Mike Collyard has been lead counsel on cases of all sizes, ranging from some of the biggest multi-billion dollar financial and securities cases in the country to multi-million dollar intellectual property, antitrust, and commercial cases.
Mr. Collyard has first chaired jury and bench trials in both federal and state courts throughout the country. He was able to get a lot of “on his feet” experience early in his career when, in addition to handling complex commercial and intellectual property cases, he took on cases in many areas that he knew would go to trial. This allowed him to try—and win—jury and bench trials and arbitrations early on. He then used those experiences to hone his skills on large complex commercial cases.
Recently, