name

Michael Mueller

Partner
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Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Washington D.C., USA
    Local Time: Thursday 01:14

Practice Expertise

  • Class Action, Multidistrict Litigation
  • Business Litigation
  • Appellate
  • Antitrust and Consumer Protection

Areas of Practice

  • Antitrust and Consumer Protection
  • Appellate
  • Business Litigation
  • Class Action, Multidistrict Litigation
  • Appeals
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Competition and Consumer Protection
  • Consumer Products
  • First Amendment and Free Speech
  • International Arbitration and Transnational ...
  • Issues and Appeals
  • Labor and Employment
  • Litigation
  • Retail
  • Rocket Docket Practice (US District Court ...
  • Second Opinion Program
  • View More

Profile

Mike has more than 33 years of experience with class actions and other complex cases, including wage-hour class actions, consumer products class actions, racketeering (RICO), and labor disputes with unions and employee groups.

He has tried more class actions to verdict than perhaps any other attorney in the country, including the defense of nine private class actions and a Secretary of Labor enforcement action against a Fortune 100 food manufacturer.

Focusing on clients who create and sell goods and services, Mike helps his clients to avoid litigation and, if they are sued, to successfully navigate pretrial proceedings, trials and appeals. Mike has spent 183 trial days in court, participating in a dozen class actions or other representative actions tried to verdict, the majority of which have resulted in zero recoveries by the plaintiffs. In many other cases, he has successfully avoided trial by defeating class treatment or winning dismissal on the pleadings or on summary judgment.

Mike has earned multiple awards for his aggressive, innovative and successful track record, including The American Lawyer’s 2015 “Litigator of the Week,” The National Law Journal’s 2016 “Litigation Trailblazer” and Law 360’s 2016 “Class Action MVP.”

In every matter, he develops a strategy that is tailored to the client’s business needs, offering various AFAs (alternative fee arrangements) to suit the overall matter or project. His long-term knowledge of a client’s business and litigation leads to proactive strategies, efficiency, and client satisfaction; he represented one Fortune 100 company on its class actions for 19 years.

Mike’s experience covers a broad spectrum and includes unmanned aircraft systems,  antitrust law, bankruptcy, corporate takeover, and valuation disputes and claims against former officers/directors, consumer products law, contract disputes, credit counseling law, foreign military sales, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, labor and employment law, media law, racketeering (RICO) and securities law. 

Mike has litigated at all levels of the federal court system and in the state courts of California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. He is admitted to practice in the following jurisdictions: US Supreme Court; US Court of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th Circuits; US District Courts for the District of Columbia, the Middle, Northern, and Southern Districts of Florida, the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, and the Central and Northern Districts of Illinois. He held a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Avern Cohn, US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

A regular speaker and writer on the topics of class actions or RICO, Mike has been quoted and mentioned frequently in media coverage of litigation matters and has appeared on CNN and PBS. He is a contributing author to the firms retail industry blog.

Relevant Experience

  • Lead counsel in more than 70 class actions for clients in various industries, including consumer products manufacturers and sellers, food processors, security guard service providers, hospitals, and restaurants.
  • Successfully represented a consumer products manufacturer and distributor in settlement negotiations and obtained settlement approval over the objections of well-known objector’s counsel Ted Frank. In Re: Samsung Top-Load Washing Machine Marketing, Sales Practices And Products Liability Litigation, MDL Case No. 17-ml-2792-D, 2020 WL 2616711 (W.D. Okla.), aff’d, __ F.3d __, No. 20-6097 (10th Cir. May 7, 2021).
  • Successfully represented a consumer products manufacturer and distributor in putative class actions in multiple states challenging out-of-warranty repairs for consumer products under state deceptive trade practice and replacement parts statutes.
  • Currently representing a manufacturer against one of the Department of Labor’s top enforcement actions for alleged wage-hour violations at more than a dozen factories.
  • Successfully represented a policyholder against a major insurance carrier to recover for damages sustained in Hurricane Irma.
  • Successfully represented a consumer products distributor for claims relating to alleged deceptive inclusion of software on a product to boost product reviews.
  • Successfully represented a major retailer against a claim by the purchaser of a vacant store for the condition at the time of surrender after five tenants occupied space over a 30-year lease.
  • Successfully represented a major provider of temporary labor against putative class claims relating to state wage-hour laws applicable to pre- and post-shift activities, breaks, meal periods, and pay upon termination.
  • Tried an ICC arbitration in Switzerland relating to commercial supply dispute between a “drone” manufacturer and US customer.
  • Successfully opposed class treatment in a putative class action against a major household appliance company on alleged product defect claims originally including a proposed class of over 54 million owners that plaintiffs’ expert valued at nearly $11 billion.
  • Represented four national and Florida business associations as amici curiae in a successful challenge to the City of Miami Beach’s 2016 minimum wage ordinance.  After the 11th Judicial Circuit granted summary judgment in favor of business groups and the State of Florida in their challenge to the ordinance, Mike filed briefs in the Third District Court of Appeal and Florida Supreme Court discussing the economic literature on local minimum wage laws and why those studies support the position advanced by the business groups and the State.
  • Lead counsel in more than three dozen class-action and secretary of labor cases involving wage-hour rights of employees at a major restaurant chain and food processing companies.
  • Lead trial counsel for a major food-processing company in an eight-week jury trial in an action brought by the US Secretary of Labor seeking back wages for “donning and doffing” by employees. Obtained a mistrial when jurors did not unanimously agree on verdict.
  • Lead trial counsel for a major food-processing company in a class-action overtime case involving more than 500 plaintiffs; the case was subsequently listed in The National Law Journal’s “Defense Hot List” in 2006.
  • Lead counsel in consumer products class actions against manufacturers and sellers relating to various home electronics devices and appliances.
  • Lead counsel for a trade association in an action alleging Lanham Act and cyber-piracy violations based on fraudulent impersonation of association's personnel and web site.
  • Led, for a multinational client, the domestic litigation strategy in response to a threatened international cyber-attack
  • Served as co-counsel in a landmark trial of tort claims brought by a major supermarket chain against a television network for an undercover effort that resulted in a segment on PrimeTime Live.
  • Defended at two trials the securities and racketeering claims made by investors against a major real estate developer.
  • Served as counsel in a bankruptcy valuation trial for a major money-wire service.
  • Served as defense counsel in a contracts trial against a major airline; the case involved two plaintiff classes and one defendant class in addition to the corporate parties.
  • Argued interlocutory appeal before the Third Circuit of Appeals on an issue of first impression in the federal appellate courts. The case involved determining whether a district court can certify a class of employees under Rule 23’s “opt out” provision in a manner inconsistent with Congress’ specified “opt in” procedure for pursuing claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Represented both plaintiffs and defendants in numerous civil racketeering cases, including the defense of one of the nation’s leading home builders and one of the nation's largest hospital chains, and prosecution of a civil RICO case against a major union for one of the nation’s largest grocery store chains.

