Michael Wiese is a trial attorney and shareholder in Smith Haughey’s litigation practice group.
For the last 10 years, he has focused his litigation practice on professional liability defense, commercial litigation, and insurance litigation, practicing extensively throughout Michigan. Based in our Grand Rapids office, Michael takes a proactive, results-oriented approach to obtain positive results for his clients. He has tried cases to juries in both state and federal courts.
Michael routinely defends lawyers faced with legal malpractice claims. He has represented lawyers accused of malpractice in several areas of law, including estate planning, family law, commercial litigation, bankruptcy, patent litigation, personal injury litigation, and real estate law, among others. In his role as a professional liability defense attorney, Michael has also successfully defended accountants, architects, engineers, land surveyors, real estate agents, insurance agents and brokers, and professional trustees faced with claims of professional negligence. He regularly represents attorneys in contempt proceedings and before the Attorney Grievance Commission.
Some of his notable experience includes:
- Legal malpractice case in which the plaintiff sought nearly $30 million in damages arising out of the lost sale of a business. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion for partial summary disposition as to certain claims, and later granted the defendant’s motion for summary disposition, dismissing the plaintiff’s entire case. Those rulings were upheld by the Michigan Court of Appeals.
- Legal malpractice action in which the plaintiff sought $9 million in damages. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion for summary disposition and awarded the defendant over $40,000 in attorney fees. The decision was later affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals.
- Legal malpractice case in which the plaintiff alleged substandard legal work in connection with the interpretation of contract documents related to the value of his interest in a business, costing him over $1 million. The court granted the lawyer’s motion for summary disposition and dismissed the case. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed.
- Legal malpractice action in which the plaintiff sought $5 million in damages. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion for summary disposition based on the statute of limitations. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling, and the Michigan Supreme Court denied the plaintiff’s application for leave to appeal.
- Represented in-house attorneys at one of Michigan’s largest public universities in a defamation case in federal court. The court granted summary judgment in the attorneys’ favor, dismissing the case in its entirety.
In addition to an active professional liability practice, Michael also regularly advises clients in connection with commercial litigation disputes. In this capacity, Michael has represented commercial real estate developers, manufacturing companies, propane suppliers, automotive suppliers, and other types of businesses in commercial litigation, both as plaintiff and defendant. He also maintains an active insurance litigation practice, representing insurers and policyholders alike in insurance coverage disputes.
Michael earned his bachelor’s degree from Albion College, his master’s degree from Central Michigan University, and his J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.
He lives near Grand Rapids with his wife and two daughters. In his free time, he enjoys golf, vacationing in Northern Michigan, and spending time with friends and family.