Michael J. Miller is a commercial litigator who concentrates on significant insurance and software/intellectual property cases. Over the course of the past 25 years, Michael has litigated and tried a wide variety of cases in state and federal courts across the country as well as before domestic and international arbitration panels. Michael also assists clients with insurance-related transactional matters, including complex environmental risk transfer issues, owner controlled and contractor controlled insurance programs, and captive issues. For the past several years, Michael has been recognized as a local “Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation.
Michael's insurance litigation practice is national in scope. He has represented insurers in property, casualty and commercial and environmental insurance coverage cases, life and disability insurance coverage cases, alleged agent and broker fraud and Ponzi scheme cases, RICO cases, and cases involving annuities.
Michael has been especially active handling cases arising out of the improper sale of life insurance policies (and interests therein) on the secondary market, sometimes referred to as stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI). For several of the firm’s insurer clients, Michael provides representation in connection with attempts by "factoring companies" to effectuate purchases of structured settlement payment streams. Michael has a record of successfully litigating the full spectrum of case variations that arise out of STOLI and structured settlements.
Insurance Industry associations often invite Michael to speak at their conferences, and Michael is a regular presenter at the National Structured Settlements Trade Association (NSSTA) meetings.
Michael recently chaired a life insurance symposium: Anticipating Tomorrow - A Symposium on Emerging Legal Issues in Life Insurance. View the detailed agenda here.
Michael has litigated a broad range of commercial issues, including real estate disputes, equipment leasing, lending agreements, shareholder disputes, and construction cases. Michael is especially focused on software defect, licensing and implementation cases, and has represented providers and customers in this context. For example, after recently obtaining partial summary judgment on behalf of a software provider, Michael led a Drinker Biddle trial team to complete defense victory in a jury trial on the remaining claims.
In another case, Michael obtained a substantial award for a client that had contracted with a software development firm to produce computer sports games. Michael commenced and prosecuted a successful arbitration proceeding when the software development firm failed to produce a working product.
More recently, for a global software provider, Michael led a team of Drinker Biddle lawyers in the successful defense of an international arbitration after a delayed and troubled implementation of a massive ERP solution.
Michael has assisted with drafting model legislation and has counseled insurers on developing protocols for responding to the issues raised by factoring transactions and the claims that often result from these transactions. He has developed a national reputation for successfully litigating these cases.
Michael negotiates contracts for transfers of complex environmentally contaminated real estate, and then works with brokers and underwriters to draft insurance policies designed to address these risks. He was involved in "Early Transfer" transactions at the Mare Island Navy Base (California) and the Fort Ord Army Base (California).
A few of Michael’s reported case decisions include the following:
- Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada v. U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass'n, 693 F. App’x 838 (11th Cir. 2017).
- Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada v. Conestoga Tr. Servs., LLC, 263 F. Supp. 3d 695 (E.D. Tenn. 2017).
- U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass'n v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, 2016 WL 8116141 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 30, 2016), report and recommendation adopted, 2017 WL 347449 (E.D.N.Y. Jan. 24, 2017).
- Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 2016 WL 5746352 (D.N.J. Sept. 30, 2016).
- Matthews v. Liberty Assignment Corp., No. S-150-CV0282983, 2016 Cal App. LEXIS 356 * _ (Cal. Ct. App. May 2, 2016);
- Moore, et al. v. EPS Settlements Group, et al., No. 14-CV-80521-COHN/SELTZER, 2015 WL 4775974 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 17, 2014).
- Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada v. U.S. Bank Nat’l. Assoc., et al., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4732 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 13, 2016);
- Jackson v. Rohm & Haas Company, et al., 06-3682, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65900 (E.D. of Pa., September 5, 2007);
- RegScan v. Brewer, et al., 04-6043, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20087 (E.D. of Pa., March 16, 2007); and
- Lang v. Continental Assurance Company, et al., 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 24586 (3d Cir., December 4, 2002);
- First England Funding, L.L.C. v. Aetna Life Insurance & Annuity Co., et al., 790 A.2d 243 (N.J. Super. 2002);
- Singer Asset Finance Company, L.L.C. v. Johnny L. Bachus and State Farm Life Insurance Company, et al., 741 N.Y.S.2d 618 (4th Dept. 2002);
- WebBank v. American General Annuity Service Corp., et al., 54 P.3d 1139 (Utah 2002);
- Vance Williams v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, et al., 750 A.2d 881 (Pa. Super. 2000).
Awards Methodology (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards)
- New Jersey
- Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., 1991, cum laude, Law Review
- University of South Florida, B.S., 1988, magna cum laude
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- National Structured Settlement Trade Association, Legal Committee, Co-Chairperson (Multiple Prior Terms)
- City Year Greater Philadelphia, Advisory Board, Member