Michael V. Ciresi

Michael V. Ciresi

Attorney Profile

Top Rated General Litigation Attorney in Minneapolis, MN

Ciresi Conlin LLP
 | 225 South Sixth Street, 46th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: 612-361-8200
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2003 - 2017
Licensed Since: 1971
Practice Areas:
  • General Litigation (40%),
  • Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff (30%),
  • Intellectual Property (30%)
Attorney Profile

Michael Ciresi, one of the country’s top trial lawyers, began his legal career with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. in 1970, when he was hired as a clerk.  In the years following, Mr. Ciresi moved up through the firm’s ranks.  He is a named partner, served as a member of the firm’s Executive Board for 25 years, and was elected Chairman from 1995 through 2008, when he stepped down. In 2015, he left the firm and founded Ciresi Conlin LLP.

Mr. Ciresi, who focuses his practice on representing individuals, corporations and government entities in the areas of product liability, intellectual property, business and commercial litigation.  He has taught and lectured nationally and internationally to various professional and business groups.  His clients have included the plaintiffs in the Dalkon Shield, Cu7 and Mirapex cases; the government of India as well as representing General Mills Inc., Carlson Companies, Unocal, 3M, Honeywell, Medtronic, and Pitney Bowes, Inc., to name a few.  His most historic case occurred when he represented the State of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota against the tobacco industry which led to a $7 billion settlement.He also was lead lawyer in Kraft vs. Starbucks, in which he won a $2.7 billion dollar arbitration award for Kraft.


 

About Michael Ciresi

Admitted: 1971, Minnesota

Professional Webpage: http://www.ciresiconlin.com/team/michael-ciresi/

Honors and Awards:

  • Awarded "1998 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award" by Public Justice Foundation•    Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Minnesota Law & Politics (December, 1997)•    Named as one of the "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America" by National Law Journal (April 28, 1997, June 12, 2000 and June 19, 2006)•    Listed in National Law Journal's "Ten of the Nation's Top Trial Lawyers" (February 13, 1989; February 8, 1993)•    Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (1989-2015 editions)•    "Product Liability Lawyer of the Year 1989" by the Australian National Consumer Law Association (December, 1989)•    Listed in The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers (Litigation and Patent Chapters, 2002-present)•    Listed in The International Who's Who of Commercial Litigation  (2000-present)•    Listed in Who's Who in the Midwest (2000-present)•    Listed in The International Who's Who of Patent Lawyers (1998-present)•    Listed in Who's Who in America (1994-present)•    Listed in Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in America (1991-1994)•    Listed in  Marquis Who's Who in the World  (1989-present)•    Listed in Marquis Who's Who in American Law (1987-present)
  •  Awarded "Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Minnesota Association for Justice (1998)
  •  Named a runner-up for "Lawyer of the Year" by The National Law Journal (1998)
  • Awarded "Distinguished Alumnus Award" by University of St. Thomas (1999)
  • Awarded "Outstanding Achievement Award" by University of Minnesota (1999
  • "Best Product Liability Lawyer" by Corporate Board Member magazine (August, 2001)
  • Awarded "Ellis Island Medal of Honor" by NECO (2002)
  • Awarded "Ellis Island Medal of Honor" by NECO (2002)
  • Awarded "Ellis Island Medal of Honor" by NECO (2002)
  •  Inducted into the Warren E. Burger Society (2004)
  •  Named a "500 Leading Lawyers in America Finalist," Lawdragon (2007
  • Listed in "Minnesota's Legal Hall of Fame: The 100 Most Influential Attorneys in State History," Minnesota Law & Politics (2007)
  •  Ranked #1 on the list of "Top 10 Super Lawyers," Minnesota Law & Politics  (2007)
  • Ranked #1 on the list of "Top 10 Super Lawyers," Minnesota Law & Politics  (2007)
  •  Ranked on the list of “Top 10 and Top 100 Super Lawyers,” Super Lawyers (2003-2014)
  • Named a "Litigation Star," Benchmark Litigation (2011-2014 editions)
  • Named a "Litigation Star," Benchmark Litigation (2011-2014 editions)
  •  Listed in "500 Leading Lawyers in America" Lawdragon (2010-2014)
  •  Listed in "500 Leading Lawyers in America" Lawdragon (2010-2014)
  •  Listed in IAM250 - World Leading IP Strategists (2011)
  •  Listed in IAM250 - World Leading IP Strategists (2011)
  • Named "Minneapolis Bet-the-Company Litigation Law Lawyer of the Year," Best Lawyers (2012 and 2014)
  • Named "Minneapolis Bet-the-Company Litigation Law Lawyer of the Year," Best Lawyers (2012 and 2014)
  •  Named "Minneapolis Litigation - Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year," Best Lawyers (2013)
  • Named “Minneapolis Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action - Plaintiffs Lawyer of the Year,” Best Lawyers (2014 and 2015 editions)
  •  Named “Litigator of the Week,” by The AmLaw Litigation Daily (November 14, 2013)
  •  Named “Attorney of the Year” by Minnesota Lawyer (2013)
  • Received 2014 Opus Sancti Thomae Award, St. Thomas Academy
  • Named a Law360 2014 Food & Beverage MVP
  •  Named in 2015 by Benchmark Litigation as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the United States
  • Mr. Ciresi has received numerous accolades for his professional accomplishments, including: ranked #1 in Minnesota for Litigation: General Commercial and Intellectual Property in Chambers USA (2008-2010); listed in “Minnesota’s Legal Hall of Fame: The 100 Most Influential Attorneys in State History” by Minnesota Law & Politics (2007); awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Minnesota Association for Justice; named as one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal (1997, 2000, 2006); and listed in Best Lawyers in America (1989-2009).

