case in which our clients proved that Colorado's electronic voting systems had not been tested and certified in accordance with Colorado law. The case led to major changes in Colorado election law.
- Successfully represented the Vancouver Canucks and the team's former head coach in a high-profile personal injury suit brought by a former Colorado Avalanche player who was injured during an on-ice incident. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court dismissed the case and awarded the defendants more than $100,000 in fees and costs.
- Served as trial counsel for Ford Motor Company in the retrial of an automobile product liability case that had been tried by another firm and had resulted in a nine-figure judgment. The first jury's compensatory damages award and finding of oppression or malice had been affirmed on appeal, and WTO stepped in when the case was remanded for retrial solely on the amount of punitive damages. WTO persuaded the second jury to award only one-third of the amount awarded in the initial trial. Following the retrial, WTO persuaded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to overturn the district court's reduced award of punitive damages, which led to a settlement on terms favorable to WTO's client before the third trial.
- Successfully represented a Colorado software company in a securities class action in which the client asked WTO to replace an international law firm as lead trial counsel shortly before trial.
- Successfully defended a large Colorado automobile dealer in a consumer class action in which the plaintiffs alleged violations of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and sought hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. The trial court's denial of class certification was affirmed on appeal.
- Successfully represented a national law firm in a shareholder derivative suit in which the plaintiffs alleged that the law firm had breached its professional obligations to the client corporation.
- Successfully defended an international manufacturer of medical devices in a class action brought by patients whom had been implanted with a device that was later recalled. The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their class claims following WTO's briefing of the key class certification issue.
- Successfully represented various manufacturers, retailers, and private labelers of diverse consumer products in regulatory inquiries and negotiations regarding the scope of voluntary recalls.
- Successfully represented a large chemical products manufacturer in a product liability action alleging that its recalled product was defective and caused the plaintiff to suffer carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Obtained summary judgment for an international automobile manufacturer in a commercial dispute with a former dealer in which the dealer alleged wrongful termination of his franchise.