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Malcolm E. Wheeler

Counsel Emeritus

P. 303.244.1870 | F. 303.244.1879
Top 10 Most Admired Product Liability Lawyers Nationwide


Malcolm Wheeler is known for his long history of civil defense victories, especially in product liability and class action lawsuits. Mal has served as national trial counsel for Ford, Pfizer, and Nissan, and national class action counsel for Whirlpool. In 2000, he won for Honda before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case that established the standard for federal preemption arguments in airbag litigation.

Mal has defended manufacturers at trial in several highly publicized cases, including the Ford Pinto criminal case, the damages trial in the Kearns windshield-wiper patent case, the first "no airbag" case tried to verdict, the first defective airbag case tried to verdict, and cases in the medical device, pharmaceutical, chemical, automotive, and appliance industries. He has served as national trial counsel for Ford, Pfizer, and Nissan, and as national class action counsel for Whirlpool. Mal has briefed and argued cases in the United States Supreme Court and in multiple United States Courts of Appeals and state appellate courts throughout the country.

Mal is an elected Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and in the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 2010, Product Liability Law360 named him one of the 10 most admired product liability lawyers in the United States. For several years beginning in 2010, Chambers USA named him one of only three nationwide "star individuals" in product liability. Mal has appeared on the Colorado Super Lawyers® Top 10 list multiple times and was the "top point getter" in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, Mal was featured on the cover and profiled in the annual publication.

Mal has been the designated media representative for several Fortune 500 companies in connection with major litigation.  In that role, he has appeared on nationally broadcast television programs, including ABC's 20/20, CNN's Burden of Proof, Dateline NBC, and 90 Minutes (a European news show), as well as nationally broadcast radio programs. 


Publications & Speaking Engagements


Other Experience

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Partner)
Hughes Hubbard & Reed (Partner)
Parcel, Mauro, Hultin & Spaanstra, P.C. (Director)

Legal Memberships, Activities, and Honors

International Academy of Trial Lawyers
American College of Trial Lawyers
BTI Consulting
    Client Service All-Star, 2011, 2013
Product Liability Law360
    Most Admired Product Liability Lawyer, 2010
Product Liability Advisory Council
    John Raleigh Lifetime Achievement Award, 2008
Who's Who Legal: Litigation 2011-2017
The International Who's Who of Product Liability Defense Lawyers,
   1997-2011, 2013-2017
The International Who's Who of Life Sciences Lawyers,
The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers: Commercial Litigation,
   2011, 2013-2016
Chambers USA
    Product Liability - Nationwide, 2005-2018
        Star Individual, 2010-2013
        Leading Individual, Automobile, 2010-2014
    Litigation: Trial Lawyer - Nationwide, 2013
    Commercial Litigation - Colorado, 2005-2024
The Legal 500 United States
    Leading Lawyer, Litigation: Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense,
    2007- 2013, 2015
The Best Lawyers in America
    Denver Product Liability Litigation - Defendants Lawyer of the Year, 2018, 2021, 2024
    Denver Personal Injury Litigation - Defense Lawyer of the Year, 2012
    Commercial Litigation, 2018-2024
    Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, 2003-2024
    Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, 2003-2024
Benchmark Litigation
    Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America - 2015-2017
    Commercial Litigation - National, 2011-2018
    Commercial Litigation - Colorado, 2011-2018
    Products Liability - National, 2012, 2014-2016
    Products Liability - Colorado, 2013-2018
The National Law Journal
    Top 10 Trial Lawyers, 1998
Colorado Super Lawyer
    Personal Injury Defense: Products, 2022-2024
    Civil Litigation Defense, 2006-2019, 2021
    Top Point Getter, 2010, 2011
    Top 10, 2008-2014
    Top 100, 2008-2017
Law Week Colorado
   "People's Court" Best Class Action/Mass Tort Defense Lawyer, 2011   
    Product Liability Lawyer of the Year, 2008
Who's Who in America, 1987-2011
Who's Who in American Law, 1998-2011
Who's Who in the West, 1996-2012
The Tenth Judicial Circuit Historical Society
    Board Member, 2007-2010
Colorado Bar Association
American Bar Association
California Bar Association
American Law Institute
    Restatement of the Law Third, Torts
        Adviser, Concluding Provisions
        Adviser, Apportionment of Liability
        Adviser, General Principles
        Adviser, Liability for Physical and Emotional Harm
        Members Consultative Group, Products Liability
    Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance
        Members Consultative Group
Euromoney's Expert Guides - Litigation and Product Liability
Product Liability Advisory Council
Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated*

*CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies.

Teaching Positions

University of Iowa College of Law
    Professor of Law, 1978-1979
University of Kansas Law School
    Associate Professor of Law, 1971-1973
    Professor of Law, 1973-1974 and 1981-1983
National Institute for Appellate Advocacy
Annual Advocacy Institute
Appellate Judges Conferences
CLE Programs

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