Michael L. Brooks
BA, Political Science, Kalamazoo College, 1985
JD, University of Michigan Law School, cum laude, Order of the Coif, 1988
State of Illinois
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
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Michael L. Brooks has over 20 years of experience working on complex litigation matters for both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts throughout the United States. Mike devotes his practice to a wide range of commercial and civil litigation cases, representing both corporate and individual clients. While known for his strong advocacy, Mike also prides himself on his ability to help clients resolve matters at an early stage of litigation in order to avoid the unnecessary expense and distraction of protracted litigation.
Upon graduation from law school, Mike began his career in the Chicago office of Mayer, Brown & Platt, one of the world’s largest international law firms. After several years as an associate there, Mike became a partner at a small Chicago firm. More recently, Mike spent over a decade as Special Counsel and then Partner at Kerns, Frost & Pearlman in Chicago.
In his career, Mike has had extensive experience representing Fortune 1000 companies, private businesses, insurance carriers, professionals, and consumers in trial (including arbitrations) and appellate matters. His broad commercial litigation background includes representing clients in class actions, commercial contract cases, complex construction-dispute arbitrations, and professional liability coverage matters. Mike has represented several dozen victims of clerical sex abuse, including being an essential member of the litigation team that represented six childhood sexual abuse survivors, which resulted in the largest average individual settlements of any multi-party claims involving Catholic priests in the United States.
Mike’s experience goes beyond the courtroom and includes investigations, client interviews, drafting pleadings, motion practice, written and oral discovery, e-discovery issues, working with experts, post-trial briefing, appeals, and settlement strategy. Mike recently served as the primary outside lawyer on two professional liability insurance programs for an insurance carrier client. In that role he developed a risk and loss control issue strategy and acted as lead counsel in several dozen multi-party mediations.
- Represented insurance carrier client on several declaratory judgment lawsuits filed in California that helped lead to global resolution of multi-party professional liability malpractice lawsuits.
- Responsible for oversight of two professional services insurance programs, including performing insurance coverage analysis of complex litigation, as well as claim valuation, monitoring of ongoing litigation and defense counsel, and advice for the resolution of complex claims. Managed all aspects of programs, including mitigating expenses and exposure, attending mediations and/or arbitrations, and negotiating settlement terms for claims.
- Lead Illinois Counsel to financial services company in early dismissal of putative class action lawsuits alleging violations of Illinois consumer lending statutes. Illinois Appellate Court affirmed dismissal of case.
- Successfully defended two individuals from a defamation lawsuit filed against them by a Catholic priest who was accused of childhood sexual abuse, resulting in dismissal of claim.
- Represented six victims of priest sexual abuse in multiple cases that ultimately settled for the largest average settlement of any multi-party claims involving Catholic priests in the United States.
- Represented multiple other sexual abuse clients whose claims have been successfully resolved through the litigation and/or mediation process.
- Served as lead counsel in trial involving dispute over the sale of Chicago real estate, ultimately settling after receiving favorable verdict awarding client damages on claim.
- Served as lead counsel in TRO/Injunctive hearing in case involving restrictive covenant/trade secrets dispute. After trial commenced, opposing party dropped lawsuit with no settlement payment made.
- Took or defended over 50 depositions in several large tort class action cases litigated in various jurisdictions throughout the United States.
- Acted as second chair in two construction arbitration cases that went to verdict, including examining and cross-examining both fact and expert witnesses.
- Acted as lead trial counsel in pro bono matter defending client against lawsuit filed by former attorneys seeking attorney fees for services rendered to client.
Activities & Associations
- Member, Chicago Bar Association, Judicial Evaluation Committee
- Member, American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability
- Member, Professional Liability Underwriting Society
- Volunteer, tutor, and fundraiser at one of Chicago’s largest homes for abused and neglected children
- Taught legal writing and research to first year law students at the University of Michigan