Commercial / UCC
Critical Motions / Appeals
Securities / Finance
The George Washington University Law School, J.D., with high honors, 2009
Bates College, B.A., Economics and Political Science, 2006
Judge G. Steven Agee, U.S Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 2013-2015
Chief Judge Deborah K. Chasanow, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, 2010-2011
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
Michigan State Courts
Virginia State Courts
District of Columbia State Courts
Michael R. Williams is the head of BSP’s Kalamazoo office, where he focuses on complex litigation. Michael’s practice has a special emphasis on class actions, mass actions, multidistrict litigation, and appellate-related issues.
Michael enjoys helping those facing unique challenges or bet-the-company exposure. During his time at BSP and two top-flight Washington, D.C. firms, he has learned to find straightforward answers to difficult problems. And having spent three years clerking for federal trial and appellate courts, Michael understands how to communicate effectively with courts.
In his current practice, Michael represents clients in a broad array of matters before both federal and state courts. He is comfortable counseling clients in any number of industries, having represented automakers, major banks and accounting firms, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, a leading hedge fund, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and others.
Class and Mass Tort Litigation
- Representing Fortune 10 drug wholesale company in suits brought by municipalities related to opioid drug sales.
- Representing Fortune 50 health conglomerate in suits pertaining to implantation of allegedly defective medical devices.
- Defending environmental-services firm in over a dozen putative class actions, hundreds of individual actions, and an Attorney General enforcement action related to the Flint water crisis.
- Defending automaker in federal multi-district litigation pertaining to alleged gearshift product defect.
- Counseled Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company in federal product-liability suits.
- Obtained voluntary dismissal in putative class action pertaining to allegedly defective lift kits.
- Obtained voluntary dismissal in putative class action concerning recreational vehicles.
- Represented foreign automaker facing over 50 putative class actions asserting warranty, fraud, and other claims tied to alleged evasion of environmental and emissions-related regulations.
- Defended banks in putative class actions and other matters asserting consumer protection claims, and drafted successful motions to dismiss.
- Assisted in defense of securities issuer in putative class action concerning $2 billion in mortgage-backed securities.
High-Exposure Personal Injury Matters
- Representing General Motors in product-litigation matters in federal and state courts nationwide.
- Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of excess insurer in connection with multi-party suit stemming from trucking accident.
- Secured settlement shortly before trial for pharmaceutical manufacturer.
- Defended Big Three domestic automaker in multiple high-exposure product liability suits and claims.
- Defended foreign automaker in product-liability action involving catastrophic injuries and millions in potential claims.
- Counseled client facing multiple third-party auto negligence actions seeking tens of millions in damages related to corporate lease program.
- Represented consumer leasing equipment company in wrongful death suit resulting after individual crawled under equipment.
- Obtained complete reversal from Fourth Circuit of multi-million-dollar personal judgment against corporate officer in Lanham Act case.
- Obtained reversal from Sixth Circuit of adverse decision on summary judgment on behalf of injured plaintiff in negligence case.
- Successfully represented domestic automaker in briefing on petition for certiorari to U.S. Supreme Court.
- Drafted amicus brief for construction-industry trade group in case before the Michigan Supreme Court in support of successful appellant.
- Served as advanced motion and appellate counsel for domestic automaker in Maryland product-liability trial resulting in defense verdict.
- Drafted amicus briefs for mortgage industry trade groups in federal appeals across the country concerning rescission under the Truth in Lending Act.
- Served as advanced motion and appellate counsel in Michigan product-liability suit alleging that defective side-view mirror caused traumatic brain injury, resulting defense verdict.
- Defending $1 million+ arbitration in attorney-fee dispute on appeal.
- Secured affirmance of favorable CAFA jurisdiction ruling in the Sixth Circuit.
- Successfully represented Michigan Senate and House of Representatives in litigation before the Michigan Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court about the governor’s emergency powers.
- Obtained reversal from D.C. Court of Appeals of adverse tax determination.
- Representing the Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Senate in suit challenging the power of the Governor to declare indefinite states of emergency.
- Represented former thrift in suit against the federal government challenging the thrift’s seizure.
