Michael A. Pollard concentrates his practice in appellate advocacy and class action defense. He has argued over 150 cases in various appellate courts, and participated in the briefing of many more. He also defends class actions on myriad issues — including those involved in the areas of ERISA and employee benefits, general commercial litigation, insurance, product liability, toxic and business torts, defamation and constitutional litigation.
Michael is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and a former President of the Appellate Lawyers Association. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Benchmark: Litigation, The Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, Illinois Leading Lawyers and Illinois Super Lawyers. He has been named Best Lawyers' 2012 Chicago Appellate Practice Lawyer of the Year.
Michael has won judgments and appeals for his clients — or defeated class certification — in a wide variety of cases. He has also negotiated favorable settlements of numerous other class actions. In addition to his appellate and class action practice, Michael has defended many employee benefits disputes, some involving the US Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. He has handled a range of employee benefits issues, and has defended fiduciaries of single employer and multi-employer pension and welfare plans.
Representative Legal Matters
- Successfully obtained outright reversal of USD11 million fraud verdict against former president of NYSE.
- Successfully defeated a class action against securities brokers challenging the practice of payment for order flow.
- Successfully defeated class certification case alleging that construction defects allegedly gave rise to liability for mold contamination.
- Handled bodily injury and consumer fraud claims arising against, in one case, a hotel chain, and in another, a food producer, for damages incurred as a result of food-borne illness.
- Successfully defeated consumer fraud claims against a manufacturer of cellular telephones for diminished value due to an alleged failure to eliminate health risks to consumers.
- Obtained multi-million dollar reduction in judgments against multiple product liability defendants.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Academy of Appellate Lawyers - Fellow
- Chicago Bar Association - Member
- American Bar Association - Member
- Appellate Lawyer Association - Past President
- Illinois State Bar Association - Member
- Defense Research Institute - Member
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit~United States (2011)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit~United States (2003)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit~United States (2002)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit~United States (1999)
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan~United States (1998)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit~United States (1997)
- U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois~United States (1997)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit~United States (1997)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit~United States (1995)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit~United States (1994)
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan~United States (1992)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit~United States (1991)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit~United States (1990)
- U.S. Supreme Court~United States (1983)
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois~United States (1983)
- Illinois~United States (1983)
- University of Illinois College of Law (J.D.) (1983)
- University of Chicago (M.A.) (1977)
- University of Notre Dame (A.B.) (1976)