Michael (Mike) G. Halligan
Partner, Construction Group Chair
1000 SW Broadway, Suite 1400
Portland, Oregon 97205
503.243.1661 x 273 Direct
Assistant: Joanna Bolstad: 503.243.1661 x 243
Michael has over twenty five years of experience litigating complex business disputes, construction claims, creditor's claims, estate and trust disputes, and warranty claims. Michael's bottom line and client-centric approach leads to early and cost effective resolution of disputes whether through direct negotiation, mediation or arbitration. He represents businesses and individuals in a wide range of industries and issues, including the following:
• Estates and Trusts Disputes
• Environmental Litigation
• Fiduciary Liability
• Food Manufacturing
• Limited Liability Company and Partnership Disputes
• Purchase and Sale of Businesses and Assets
• Viatical Investments
• Wholesale Distributing
Michael is a native of Oregon. He chairs the firm's Construction Group and serves on the Business Litigation Steering Committee. Michael was a member of the firm's management committee for six years and past chair of the Litigation Practice Group. Michael has spoken extensively on construction law and business litigation topics.
B.S., cum laude
, Western Oregon State College
J.D., Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College
Admitted to Practice
Idaho State Bar
U.S. District Court, Idaho
Oregon State Bar
U.S. District Court, Oregon
Successfully defended a high-tech equipment manufacturer against fraudulent transfer and business interference claims seeking more than $6 million in damages. Expert testimony from an equipment appraiser and industry expert let to a trial verdict awarding the plaintiff nothing.
Represented a national bank and successfully obtained pre-judgment appointment of a receiver and recovery of personal property to take over the debtor's business operations which effectively offset the bank's existing collateral and personal guarantees which were virtually worthless. Within two months litigation was concluded and the bank collected its entire debt.
Product Liability Claim
Successfully defended a roofing materials manufacturer against claims of breach of warranty, negligence and product liability asserted by a hotel chain owner. We used mediation to resolve claims by multiple parties exceeding $3 million.
Construction Delay and Impact Claims
Represented the owner of a hospital and medical clinic in a delay, impact and change order dispute against one of the largest general contractors in the Northwest and two subcontractors. Our client faced a claim in excess of $1 million which we successfully resolved in less than six months without resorting to litigation, formal mediation or arbitration. The general contractor and subcontractor accepted less than 30% of their original claim amount.
Construction Contract Claims
Successfully defended an owner/developer's allegations against an electrical subcontractor on a $3 million project and recovered all sums owed our client. This case was unique because the main controversy was submitted to binding arbitration. After obtaining a favorable arbitration decision, we enforced our client's construction lien in court.
Breach of Warranty / Bet the Company Case
Defended national distributor of commercial and residential plumbing materials in action by general contractor for product liability, breach of warranty and "bet the company" loss of profits and business opportunities. Client settled for less than 1% of the general contractor's claim as a result of meticulous review of produced documents leading to the a concession that the general contractor suffered no lost profits or business opportunities.
LLC Membership Dissolution and Business Torts
Successfully extricated two members from a limited liability company that was rife with questionable accounting practices, misrepresented operations and intertwined with multiple companies and multiple different entities owned by the other member or his relatives. After intensive discovery and mediation, our clients came away with ownership of all of the key assets of the parent company, terminated their liability for all past actions and conduct of the intertwined sister companies, and have since turned the principal asset into a profitable company.
Warrant and Product Liability Claims
Successfully defended manufacturer of synthetic wine corks against claims by a winery for breach of warranty, product liability and negligence.
A viatical company refused to disclose the status of our client's investment of over $800,000 in various life insurance policies. After obtaining one of the first federal court judgments in the country against the viatical company and its local broker and despite the seizure of the company's assets one state agency and appointment of a receiver in another state court, our client recovered over 75% of his original investment.
Mad Cow & /Food Liability
$400,000 settlement obtained for processor of ground beef from federal agency through ground breaking administrative claim for client's economic losses arising out of first Mad Cow finding in the United States and subsequent recall of client's ground beef from wholesale and retails customers.
Successful Defense of Wrongful Death Claim and Insurance Coverage
Successfully settled two lawsuits filed against our client, an industrial machine manufacturing service company.
