Cover Story: Mike O'Donnell #1 in Colorado Super Lawyers
Colorado Super Lawyers has featured Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell Chairman and Founding Partner, Mike O’Donnell, in its 2020 issue.
The cover story, "The Human Element,” describes O’Donnell’s journey to becoming one of the most respected trial lawyers in the country. The magazine ranks O’Donnell the #1 lawyer in Colorado for an unprecedented eighth consecutive year.
“Even the plaintiffs’ lawyers salute Mike O’Donnell’s decency,” the author writes. Indeed, O'Donnell’s list of champions and mentors is long.
“He practices law as it was meant to be practiced, at the highest level of professionalism and civility,” said business litigator Jim Lyons of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie. Plaintiffs’ attorney and sometimes opponent Michael Burg of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine states that O’Donnell “is one of the great trial lawyers in America.”
Clients are also generous with praise. Robert Ryan, Managing Attorney at GE Electric Insurance in Boston, calls O’Donnell “one of the best lawyers, if not the best, I’ve ever worked with.” Skyjack’s Director of Legal Services, M. Linda Chiasson, sums it up: “He knows more than I’ll ever learn, and all of that experience comes into a negotiation or how he approaches a trial.”
The magazine reserves the final word for WTO’s Co-Managing Partner, Carolyn Fairless: “The human element is what sets Mike apart.”
The oldest of four children in an Irish family, O’Donnell was inspired to become a lawyer by his Uncle Mike, an Illinois trial lawyer who eventually became a judge. “Seeing what my uncle did, I liked the fact that there was a winner and a loser in litigation. I really never considered anything other than being a trial lawyer from grade school on,” O’Donnell says.
A Fellow and Treasurer of the American College of Trial Lawyers, O’Donnell is ranked nationally by Chambers USA and Benchmark Litigation.
The 2020 issue also recognizes 24 additional WTO attorneys as Super Lawyers and 19 as Rising Star honorees. Among these:
- Hugh Gottschalk is again ranked as a Top 10 Super Lawyer—for the third straight year;
- Eleven WTO lawyers appear in the Top 100—the next closest firm has six; and
- Three WTO lawyers—Carolyn Fairless, Katie Reilly, and Tammy Westerberg—are in the Top 50 women attorneys.
This issue marks the second time a WTO lawyer has graced the cover of Colorado Super Lawyers. In 2011 the magazine featured Mal Wheeler in the cover story, "Normal Genius."
Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell lawyers have taken more than 1,300 trials, arbitrations, and appeals to verdict, award, or opinion in 45 states and Washington, D.C., with exceptional results for our clients. Established in 1998, WTO currently numbers more than 110 lawyers. The firm represents sophisticated clients in high-stakes civil trials, appeals, and related litigation ranging from complex commercial to class actions to multidistrict litigation.