Michael Fehner is a member of the Complex Litigation; IP Litigation; Insurance; Bankruptcy, Reorganization and Creditors' Rights; Class Action Defense and Cyber Liability and Privacy practice groups and serves as a litigation solicitor for the firm.

Mike has a vast range of experience litigating business, insurance, commercial tort, employment and intellectual property issues in federal and state courts across the nation, concentrating on complex civil litigation and insurance coverage litigation on behalf of policyholders.

Mike has given presentations and moderated panels on insurance and intellectual property litigation issues for the Orange County Bar Association and other organizations.

Prior to joining Irell & Manella LLP, Mike worked for firms in Washington, D.C. (where he also taught legal research and writing at the George Washington University Law School) and in Minneapolis (where he spent several months as a special assistant city attorney prosecuting criminal cases).

Mike enjoys Minnesota, his twins, the Minnesota Twins and stand-up comedy.

Experience

  • At the trial level and in arbitration, Mike managed and litigated a number of matters in the insurance coverage context, including one long-running asbestos case involving issues ranging from jurisdiction (2004 WL 1977220) to policy interpretation (410 F. Supp. 2d 875, 480 F. Supp. 2d 1167) to discovery and privilege issues (2009 WL 1457794, 692 F. Supp. 2d 1194) to allocation and damages (2008 WL 3270922), resulting in a nine-figure settlement on a single policy, one of the three largest settlements in California in 2010.
  • Defended a mortgage corporation against simultaneous class actions and seven state and federal regulatory actions in federal district court.
  • Prevailed on partial summary judgment in federal court for a property developer client against a recalcitrant insurer.
  • Aided in drafting a successful U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief on First Amendment issues, cited by the majority opinion, involving a California statute regulating video games should be struck down as unconstitutional (Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association (2011)).
  • Litigated numerous proceedings involving large reorganizations in bankruptcy court, representing both debtors and creditors, including nondischargeability and other adversary proceedings in federal bankruptcy and appellate courts.
  • Successfully defended, on summary judgment and appeal, international law firms from malpractice and other claims of liability.
  • Won nondischargeability judgments for a major bank in bankruptcy proceedings based on debtor fraud (currently on appeal in the Ninth Circuit)
  • Mike’s appellate experience includes cases involving transportation regulation (126 F.3d 426) and antitrust issues (133 F.3d 103).

Publications

  • "What The Media Gets Wrong About Arbitration," Law360 (October 26, 2016)
  • "Breaking Down Liability Insurance For Transactional Lawyers," Daily Journal (November 20, 2012)
  • "Some Pragmatic Advice For The Non-Insurance Litigator," Daily Journal (October 24, 2012)

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association (Litigation Section)
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Bar Association of the District of Columbia
  • Orange County Bar Association (Insurance and Business Litigation Sections)

Education

Yale Law School (J.D., 1995); Senior editor, Yale Law Journal; Executive editor, Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities; Coker Fellow (teaching assistant to Professor James Q. Whitman)

St. Olaf College (B.A., English, Political Science, and American Studies, 1992), summa cum laude; salutatorian; Phi Beta Kappa; National Merit Scholar; Blue Key Leadership Society

Admissions

  • Minnesota, 1995
  • California, 2000
  • District of Columbia, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central and Northern Districts of California
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Clerkships

  • Hon. Richard H. Kyle, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
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