An industrial accident in which an employee was killed on the job led to a lawsuit against our client in which the employee's widow sought $1.9 million in damages. Our client's workers' compensation insurance carrier denied coverage, claiming the lawsuit was barred by the Exclusive Remedy Statute, or, in the alternative, that the loss was not covered under the Intentional Loss Exclusion in the insurance policy. This denial of coverage left our client facing a lawsuit in which the damages sought would have put it out of business.
A vigorous defense of the suit by our team of attorneys led to a settlement with the widow for $400,000, a fraction of the damages originally sued for.
Sussman then turned around and sued the workers' compensation insurance company, claiming a breach of duty in their denial of coverage. Complex and aggressive litigation ensued, with both sides exchanging discovery requests and filing Motions for Summary Judgment. In the end, the judge ruled that the insurance company had breached its duty. The judge ordered the insurance company to pay 100% of Sussman's fees and 85% of the settlement Sussman reached with the widow.
Almost a year and a half of litigation ended with our client getting back nearly all of what it paid to settle the original suit, including the fees incurred by our team in negotiating that settlement and then getting the insurance company to pay up. As a result, our client is quite pleased with the level of legal expertise offered by Sussman Shank.
CERCLA Cost Recovery
Represented landowners in CERCLA litigation in U.S. District Court for Oregon arising from TCE plume migrating from two separate source onto land passed down to our clients through their parent's will. After intensive discovery as to the responsible parties, presented both fact and expert testimony at summary judgment hearing. Case settled within 30 days after hearing and before ruling was issued. Our clients recovered 100% of their attorney fees and costs.
CERCLA Cost Recovery
Represented industrial landowner seeking to expand its facility via purchase of adjoining land. Initial investigation revealed contamination plume originating from nearby industrial operation. Former landowner and other responsible parties were either bankrupt, out of business or otherwise judgment proof. Successfully litigated CERCLA claims against insurers for former landowners and responsible parties combined with negotiation with DEQ resulting in DEQ approved clean up plan fully paid for by insurers.
2012-2016 Oregon Super Lawyers®
in the area of Business Litigation.
American Bar Association
Oregon State Bar
Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
Business Litigation Section
Construction Law Section
Multnomah County Bar Association
Beaverton School Board, School Safety Committee
Greenway Neighborhood Association; Board Member
Lewis & Clark College Alumni Association
Mt. Hood Forest Homeowners Association; Board Member
The Scleroderma Foundation, Oregon Chapter
West Hills Junior Soccer Club; Board Member
Oregon State Bar Continuing Legal Education Civil Litigation Manual
"Collection of Judgments" (1993, 1995 and 1999)
"Provisional Process" (1993, 1995 and 1999)
"Bonds and Undertakings" (1993, 1995, 1999 and 2004) Foreclosing Security Interests
"Construction Liens" (1995, 1998, 2001 and 2004)
Multnomah Bar Association Continuing Legal Education
"Writs of Garnishment"
Article 9 Foreclosure Sales
The Manual of Credit and Commercial Laws, 2014, Volume III - Construction Issues, published by the National Association of Credit Management (NACM): Attorney reviewer for the Mechanic's Lien and Public Construction Bond Chapters for the state of Idaho.
Southwest Business and Construction Credit Conference: Washington and Oregon Lien Law (2015)
Washington and Idaho Lien Law and Bond Claims (2012-2014)
Southwest Business and Construction Credit Conference: NACM of Arizona (2010-2014)
Construction Claims Webinar Joint Checks; Import and Delay Claims (2012)
Creditors Rights Seminar: Weathering the Economic Storm: Sussman Shank LLP (2008)
Construction Seminar - Protecting Your Right To Payment: Contract Issues, Construction Liens, and Construction Bond Claims
Oregon and Washington Construction Lien and Bond Law: NACM Oregon (2001-present)
Oregon Construction Law Seminar: Lorman Education Services (2002)
OSCPA Construction Industry Conference: OSCPA Continuing Professional Education and Associated General Contractors (2004-2005)
Pacific Northwest Credit Conference: NACM Oregon, Case Law Update: Liens, Bonds, Joint Checks (2010).
Pacific Northwest Credit Conference: NACM Oregon (2003)
Premier Multi-State Construction Lien and Bond Seminar: NACM of Arizona (2002-2004)