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Actively involved in community affairs, Mr. Ciresi sits on the Board of Directors for various organizations, including Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Public Radio International, the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation, St. Thomas Academy, and the University of St. Thomas School of Law.  He is also Board President and Chairman of the Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Foundation for Children, which he was instrumental in establishing in 1998 when the firm donated a gift of $30 million to The Minneapolis Foundation.  The goal of the foundation is to support Minnesota children in the areas of education, advocacy, and protection from abuse, while promoting equal opportunities.

Verdicts and Settlements:

  • Wellstone case.  Co-lead counsel representing families of Senator Paul Wellstone, his wife, daughter and three staff members who died in a crash of a chartered plane near Eveleth, Minnesota.  The case settled against the affiliated air charter companies for the insurance policy limits of $25 million in 2003.Past results are reported to provide the reader with an indication of the type of litigation we practice. They do not and should not be construed to create an expectation of result in any other case, as all cases are dependent upon their own unique fact situation and applicable law.
  • Wilkinson v. Dow Chemical Co.  Mr. Ciresi was lead counsel for Richard Wilkinson in a product liability action against Dow Chemical arising from Mr. Wilkinson being blinded in an industrial accident.  A jury in State court in Duluth, MN returned a verdict of $1.6 million in 1979.  The case was settled on appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
  • H & D Tire v. Pitney Bowes. Mr. Ciresi was lead counsel in defending Pitney Bowes in a putitive nationwide class action.  Class certification was defeated in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Texas in 1997.  The case settled following remand to State Court by the 5th Circuit.
  • H & D Tire v. Pitney Bowes. Mr. Ciresi was lead counsel in defending Pitney Bowes in a putitive nationwide class action.  Class certification was defeated in Federal Court in the Eastern District of Texas in 1997.  The case settled following remand to State Court by the 5th Circuit.
  • Haagen-Dazs International Shoppe Company, Inc. v. Corporacion Todosabor C.A.  Mr. Ciresi was lead counsel for Haagen-Dazs International Shoppe Company, Inc. in defending a claim brought by Corporacion Todosabor C.A. regarding a dispute over a franchise agreement.  The matter went to international arbitration and Corporacion Todosabor C.A.'s claim was dismissed and judgment was entered on behalf of Haagen-Dazs International.
  • Hutto v. Estee Lauder Inc.  Mr. Ciresi was lead counsel for Estee Lauder in a putative class action and obtained a dismissal with prejudice prior to class certification.  (April 2006)
  • Pitney Bowes v. Hewlett Packard.  Mr. Ciresi was lead counsel for Pitney Bowes in a patent dispute against Hewlett Packard over laser jet printers.  In 2001, on the first day of trial, the case was settled with Hewlett Packard agreeing to pay Pitney Bowes $400 million and other intellectual property considerations.
  • Ricoh v. Pitney Bowes.  Mr. Ciresi was co-lead trial counsel with Jan M. Conlin for Pitney Bowes in defending against a claim by Ricoh in which Ricoh asserted that Pitney Bowes infringed 18 claims from 4 Ricoh patents.  On November 30, 2006, a federal jury in New Jersey returned a verdict for Pitney Bowes, finding that the Ricoh patents were invalid for anticipation.  The jury's verdict was affirmed on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit.
  • Government of India v. Union Carbide. Mr. Ciresi was lead counsel for the Government of India for damages arising from the Bhopal disaster, which occurred when methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas was discharged from Union Carbide India Ltd.'s plant in Bhopal, India, resulting in over 3,000 deaths, thousands of injuries and property damage.  The case was eventually settled in India in 1987 for $470 million.