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Florida

Education
AB, University of Michigan, with highest distinction, Member, Phi Beta Kappa, 1982

Areas of Practice

  • Antitrust and Consumer Protection
  • Appellate
  • Business Litigation
  • Class Action, Multidistrict Litigation
  • Appeals
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Competition and Consumer Protection
  • Consumer Products
  • First Amendment and Free Speech
  • International Arbitration and Transnational Litigation
  • Issues and Appeals
  • Labor and Employment
  • Litigation
  • Retail
  • Rocket Docket Practice (US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia)
  • Second Opinion Program

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments
  • Lead counsel in more than 50 class actions for clients in various industries, including food processors, consumer products manufacturers and sellers, hospitals, restaurants, and airlines.
  • Lead counsel in more than three dozen class-action and secretary of labor cases involving wage-hour rights of employees at a major restaurant chain and food processing companies.
  • Lead trial counsel for a major food-processing company in an eight-week jury trial in an action brought by the US Secretary of Labor seeking back wages for “donning and doffing” by employees. Obtained a mistrial when jurors did not unanimously agree on verdict.
  • Lead trial counsel for a major food-processing company in a class-action overtime case involving more than 500 plaintiffs; the case was subsequently listed in The National Law Journal’s “Defense Hot List” in 2006.
  • Lead counsel in consumer products class actions against manufacturers and sellers relating to various home electronics devices and appliances.
  • Lead counsel for a trade association in an action alleging Lanham Act and cyber-piracy violations based on fraudulent impersonation of association's personnel and web site.
  • Led, for a multinational client, the domestic litigation strategy in response to a threatened international cyber-attack
  • Served as co-counsel in a landmark trial of tort claims brought by a major supermarket chain against a television network for an undercover effort that resulted in a segment on PrimeTime Live.
  • Defended at two trials the securities and racketeering claims made by investors against a major real estate developer.
  • Served as counsel in a bankruptcy valuation trial for a major money-wire service.
  • Served as defense counsel in a contracts trial against a major airline; the case involved two plaintiff classes and one defendant class in addition to the corporate parties.
  • Argued interlocutory appeal before the Third Circuit of Appeals on an issue of first impression in the federal appellate courts. The case involved determining whether a district court can certify a class of employees under Rule 23's "opt out" provision in a manner inconsistent with Congress' specified “opt in” procedure for pursuing claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Represented both plaintiffs and defendants in numerous civil racketeering cases, including the defense of one of the nation's leading home builders and one of the nation's largest hospital chains.


