Michael J. Cook

02/27/2020
Michael J. Cook
Attorney

Michael J. Cook

Attorney

Michael J. Cook

Summary

Mike’s practice focuses on appellate and post-verdict litigation. After clerking for Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert P. Young, Jr., Mike worked in the commercial-litigation department of a large Detroit-area law firm before joining Collins Einhorn’s appellate department. The majority of Mike’s practice involves briefing and oral advocacy in state and federal appeals. But his practice reaches beyond appellate courts. He has been retained to work with trial counsel to minimize risk exposure and posture a case for appeal through dispositive and other pre-trial motions. His post-trial work commonly includes addressing thorny entry-of-judgment issues, prevailing-party costs, and post-judgment motion practice aimed at framing issues for appeal.

Mike’s successful appellate practice is rooted in thorough research and readable, punchy writing. A federal district court judge commenting on a brief that Mike wrote said that it “had a special ability to take complicated issues and make them as straightforward as possible for me to understand.”


Credentials

Education
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law (J.D. magna cum laude, 2007)
  • Michigan State University (B.A. with high honors, 2003)
Admissions
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
Professional Activities
  • Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Michigan Defense Trial Counsel
    • Board of Directors
    • Editor, Michigan Defense Quarterly
  • Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society’s Advocates Guild
  • Oakland County Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Appellate Practice Section
Accomplishments
  • Best Lawyers of America®
    • Appellate Practice (2020-2021)
  • Super Lawyers™
    • Rising Star (2014-2019)
  • DBusiness® Top Lawyer
    • Appellate Law (2017, 2020)
Prominent Outcomes

Medical Malpractice

Rock v Crocker, 499 Mich 247 (2016)—obtained leave to appeal and, after arguing before the full court, obtained opinion vacating part of the Court of Appeals’ opinion on an evidentiary issue concerning admissibility of alleged breaches that did not cause the alleged injury.

Williamson v Suleiman, unpublished order of the Court of Appeals, issued Apr. 15, 2016 (Docket No. 330396)—obtained order peremptorily reversing the trial court and ordering summary disposition for defendant based on affidavit-of-merit issue.

Weatherly v Baga, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued Mar. 3, 2016 (Docket No. 324566); 2016 WL 857226-after successful application for leave to appeal, obtained reversal of order denying summary disposition based on causation in wrongful-death action.

Frazier v Uitvlugt, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued May 24, 2016 (Docket No. 325241); 2016 WL 3020812—successfully defended no-cause-of-action verdict on appeal.

Kariott v Roche, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued May 26, 2016 (Docket No. 326444); 2016 WL 3030914—successfully defended summary disposition in favor of defendant based on affidavit-of-merit issue.

Bindschatel v Traverse Anesthesia Associates, P.C., unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued Mar. 8, 2016 (Docket No. 323769); 2016 WL 901516—successfully defended order granting summary disposition based on deficient expert testimony concerning breach of the standard of care.

General Liability

DeVine v School District – Plaintiff filed suit against the School District alleging that the district was liable for the actions of one of its teachers who had engaged in a consensual sexual relationship with the plaintiff. The trial court granted the School District’s motion for summary disposition on the basis of governmental immunity and dismissed the suit in its entirety.

Ceaser v Gouda, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued Aug. 21, 2014 (Docket No. 315446); 2014 WL 4160320—successfully obtained order granting leave to appeal and then reversal of trial court’s order denying summary disposition in premises liability case.

Wimberly v Forman Mills, Inc, 574 Fed Appx 621 (CA 6, 2014)—successfully defended order granting summary judgment for department store in premises liability case.

Kheder v Seterus, Inc, et al., unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued Mar. 28, 2013 (Docket No. 308227); 2013 WL 1286020—successfully obtained affirmance of summary disposition for winterizing company on plaintiffs’ trespass, conversion, and defamation claims arising out of winterizing of foreclosed residential home.

Legal Malpractice

Farris v McKaig, 342 Mich App 349; 920 NW2d 377 (2018)—established new, controlling precedent under which lawyers-guardian ad litems who are appointed in child-protective proceedings are immune from civil liability when acting within the scope of their authority.

Haddad v Randall S. Miller Associates, PC, 587 Fed Appx 959 (CA 6, 2014)—obtained affirmance of order dismissing Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claim based on interpretation of Michigan foreclosure statutes and judicial estoppel doctrine.

