I concentrate my practice in the areas of commercial litigation, business and corporate law, and employment law.

Michael Wais works with clients to find the most cost-effective resolution to disputes, aggressively pursuing litigation where necessary. He prides himself on his ability to recognize the potential for an amicable resolution, while still ensuring that the case is prepared for trial. Michael has tried many cases through verdict in both state and federal courts, as well as before the American Arbitration Association. He has also argued numerous appeals in both the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio. Michael works with corporate clients and individuals to assist them in all aspects of their business and other endeavors, including employment issues, contract negotiation, purchase and sale agreements, and other corporate and business matters.

Services

Business Litigation

In courtrooms, agencies, and tribunals across the country, we pursue our clients’ interests–both cost-effectively and with positive results.

Credentials

Education

  • Wayne State University Law School, 1991
    • J.D., magna cum laude
  • University of Michigan, 1986
    • B.A.

Memberships

  • Oakland County Bar Association

Admissions

  • Michigan, 1991
  • Supreme Court of the United States, 2018
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2012
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1994
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1991

Professional Achievements

  • Michigan Leading Lawyers, 2015-2019
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, 2013-2016

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Successfully represented a city and obtained summary dismissal of a class action lawsuit seeking $8MM based upon alleged improper water and sewer fees.

  • Represented a Tax Increment Finance Authority entity ("TIFA") where we obtained a $7.5MM settlement in a complex litigation matter were TIFA alleged that 25 years of payments made pursuant to a signed agreement should be returned as they were made without authority under the alleged contract.

  • Represented an investor before a three-member American Arbitration Association panel in New York City. Our client was awarded over $2.7MM, which included a finding of fraud by the brokerage company regarding investments in businesses prior to an Initial Public Offering.

  • Successfully represented partners in a two-day American Arbitration Association hearing that effectively dismissed the million-dollar claims of the former 50% owner's son and terminated the son's management of the business in favor of his partners.
  • Represented the beneficiary of a life insurance policy where our client was awarded summary judgment in excess of $9MM, including defeating each attempt by the insurance company to void the insurance policy for inter alia, alleged fraud, misrepresentation, lack of an insurable interest, and failure to provide all documents required to make a claim under the policy. The judgment included statutory penalty interest at 12% and the court rejected the insurance company's efforts to avoid penalty interest.

  • Successfully represented a company and obtained a jury verdict of over $1.3MM, plus case evaluation sanctions after a four-day trial. We alleged that the company asked its insurance agent to provide insurance in the amount necessary to be able to rebuild its building and replace its inventory in the event of a total loss. The jury verdict represented the amount over and above the amount of the insurance that was actually provided. Our representation also included argument before the Michigan Court of Appeals, where the jury verdict was upheld.

  • Represented an investor where we obtained a settlement of over $1.1MM from a broker and security company involving a complex tax investment.

  • After defeating summary dismissal attempts, we successfully obtained a settlement on behalf of a minority partner whereby the majority partner forfeited 40% of his interest in a real estate partnership in favor of our client, who then became the majority partner of the partnership with real estate holdings valued in excess of $8MM at the time of the settlement.

  • Successfully obtained a jury verdict on behalf of an equipment company after a four-day trial of over $997,000, including interest for fire loss damages that were denied by the insurance company. The verdict was obtained after successfully negotiating payment of over $1.5MM for items that the insurance company eventually agreed to pay and after winning summary judgment regarding an additional $230,000 that the insurance company refused to pay. Representation included argument before the Michigan Court of Appeals where the jury verdict was upheld.

  • Represented land owners/developers and obtained a settlement in excess of $4.5MM in a dispute with a lender. We successfully took over representation of the client following dismissal of the matter for failure to state a claim in its second amended complaint, which was filed by another law firm. We filed a compelling third amended complaint that prompted the lender to settle.

  • Represented a company where we obtained a $3,875,000 arbitration award after a 12-day arbitration hearing in front of a three-person American Arbitration Association panel. Our client successfully alleged that a large publicly traded company improperly pulled business away from our client and brought it in-house. The verdict was obtained despite the panel knowing that, on the first day of arbitration, our client would have accepted a settlement of less than $2.9MM.

  • Successfully represented a sales representative and obtained a $1.1MM jury verdict after a 10-day trial for unpaid commissions where the defendant rejected a $250,000 offer on the day the complaint was filed. The representation also included argument before the Michigan Court of Appeals where the jury verdict was upheld.