Mike O'Donnell is a founder and the chairman of Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell.  His national litigation practice focuses on complex civil litigation involving product liability, professional liability, torts, class actions and mass actions, commercial litigation, and bet-the-company matters.  Mike has appeared as lead counsel in state and federal courts in 25 states.  

Mike has served as national and regional counsel for a number of Fortune 500 companies, including General Electric, Advanced Bionics, McKesson, Boston Scientific, and Pfizer.  He represented NBC Universal in a case involving a catastrophic fire at Universal Studios and  is national resolution counsel to GE on product liability cases across the country.  

Mike was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, served as the chairman of its Colorado chapter for two consecutive years, and currently serves as the Regent for the 10th Circuit. He was also elected a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and to the American Board of Trial Advocates.  Mike is a former chairman of The Network of Trial Law Firms, a 7,000-member lawyer organization that offers continuing legal education programs on litigation topics.

Mike is ranked the number one lawyer in Colorado on the 2014 and 2013 Colorado Super Lawyers list and has been on its top 10 list every year since 2009. Best Lawyers lists Mike in five litigation practice areas and named him "Denver Legal Malpractice Lawyer of the Year" for 2011 and "Denver Product Liability Litigation Lawyer of the Year" for 2012 and 2013.  In 2011, Law Week Colorado selected Mike as one of 10 "Lawyers of the Decade" in Colorado. In a survey conducted by Law Week Colorado in 2010, Mike was selected by his peers as the "Best Trial Lawyer" in Colorado.   

In 2012, Mike was honored with the DU Law Outstanding Alumni Award which is presented each year to one DU Law graduate who has demonstrated professional achievement and humanitarian service to the community.  In 2008, Mike became the seventh defense lawyer to receive an award from the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association for the highest standards of competency, ethics, and professionalism. 

Legal Memberships, Activities, and Honors
Fellow of American College of Trial Lawyers
    Regent, 2012-2016
    Regent's Nominating Committee, 2014    
    Special Problems in the Administration of Justice Committee, Vice Chairman, 2011-2012
    Adjunct State Committee, 2011-2012
    Colorado State Committee, Chairman, 2008-2010
    Chairman-Elect, 2007-2008, Vice Chairman, 2006-2007
    Code of Conduct Committee, 2007-2008
    Complex Litigation Committee 2004-2005
Fellow of International Academy of Trial Lawyers
American Board of Trial Advocates
    Member
Law Week Colorado
    "Barrister's Best" Best Class Action/Mass Tort Defense Lawyer, 2012
    Lawyers of the Decade, 2011  
    "Barrister's Best" Best Trial Lawyer, 2010
Best Lawyers
    
Denver Product Liability Litigation Lawyer of the Year, 2012-2013
    Denver Legal Malpractice Lawyer of the Year, 2011, 2014
    Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2005-2014
    Commercial Litigation, 2005-2014
    Legal Malpractice Law, 2005-2014
    Personal Injury Litigation, 2005-2014
    Product Liability Litigation, 2005-2014
Chambers USA
    Commercial Litigation - Colorado, 2009-2014
The Legal 500 United States
    Litigation: Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense, 2007, 2009-2011, 2013
Benchmark Litigation
    Commercial Litigation - Colorado, 2011-2014
    Product Liability - Colorado, 2013-2014
    Professional Liability - Colorado, 2013-2014
Colorado Super Lawyers
    Ranked #1 in Colorado, 2013-2014
    Top 10, 2007, 2009-2014
    Personal Injury Defense: Products, 2009-2014
    Class Action/Mass Torts, 2006-2008
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
    Outstanding Alumni Award, 2012
Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated
The International Who's Who of Product Liability Defense Lawyers, 2011, 2014
The International Who's Who of Life Sciences Lawyers, 2014
Colorado Trial Lawyers Association
    Award for Competency, Ethics, and Professionalism, 2008
The American Lawyer
    Top Commercial Litigation Lawyers, 2006
Colorado Corporate Counsel Black Book
    Class Action Lawsuits, 2007
Best of the Bar, Denver Business Journal
Colorado Bar Foundation
    Fellow
The Network of Trial Law Firms
    Chairman, 2005-2006
Denver Bar Association
    Vice President, Board of Trustees
Colorado Bar Association
    Member, Board of Governors
American Bar Association
    Chairman, Issues Affecting the Legal Profession
    Young Lawyers Section Liaison to Standing Committee on
        Professional Discipline
American Bar Foundation
    Fellow
International Association of Defense Counsel
Judge William E. Doyle American Inn of Court, Master
Denver Law Club
Faculty of Federal Advocates
    Board of Directors, 2004-2005
Defense Research Institute
    Member, Professional Liability Committee
Colorado Defense Lawyers Association
USDC Colorado Committee on Conduct, 2012
Who's Who in Law, Denver Business Journal
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
    Co-Chair of Reunion Committee, 2004
Colorado Judicial Institute
    Board of Directors, 2004-present
    Judicial Awards Committee, 2006-present
IAALS Law Firm Council
    Founding member

Community Memberships, Activities, and Honors
Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell Foundation
    Founder and President, 2005-present
Archdiocese of Denver
    Finance Council, 2008-present
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Denver
    Board Member, 2010-present
Denver Police Foundation
    Board of Directors, 2004-present
Walking for Kids
    Founding Member, Board of Directors, 2009-present
Trial.com Foundation, Inc.
    President, 2005-2006
The Catholic Foundation
    Board of Directors, Advancement Committee, 2004-2005
American Heart Association of Colorado and Wyoming
    Chairman of the Board
American Heart Association of Colorado
    Denver Metro Division, Chairman of the Board
Denver Tennis Club
    Board of Directors
The Village Club
    President
Hundred Club of Denver
    Member

Teaching Positions
BAR-BRI Course on Professional Responsibility
National Institute for Trial Advocacy
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
    Guest Lecturer
University of Colorado at Denver, MBA Program
    Guest Lecturer
Numerous CLE Presentations

Personal Interests
Family
Golf
Reading
Travel

Cases
Bar and Court Admissions
  • Colorado
  • Wyoming
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Teaching Positions
BAR-BRI Course on Professional Responsibility
National Institute for Trial Advocacy
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
    Guest Lecturer
University of Colorado at Denver, MBA Program
    Guest Lecturer
Numerous CLE Presentations
Legal Memberships, Activities, and Honors
Fellow of American College of Trial Lawyers
    Regent, 2012-2016
    Regent's Nominating Committee, 2014    
    Special Problems in the Administration of Justice Committee, Vice Chairman, 2011-2012
    Adjunct State Committee, 2011-2012
    Colorado State Committee, Chairman, 2008-2010
    Chairman-Elect, 2007-2008, Vice Chairman, 2006-2007
    Code of Conduct Committee, 2007-2008
    Complex Litigation Committee 2004-2005
Fellow of International Academy of Trial Lawyers
American Board of Trial Advocates
    Member
Law Week Colorado
    "Barrister's Best" Best Class Action/Mass Tort Defense Lawyer, 2012
    Lawyers of the Decade, 2011  
    "Barrister's Best" Best Trial Lawyer, 2010
Best Lawyers
    
Denver Product Liability Litigation Lawyer of the Year, 2012-2013
    Denver Legal Malpractice Lawyer of the Year, 2011, 2014
    Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2005-2014
    Commercial Litigation, 2005-2014
    Legal Malpractice Law, 2005-2014
    Personal Injury Litigation, 2005-2014
    Product Liability Litigation, 2005-2014
Chambers USA
    Commercial Litigation - Colorado, 2009-2014
The Legal 500 United States
    Litigation: Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense, 2007, 2009-2011, 2013
Benchmark Litigation
    Commercial Litigation - Colorado, 2011-2014
    Product Liability - Colorado, 2013-2014
    Professional Liability - Colorado, 2013-2014
Colorado Super Lawyers
    Ranked #1 in Colorado, 2013-2014
    Top 10, 2007, 2009-2014
    Personal Injury Defense: Products, 2009-2014
    Class Action/Mass Torts, 2006-2008
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
    Outstanding Alumni Award, 2012
Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated
The International Who's Who of Product Liability Defense Lawyers, 2011, 2014
The International Who's Who of Life Sciences Lawyers, 2014
Colorado Trial Lawyers Association
    Award for Competency, Ethics, and Professionalism, 2008
The American Lawyer
    Top Commercial Litigation Lawyers, 2006
Colorado Corporate Counsel Black Book
    Class Action Lawsuits, 2007
Best of the Bar, Denver Business Journal
Colorado Bar Foundation
    Fellow
The Network of Trial Law Firms
    Chairman, 2005-2006
Denver Bar Association
    Vice President, Board of Trustees
Colorado Bar Association
    Member, Board of Governors
American Bar Association
    Chairman, Issues Affecting the Legal Profession
    Young Lawyers Section Liaison to Standing Committee on
        Professional Discipline
American Bar Foundation
    Fellow
International Association of Defense Counsel
Judge William E. Doyle American Inn of Court, Master
Denver Law Club
Faculty of Federal Advocates
    Board of Directors, 2004-2005
Defense Research Institute
    Member, Professional Liability Committee
Colorado Defense Lawyers Association
USDC Colorado Committee on Conduct, 2012
Who's Who in Law, Denver Business Journal
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
    Co-Chair of Reunion Committee, 2004
Colorado Judicial Institute
    Board of Directors, 2004-present
    Judicial Awards Committee, 2006-present
IAALS Law Firm Council
    Founding member
Community Memberships, Activities, and Honors
Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell Foundation
    Founder and President, 2005-present
Archdiocese of Denver
    Finance Council, 2008-present
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Denver
    Board Member, 2010-present
Denver Police Foundation
    Board of Directors, 2004-present
Walking for Kids
    Founding Member, Board of Directors, 2009-present
Trial.com Foundation, Inc.
    President, 2005-2006
The Catholic Foundation
    Board of Directors, Advancement Committee, 2004-2005
American Heart Association of Colorado and Wyoming
    Chairman of the Board
American Heart Association of Colorado
    Denver Metro Division, Chairman of the Board
Denver Tennis Club
    Board of Directors
The Village Club
    President
Hundred Club of Denver
    Member
Personal Interests
Family
Golf
Reading
Travel
Articles/Presentations
Education
  • University of Denver Sturm College of Law, J.D., 1979
    Intern to the Honorable Sherman Finesilver, United States District Court for the District of Colorado
  • University of Notre Dame, B.A., English, 1976
Bar and Court Admissions
  • Colorado
  • Wyoming
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

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