- Advised a mortgage-industry client in connection with administrative subpoenas and inquiries from multiple State Attorneys General and federal regulators.
- Represented Navajo Nation in suit against the United States alleging mismanagement of tribal trust funds, which ultimately resulted in $554-million settlement.
- Defending drug wholesaler in suit brought by Michigan Attorney General alleging mishandling of drug sales.
Compliance, Investigations, Risk Management, and Other Advisory Work
- Advising FDA-compliance consultant in contract dispute over 510(k)-compliance-related work.
- Advising digital marketing company on commercial and investigatory issues, including vendor disputes and employment-related matters.
- Counseled retail company facing threatened class action under Shopping Reform and Modernization Act.
- Assisted international automotive business in responding to third-party subpoena seeking thousands of documents located in the United States and abroad for use in putative class action.
- Advised major banks on regulatory issues related to the Truth In Lending Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, False Claims Act, Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and other consumer protection laws.
- Assisted medical technology company in dispute concerning subpoena of retained expert.
Before joining BSP, Michael clerked for Judge G. Steven Agee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Chief Judge Deborah K. Chasanow of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
Michael has also worked as an associate at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and Buckley Sandler LLP (both in Washington, D.C.) and a law clerk with the appellate division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine.
Michael received his J.D. with high honors from The George Washington University Law School in 2009. There, he served on the Moot Court Board, Mock Trial Board, and The George Washington International Law Review. He received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Bates College.
Honors & Awards
Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Leader in the Law, 2019
America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®, 2018
Michigan Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2018 – Present
269 Magazine, Southwest Michigan’s Emerging Leader, 2018
Order of the Coif
Cohen & Cohen Mock Trial Competition, Winner
Grenadier International Law Moot Court Competition, Winner
The Bates College Key, Member
American Board of Trial Advocates, National Trial College Fellow
Federal Bar Association for the Western District of Michigan, Member
Federal Bar Association for the Eastern District of Michigan, Member
Kalamazoo County Bar Association, Member
Lawyers for Civil Justice, MDLs, TPLF, & Class Action Committee, Associate Member
State Bar of Michigan Appellate Practice Section, Member
State Bar of Michigan US Courts Committee, Western District Member
Southwest Michigan First’s “Council of 100,” Member
U.S. Courts Committee, Vice-Chair
“Appellate Law Update,” Kalamazoo County Bar Association’s June Speaker Series, Moderator, June 2021
“AV Data Collection, Cybersecurity and Privacy Issues,” Panel for AutoLex: Autonomous Vehicle Legal Forum, September 2019
“Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing: Crisis Management and Providing the Support Your Client Needs,” presented to The Network of Trial Law Firms, October 2018
“Internal Investigations in the Digital Age,” presented to the Association of Corporate Counsel, May 2017
“The CFPB Amicus Program,” ABA Consumer Financial Services Committee Annual Meeting, August 2012
“Teaming Up: Appellate and Trial Counsel Partnering to Win” DRI For the Defense (March 2021).
“2019 Sixth Circuit En Banc Opinions,” Michigan Bar Journal (July 2020).
“2018 Sixth Circuit En Banc Opinions,” Michigan Bar Journal (May 2019).
“Tyson Foods Inc. v Bouaphakeo: An Aberration in the Use of Statistical Sampling in Class Actions,” DRI In-House Quarterly, Winter 2017
“Briefing Your First Appeal in a U.S. Court of Appeals,” Docket Call, January 2016
“Protecting the Corporation’s Interests,” DRI In-House Defense Quarterly, Winter 2016
“The CFPB’s Amicus Program—Friend or Foe?” (with Tucker and Raines), BNA’s Banking Report, August 2013
“Pirates of the Caribbean (and Beyond): Developing a New Remedy for WTO Non-Compliance,” 41 George Washington International Law Review 503, 2009
“An FDIC Superpower; Section 1832(e)” (with Klein), Commercial Leading Litigation News, May 2009
Favorite Sport: Minor-League Baseball
Where You’ll Find Him Many Saturdays: At the Kalamazoo Valley Museum with his children, Molly and Alex
What He’s Listening To: Anything country