  • Copper-7 litigation.  Mr. Ciresi was lead counsel in the  Copper-7 litigation, in which he represented over 100 women who were injured as a result of the use of the Copper-7 intrauterine device.  Two of the clients' cases were tried.  In September of 1989, a Minnesota jury awarded $8,750,000 in the case of Kociemba v. G. D. Searle.  Of the verdict, $8 million was punitive damages and $750,000 were compensatory.  In March of 1989, Mr. Ciresi was lead counsel in McCarthy v. G. D. Searle & Co., the second bellweather Copper-7 trial.  The case was confidentially settled just prior to closing argument.  In the summer of 1989, the G. D. Searle Co. settled the cases of all remaining clients represented by Mr. Ciresi.
  • Dalkon Shield litigation.Mr. Ciresi was lead counsel on behalf of hundreds of women who suffered infertility issues as a result of the use of the Dalkon Shield.  Two bellweather cases went to trial and resulted in jury verdicts of compensatory and punitive damages: Stremke v. A.H. Robins $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1,500,000 in punitive damages (June 1983); Hahn v. A.H. Robins $250,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages (December 1983).  In 1984, the A. H. Robins Co. entered into a settlement on behalf of all remaining clients represented by Mr. Ciresi.
  • Dalkon Shield litigation.Mr. Ciresi was lead counsel on behalf of hundreds of women who suffered infertility issues as a result of the use of the Dalkon Shield.  Two bellweather cases went to trial and resulted in jury verdicts of compensatory and punitive damages: Stremke v. A.H. Robins $250,000 in compensatory damages and $1,500,000 in punitive damages (June 1983); Hahn v. A.H. Robins $250,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages (December 1983).  In 1984, the A. H. Robins Co. entered into a settlement on behalf of all remaining clients represented by Mr. Ciresi.
  • Ecolab v. Ford, et al.  Mr. Ciresi represented Ecolab in a commercial dispute involving the departure of six top salespeople who joined a key competitor.  He tried the matter to conclusion in 1994, enforcing noncompetition agreements and other lawful protection of proprietary company information
  • Atlantic Richfield Company, et al. v. Unocal Corporation, et al.  Mr. Ciresi was lead counsel for Unocal Corporation in patent infringement case involving a patent owned by Unocal covering automotive gasoline compositions designed to reduce tailpipe emissions.  A jury in Los Angeles awarded Unocal $91 million on October 14, 1997.  The United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of JMOL due to the substantial evidence supporting the jury verdict.
  • Honeywell v. Minolta.Mr. Ciresi was lead counsel on behalf of Honeywell in the Honeywell v. Minolta autofocus patent litigation, which resulted in a jury verdict of $96,350,000 on February 7, 1992.  The case was settled shortly after the verdict for $127,500,000, which included pre-judgment interest.  Mr. Ciresi went on to represent Honeywell against multiple other defendants with respect to the autofocus technology and Honeywell eventually recovered approximately $500 million for patent infringement.
  • TriStrata Technology, Inc. v. Mary Kay Inc.  Mr. Ciresi was co-lead trial counsel with Jan M. Conlin on behalf of TriStrata Technology, Inc. in a patent infringement case relating to alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) anti-aging technology.  TriStrata was awarded $26.4 million in damages plus interest by a Delaware jury in March, 2005.  A final judgment including pre-judgment and post-judgment interest brought the total award to more than $43 million and the verdict was summarily affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit on January 10, 2007.
  • State of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota v. Phillip Morris Incorporated, et al.  Mr. Ciresi was co-lead counsel with Roberta B. Walburn for the State of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota in a groundbreaking lawsuit against the tobacco industry.  After four years of litigation - including discovery of more than 30 million pages of internal documents, litigation of crime-fraud privilege issues, more than a dozen interlocutory appeals (including two to the United States Supreme Court) and four months of trial, the case settled on May 8, 1998, on the eve of jury deliberations for $7 billion and unprecedented injunctive relief against the tobacco industry.  Received Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from Trial Lawyers for Public Justice for work on the litigation.
