Michael Kuiken concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial litigation; insurance and reinsurance coverage advisory work and litigation; directors and officers counseling and litigation; professional liability litigation; shareholder dispute counseling and litigation; construction and design defect counseling and litigation; and real estate litigation. Michael also possesses experience in the additional areas of commercial subrogation, premises liability, transportation litigation, tort defense, financial services litigation, and regulatory advisory matters. Michael has represented clients in disputes in over thirty (30+) jurisdictions, both in the U.S. and internationally.
Over the course of his career, Michael has served as lead trial counsel on many different matters, obtaining favorable verdicts on behalf of insurance and transportation clients. Michael has also served as trial counsel in the successful prosecution and defense of commercial litigation matters, including successful representation of an insurer which sought over $100,000,000.00 in damages from its former managing general agency for losses incurred by the insurer due to the managing general agency’s violations of policy underwriting guidelines. Michael also has experience representing governmental entities, including obtaining a favorable settlement for less than the cost of defense while serving as second chair trial counsel in a construction negligence matter where plaintiffs sought over $20,000,000.00 in damages.
Michael also represents insurers in a variety of coverage disputes, including a matter arising out a catastrophic crane collapse in Midtown Manhattan, NY. In that case, he represented a primary insurer under a CGL policy which was sued by its excess insurer for $25,000,000.00 in damages related to the defense of the underlying litigation that was filed by various parties claiming injuries and property damage as a result of the crane collapse. In Mizyed v. Travelers Home and Marine Ins. Co., Case No. 1:12cv1016 (C.D. Ill.), Michael was the lead associate involved with successfully defending an insurer’s denial of coverage for a home and personal property (contents) claim in excess of $1.5 million arising out of an arson to a luxury home owned by the insured. At the close of discovery, and with the insurer’s motion for summary judgment pending, Michael and his team obtained settlement on behalf of the insurer on terms which were incredibly favorable to the insurer and helped the insurer recoup some of the monies it had been forced to expend in paying off the remainder of the mortgage on the property.
Michael has also helped shape Illinois law on key issues relating to construction defect claims, most notably in the matter styled Board of Managers of 15th Place Condo Ass’n. v. South Campus Development Team, et al., 2013 IL App (1st) 122292, where he was part of a team that secured victory on the issue of operation of the contractual suit limitations provisions found at Articles 8.3/9.3 of the standard 1997 AIA form Owner-Architect and Owner-General Contractor agreements. The case marked the first time in U.S. jurisprudence that an appellate court had interpreted the suit limitations provision in a third party context.
Similarly, Michael has successfully obtained dismissal in many matters at the trial court level in disputes over whether the Illinois Implied Warranty of Habitability doctrine applies to design professionals. For example, in Board of Managers of Fordham Place v. 25 E. Superior, et al., Case No. 2008 L 2885 (Cir. Ct. of Cook Co., IL), Michael represented a project engineer in a dispute over The Fordham, a 50 story luxury condominium tower in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Michael obtained summary judgment for his client, a consulting engineer on the project, by successfully arguing that the lack of contractual privity between plaintiffs and the project engineer barred plaintiffs’ claim for breach of the implied warranty of habitability (i.e., the court held that the Minton exception to the Moorman doctrine would not be extended to design professionals).
Michael has been named an “Emerging Lawyer” by Leading Lawyers Magazine for the years 2015, 2016, and 2017. He has also conducted numerous CLE seminars for his insurance clients, focusing on key trends in the industry and industry forecasts.
Prior to beginning his legal career, Michael worked professionally as a television sports anchor and reporter for FOX and ABC affiliates in Louisiana and Tennessee, respectively.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Professional and Community Organizations
American Bar Association
Illinois State Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
University of Michigan Law School Club of Greater Chicago (founding board member; member of steering committee)
University of Michigan, B.A., 2003
University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 2007