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Overview

Michael John Miguel is a principal in the firm’s Los Angeles office. He concentrates his active trial practice on commercial litigation, with an emphasis in insurance coverage, environmental, antitrust, intellectual property, and toxic tort defense litigation matters. Mr. Miguel represents and counsels clients on a national and international basis, and has assisted in obtaining insurance recoveries well in excess of $1 billion for clients on a national and international basis.

Mr. Miguel has successfully appeared before state and federal trial and appellate courts in twenty-three (23) states and the U.S. Supreme Court, and has tried cases to verdict/judgment in five different states. He has also conducted several domestic and international arbitration proceedings.

Mr. Miguel has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal Corporation and has been named a Super Lawyer in the Southern California Region.

Experience

Representative Matters

Prior to joining the firm:

  • Celanese Corporation v. OneBeacon Americas Insurance Co. Served as lead trial counsel for policyholder seeking compliance with coverage-in-place agreements.  Unanimous verdict for client found breach of contract and bad faith against OneBeacon and its third party administrator (Suffolk Cty, MA, Superior Court 2010).
  • OneBeacon America Insurance Co. v. Celanese Corporation. Served as lead counsel in second suit brought by insurer to avoid all insuring obligations. Judgment entered in favor of client in excess of $3 million (Suffolk Cty, MA, Superior Court 2014).
  • Taylor Energy Company LLC v. Underwriters at Lloyd’s. Served as lead counsel for policyholder, obtaining summary judgment on coverage under an energy package policy for offshore environmental liabilities. Obtain first reported U.S. case holding London Market insurers liable for off-shore contamination cleanup under energy package policy and a mid-eight figure settlement (E.D. Louisiana 2010).
  • In re Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1566. Serves as lead counsel for Midwest utility company in consolidated class actions from seven states, alleging wholesale natural gas price manipulation between 1999-2002. After summary judgment and appeal to Ninth Circuit, certiorari was granted and the cases were heard by the U. S. Supreme Court in January 2015. Cases are currently on remand to the MDL district court for further proceedings (D. Nev. 2006-present).
  • Southern Natural Gas Company v. London Market Insurers. Served as lead trial counsel for policyholder seeking coverage for historic environmental liabilities; obtained two unanimous jury verdicts in favor of coverage, which were upheld by the Alabama Supreme Court in July 2013 (Jefferson Cty, AL, Circuit Court, 2001-2013).
  • ExxonMobil v. New West Petroleum. Served as lead trial and appellate counsel for six-week jury trial concerning allocation of liability for historic environmental property damage (E.D. Cal. 2009).
  • Kern County Land Co. v. California Union Ins. Co. Served as lead trial counsel in three trials for policyholder in “global” coverage case for historic environmental liabilities on seven lines of coverage, resulting in nine-figure settlements (San Francisco Cty. Superior Court, 1997-2008).
  • Butter Flavoring Litigation. Served as counsel for a product manufacturer in mass-tort litigation alleging injuries (and death) from exposure to chemicals used in the production of microwave popcorn (Ohio, 2007-2009).
  • Served as lead counsel on several confidential arbitration/mediation/mini-trial proceedings involving international contract disputes, offshore damage liabilities (and related insurance), and reinsurance issues.

Recognition

Rankings & Honors

  • Member of Chambers USA-rated insurance recovery (policyholder) groups (2010-present)
  • Chosen as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in California” as a result of insurance recovery successes
  • Recognized annually as a Southern California Super Lawyer for insurance litigation (2015-present)

News & Events

Speaking Engagements

  • “Primetime for Subprime: Insurance Implications for Subprime Litigation - Credit Default Swaps," ABA Section of Litigation, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, Tucson, AZ (March 2009)
    04.11.2016
  • “Insurance Allocation Strategies 2013,” HB Litigation Conference (October 2014)
    04.11.2016
  • “Energy Package Policies/Offshore Drilling Coverage Issues,” K&L Gates sponsored CLE Seminar Los Angeles, CA (June 2011)
    04.11.2016
  • "Key Insurance Coverage Issues Under "Energy Package" Policies for Offshore Operations," K&L Gates co-sponsored seminar, Houston, TX (October 2010)
    04.11.2016
  • “Number of Occurrences in Insurance Liability Claims: Framing the Occurrence Issue to Maximize Policyholder’s Coverage or Limit Insurer’s Exposure,” Stafford Publishing CLE Webinar (April 2015)
    04.11.2016

Articles

Publications

  • “Evaluating Offshore Insurance Protections in the Post Macondo Blowout World,” Oil & Gas Monitor (October 2011)
  • “Offshore Environmental Damage Insurance: Not Just Window Dressing Any More,” ASIA-MENA Counsel (2011)

Education

J.D., University of Southern California Law School, 1989

  • Staff editor, U.S.C. Journal of Law & Environment

B.A., English Literature, University of California Los Angeles, 1986

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Fifth, and Ninth Circuits
  • United States District Courts for the Central, Northern, Eastern, and Southern Districts of California
  • United States District Court for Massachusetts

Bar Associations

  • California (1989)
  • District of Columbia (1995)
  • Massachusetts (1994)
  • U.S. Supreme Court (2014)
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