Wilson v HSBC Bank, N.A., et al., 594 Fed Appx 852 (CA 6, 2014)—secured affirmance of order granting motion to dismiss in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case arising from foreclosure action.

Ghannam v Hamameh, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued May 22, 2014 (Docket No. 313568); 2014 WL 2158174—obtained opinion affirming summary disposition for defendant attorney based on judicial proceedings privilege.

Souden v Bleich, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued Apr. 17, 2014 (Docket No. 314143); 2014 WL 1515416—successfully obtained order granting leave to appeal and reversal of order denying summary disposition in legal malpractice case raising joint-enterprise theory of liability.

Slavik v The Baskin Law Firm, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued Dec. 26, 2013 (Docket No. 311905); 2013 WL 6921530—secured order affirming summary disposition for defendants on former client’s breach of contract, unjust enrichment, conversion, and breach of fiduciary duty claims.

Publications & Speaking Engagements

Civil-liability immunity for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan Lawyers Weekly (April 27, 2020)

Establishing medical-expense damages in Michigan Part 2: What about the collateral-source rule?, Michigan Lawyers Weekly (part two of a two-part series) (March 24, 2020)

Establishing Medical-Expense Damages in Michigan Part 1: The Amount Billed or Paid?, Michigan Lawyers Weekly (part one of a two-part series) (March 10, 2020)

Is Your Brief Conversational? It Should Be, Michigan Defense Quarterly, Volume 35, Number 3 (2019)

Much Ado About Denney, Michigan Lawyers Weekly (a three-part series addressing economic damages in wrongful-death cases) (Jan. 15, Jan. 29, Feb. 12, 2019)

Revisiting Bryant: Is it Medical Malpractice or Ordinary Negligence?, Michigan Defense Quarterly, Volume 34, Number 4 (2018)

Medical Malpractice Case Law Update (2015-2016), MDTC Annual Meeting, May 12, 2016

Revisiting Things That Go Bump in the Appellate Practitioner’s Night: Gelboim v Bank of America Corp and questions left unanswered for appeals in consolidated mutli-district cases, Michigan Appellate Practice Journal, Volume 19, Number 1 (Spring 2015)

Don’t Lose Your Appeal of Right: Final Orders, Merits Decisions, and Contractual Attorney Fees,The Journal of Insurance and Indemnity Law, Volume 7, Number 4 (October 2014)

Things That Go Bump in the Appellate Practitioner’s Night: In re: Refrigerant Compressors Antitrust Litigation and final order issues in consolidated multi-district cases, Michigan Appellate Practice Journal, Volume 18, Number 2 (Spring 2014)

Editor, Chapter 2: Preparing the Case for Appeal in Michigan Appellate Handbook (Shannon & Gerville-Reache eds, ICLE 3d ed 2013).

Editor, Chapter 25: Postjudgment Motions in Michigan Civil Procedure (Lang et al eds, ICLE 2d ed 2012)

Appellate Counsels’ Tips for Navigating Trial and Post-Trial Practice, 93 Michigan Bar Journal 62, by Noreen L. Slank and Michael J. Cook (2014)

Exemplary Damages Are Not an Excuse For Double Dipping (Unless the Legislature Says It’s OK), Michigan State Bar Negligence Law Section E-News (Fall 2012)

Get Out Now or Risk Being Taken Out By Force: Judicial Review of State Government Emergency Power Following a Natural Disaster, 57 Case Wes. Res. L. Rev. 265 (2006)

Is Scarsella on the Chopping Block?

An interesting debate played out in the concurring statements to a Supreme Court decision issued earlier today. The topic was Scarsella v Pollak, a 20-year-old Supreme Court decision in a medical-malpractice case. The decision issued today didn’t involve a medical-malpractice case, but it established that there are currently at least two votes to overrule Scarsella….