Professional Associations
  • Former Chair, Litigation Committee, Bar Association of the District of Columbia
  • Former Chair, Civil RICO Committee; Antitrust Section, American Bar Association
  • Former Management Co-chair, Labor and Employment Law Section; Antitrust, RICO and Labor Law Committee, American Bar Association
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Civil RICO Report and the Advisory Board of the RICO and Securities Fraud Law Reporter
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, Dade County Bar Association
  • Member, Collier County Bar Association
  • Member, Southwest Florida Federal Court Bar Association
  • Master of the Bench, Michael R. N. McDonnell American Inn of Court (formerly Thomas S. Biggs American Inn of Court)
  • Member, Florida Academy of Management Attorneys
  • Bar Association of D.C. (Voluntary Bar)
  • Tyson Foods, Inc. Preferred Legal Services Provider
  • Collier County Women’s Bar Association
  • Host Committee, National Parkinson Foundation of South Florida “Wines on the Bay”
  • AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International)

Professional Activities and Experience
  • Named among 52 Litigation Trailblazers, National Law Journal, 2016
  • Selected as a Class Action MVP, Law360, 2015 (1 of 5 nationally)
  • Selected as Litigator of the Week, American Lawyer, August 27, 2015
  • Selected as a Super Lawyer for Class Action/Mass Torts, DC Super Lawyers magazine, 2007, 2013-2017. A description of the selection methodology can be found on Super Lawyers’ webpage.
  • AV® Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell. A description of the selection methodology can be found on Martindale-Hubbell’s webpage.

Articles

Additional Articles
  • Aggregation Aggravation: Cappuccitti's Effect on CAFA, Class Action Law 360 (inaugural issue), Vol. 1, No. 1
  • The Brave New World of Removal Practice Under the Class Action Fairness Act, Andrews Class Action Litigation Reporter, Vol. 12, No. 3, p.23
  • Trial of an FLSA "Donning and Doffing" Class Action After IBP v. Alvarez, Andrews Litigation Reporter
  • Chapters on Trials and Statistical Sampling, A Practitioner's Guide to Class Actions (2d edition), American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
  • Is it a class action? Prove it!, Westlaw Journal Class Action
  • Expert Analysis: How to Defend Against Multi-Model Product Class Actions, Westlaw Journal Class Action, Volume 23, Issue 12
  • Second Edition of ABA Treatise Provides Expanded Advice on Federal Commercial Litigation, Hearsay (newsletter of BADC)
  • "RICO and Labor Law," Chapter 30, The Developing Labor Law, 5th edition
  • The Class Action Fairness Act and Exxon Mobil v. Allapattah: Congress and the Supreme Court Expand and Complicate Diversity Jurisdiction, 26 Class Action Reports 567
  • Threading The Needle: Identifying And Preparing A Strong RICO Case, White Paper for Georgia ICLE
  • Threading The Needle: Identifying And Preparing A Strong RICO Case, white paper for Georgia ICLE
  • Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Provide for Greater Court Over Control of Class Action Procedures, Martindale-Hubbell’s Counsel to Counsel Litigation Alert
  • Dealing With Ethical Issues And Objectors In Class Action Settlements: An Overview And Bibliography, Future of Class Action Litigation in America, American Bar Association
  • Trials Chapter, A Practitioner's Guide To Class Actions, American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
  • Chapters on Trials and Statistical Sampling, A Practitioner's Guide to Class Actions (3d edition), American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
  • Chapters on Trials and Statistical Sampling, A Practitioner's Guide to Class Actions, American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
  • Retaliation Bites: Got a whistle-blower on staff? Better not fire him. Thanks to Sarbanes-Oxley, he can now sue under RICO, Corporate Counsel
  • Recap of Lawsuits Against Hotel Industry in Second-Half 2016: Are You Prepared to Protect Your Reputation and Profitability?, Greater Miami & Beaches Hotel Association Allied Upgrade Newsletter
  • The Class Action Hurricane: Where Is The Storm Heading?, Law360
  • Supplement section on antitrust and RICO claims in employment cases, William J. Holloway and Michael J. Leech, EMPLOYMENT TERMINATION RIGHTS AND REMEDIES (2d ed. BNA)
  • 2018 Review of Hospitality Lawsuits & 2019 Predictions, Greater Miami & Beaches Hospitality Association Newsletter
  • Don’t Overlook The 1st Amendment in Labeling Litigation, Law360
  • Report on second-half 2017 lawsuits against hospitality industry: business is up, and so are the lawsuits, Greater Miami & Beaches Hotel Association Allied Upgrade Newsletter
  • Class Action Lawsuits on Rise, WardsAuto
  • Winning Defense Verdicts in Wage-and-Hour Class Actions: Trial Strategies for Defeating Class-Wide Proofs, Westlaw Journal Employment
  • USA - Washington D.C., Chapter 32, The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Class & Group Actions
  • Watch for the Expansion of BIPA Claims to New Use Cases and Jurisdictions, Pratt’s Privacy and Cybersecurity Law Report
  • Facing Privacy Suits About Facial Recognition, International Law Office – IT & Internet Newsletter
  • Spokeo’s Impact and More, Westlaw Journal
  • Recent developments under BIPA: Examining Spokeo’s impact and more, Westlaw Journal Computer and Internet
  • 2nd Circ. Slack-Fill Ruling Makes Injunctive Relief Harder, Class Action 360

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