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Michael D. Bess

Partner

Overview

Mike serves as a strategic counselor, appellate advocate, and motion and brief writer in complex commercial and criminal cases.

Sophisticated business clients turn to Mike for strategic advice and drafting expertise, and he has proved instrumental in securing case dismissals, in defeating class certifications, and in preserving or reversing judgments on appeal. His efforts have consistently eliminated or substantially reduced clients’ financial exposure.

 

Mike’s trial work includes briefing motions of every ilk, including dispositive, discovery, evidentiary, and postjudgment motions, as well as Daubert submissions, bench briefs, and jury instructions. At the appellate level, Michael has successfully argued appeals and drafted a panoply of victorious briefs.

Michael’s experience spans a wide variety of fields, including securities and consumer fraud class actions, product liability, employment discrimination, white collar, criminal, civil rights, environmental, False Claims Act investigations, and state common law actions.

Prior to joining Michael Best, Mike worked for two large Chicago-based law firms, where he represented several Fortune 500 companies and prominent political figures. He also served as a law clerk to the Hon. Terence T. Evans of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and as a Seventh Circuit staff attorney. 

Experience

Motions and brief architect on successful trial teams

Mike drafted motions, briefs and jury instructions as part of several successful trial teams. His efforts helped secure defense verdicts in two recent cases for the City of Chicago as well as favorable outcomes in multimillion-dollar product liability and consumer fraud actions.

A victory that raised the legal threshold for DCFS intervention

Mike argued and assisted in drafting briefs in a Seventh Circuit appeal on behalf of a married couple whose child was wrongfully taken by the Department of Community and Family Services (DCFS). This landmark victory afforded innocent parents heightened protection against wrongful DCFS intervention and resulted in a significant settlement for his clients. Mike’s efforts earned him the Seventh Circuit Bar Association’s “John Paul Stevens Pro Bono and Public Service Award” for outstanding pro bono service.

Vanquishing multimillion-dollar, high profile class actions

Mike assisted in drafting prevailing briefs in several class actions, including certification submissions in the first-filed fast food obesity class action, the victorious appeal brief that preserved a favorable strategic settlement judgment in a multimillion-dollar commodity fraud class action, and the winning motions to dismiss in a multimillion-dollar consumer fraud class action involving securities processing fees.

Versatile advisor in significant cases across multiple fields

Mike provided critical counsel in a wide variety of important cases, including successfully preparing a corporate witness for a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition in a “bet the company” auditor liability action, assisting in drafting prevailing briefs before the United States Supreme Court in cases addressing the scope of the federal money laundering statute and the constitutionality of legislative prayer, and coordinating large scale responses to government regulatory inquiries.  

Honors & Recognitions

  • John Paul Stevens Pro Bono and Public Service Award, Seventh Circuit Bar Association, 2012
  • “Illinois Rising Star,” Chicago Magazine, 2008-2009

Professional Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Seventh Circuit Bar Association

Education

Admissions

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