Michael J. Cook Successfully Obtained Reversal of the Post-Meeting-Notice Provision in Court of Appeals

In Sampson v Shorepointe Nursing Center, the trial court ordered defense counsel to notify the plaintiff’s counsel every time they met with one of the plaintiff’s healthcare providers. Collins Einhorn appellate attorney Michael J. Cook successfully obtained reversal of the post-meeting-notice provision. Defense attorneys commonly request HIPAA-compliant qualified protective orders so that they can contact…

Michigan Supreme Court Orders Argument in Two Appeals Concerning Malpractice Law

Michigan Supreme Court orders argument on pair of plaintiff applications concerning malpractice law. Last week, the Michigan Supreme Court signaled that it’s considering a tectonic shift in malpractice law. It granted the plaintiff leave to appeal in one malpractice case and ordered argument on the plaintiff’s application for leave to appeal in another. The issues…

Protection Against Retaliation: Civil-Liability Immunity and Lawyer-Guardian ad Litems

There are some saints in the legal profession. Attorneys who accept appointments to represent the best interests of a minor in child-protective proceedings are among them. Their work isn’t lucrative, and the stakes are exceptionally high. Collins Einhorn attorneys recently prevailed in an immunity defense of such an attorney―establishing new, controlling precedent in the process….

Twenty-Three Collins Einhorn Farrell PC Attorneys Recognized by 2020 Super Lawyers®

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC is proud to announce that 15 of its attorneys have been named to the 2020 Michigan Super Lawyers list, and an additional 8 attorneys were named to the 2020 Michigan Rising Stars list. Additionally, Melissa Graves was named to the Top 50: 2020 Women Michigan Super Lawyers list. Super Lawyers, a…

Michael J. Cook Appointed to Board of Michigan Defense Trial Counsel

Attorney Michael J. Cook was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel (MDTC). The MDTC is an association of lawyers in the State of Michigan dedicated to representing individuals and corporations in civil litigation. As a member of the board, Cook reflects on his experience in the organization: “The…

Attorneys Anderson and Cook Successfully Defend Legal-Malpractice Claim Arising Out of a Stabbing at a Hookah Lounge

The plaintiff filed a legal-malpractice complaint against his criminal-defense lawyer. His claims were based on his conviction for assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder—he stabbed a man in the neck during a fight at a hookah lounge. After his conviction, the plaintiff filed a motion arguing that he did not receive effective assistance of counsel. The criminal court denied the motion. In the civil case, David Anderson represented the criminal-defense lawyer and obtained summary dismissal. He argued, and the court agreed, that the trial court’s finding in the criminal case that plaintiff did, in fact, receive effective assistance of counsel collaterally estopped him from claiming that his lawyer committed malpractice. The plaintiff appealed and Michael Cook successfully obtained a Michigan Court of Appeals opinion affirming the trial court’s ruling.

Attorneys Asoklis and Cook Successfully Defend Multimillion-Dollar Legal-Malpractice Claim

Collins Einhorn attorneys Theresa M. Asoklis and Michael J. Cook successfully defended a complex, large damage, legal-malpractice case. After the trial court denied two motions for summary disposition, Asoklis and Cook, obtained a rare grant of leave to appeal from the Court of Appeals. The appellate court then reversed, finding that the trial court should have granted summary disposition to the defendants based on the expiration of the statute of limitations. To read further, click on the headline.

Attorneys Howard-Goudy and Cook obtain summary disposition on behalf of public school district

Attorneys Kellie L. Howard-Goudy and Michael J. Cook obtained summary disposition on behalf of a public school district and the school itself, cutting off a multimillion dollar liability exposure. The plaintiff, arguing the case in Wayne County Circuit Court, asserted negligence and gross negligence claims based on a paralyzing injury he suffered during football practice. He claimed that the operation of the school football team was negligent and unauthorized. Howard-Goudy and Cook asserted and the Court agreed that the school district, which was an “educational authority” instead of a typical school district, was entitled to governmental immunity.

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC Announces New Partners

We are pleased to announce that attorneys Rick Braun, Michael J. Cook and Nicole E. Wilinski have been elected partners in the firm. Rick Braun is a partner in the firm’s nationally recognized mass-tort defense group. He focuses his practice on the defense of asbestos claims, and has defended premises owners, non-manufacturing suppliers, and manufacturers…

Michigan Court of Appeals tells attorneys: You too can appeal a fee award!

It isn’t unusual for a trial court to order one party to pay another party’s attorney fees at the end of litigation. There are several court rules and statutes that require such orders. But when attorney fees are awarded, the question quickly becomes “how much?” When the trial court awards less than what the party…

Collins Einhorn Welcomes New Associate Michael J. Cook

Collins Einhorn is please to announce that associate, Michale J. Cook has joined the Firm. Mike earned his law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Magna Cum Laude, in 2007. He is also a 2003 graduate of Michigan State University. Mike’s practice focuses on appellate and summary judgment research and brief writing….

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