  • State of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota v. Phillip Morris Incorporated, et al.  Mr. Ciresi was co-lead counsel with Roberta B. Walburn for the State of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota in a groundbreaking lawsuit against the tobacco industry.  After four years of litigation - including discovery of more than 30 million pages of internal documents, litigation of crime-fraud privilege issues, more than a dozen interlocutory appeals (including two to the United States Supreme Court) and four months of trial, the case settled on May 8, 1998, on the eve of jury deliberations for $7 billion and unprecedented injunctive relief against the tobacco industry.  Received Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from Trial Lawyers for Public Justice for work on the litigation.
  • Lead Trial Counsel in Whitley vs. Pfizer, Inc. Represented Plaintiff in first Chantix bellwether trial. The case confidentially settled three days prior to jury selection. Mr. Ciresi then engaged in settlement discussions which resulted in settlement of all firm Chantix cases.
  • Lead Trial Counsel in Zwayer v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Pfizer, Inc. Represented plaintiffs in second Mirapex bellwether trial.  Case was confidentially settled prior to closing argument.  After the conclusion of the Zwayer trial, settlement negotiations resulted in settlement of all the firm's Mirapex cases.
  • Lead Trial Counsel in Charbonneau v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Pfizer, Inc.  Represented plaintiffs in first Mirapex products liability bellwether trial.  On July 30, 2008, jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiffs for $8,279,300, including $7.8 million in punitive damages for failing to warn of risk of compulsive behaviors, including pathological gambling, from the Parkinson's drug Mirapex.
  • Lead Trial Counsel in Charbonneau v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Pfizer, Inc.  Represented plaintiffs in first Mirapex products liability bellwether trial.  On July 30, 2008, jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiffs for $8,279,300, including $7.8 million in punitive damages for failing to warn of risk of compulsive behaviors, including pathological gambling, from the Parkinson's drug Mirapex.
  • Minnesota Workers' Compensation Reinsurance Association et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.  Mr. Ciresi was co-lead counsel with Roberta B. Walburn. Four nonprofits - Minnesota Workers' Compensation Reinsurance Association, Minnesota Medical Foundation, The Minneapolis Foundation, and Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Foundation for Children - participated in a securities lending program run by Wells Fargo. The bank represented that the collateral in the program would be invested in short-term money market instruments, where the prime considerations would be safety of principal and liquidity. Instead, the bank invested a substantial portion of the collateral in risky and/or illiquid securities, including complex structured investments. The jury found that Wells Fargo breached its fiduciary duty and violated the Minnesota Consumer Fraud Act. In post-trial orders, the trial court awarded Plaintiffs attorneys' fees, and costs and disbursements. The trial court also awarded Plaintiffs forfeiture of fees by Wells Fargo and awarded pre-and post-judgment interest. This was the first trial and recovery of this type in the country. On April 16, 2012, the Minnesota Court of Appeals issued its opinion affirming the trial court. On June 27, 2012, the Minnesota Supreme Court denied Wells Fargo's petition for review. The final judgment, plus additional post-trial attorneys' fees paid by Wells Fargo, totaled more than $57 million.
  • Kraft Foods Group, Inc./Mondelez International, Inc. v. Starbucks Coffee Company: Lead counsel representing Kraft in a three-year arbitration regarding a breach of contract after Starbucks unilaterally terminated its agreement, cutting off Kraft’s exclusive rights to sell, market and distribute Starbucks roast and ground coffee in grocery and other retail outlets. The arbitration resulted in a $2.7 billion cash award to Kraft.

Educational Background:

  • Mr. Ciresi attended law school at the University of Minnesota Law School and in 2001 an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon him by Southwestern University School of Law.

Articles about Michael V. Ciresi appearing in Super Lawyers

Office Location for Michael V. Ciresi

225 South Sixth Street
46th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55402

 

Michael V. Ciresi:

Last Updated: 2/15/2017

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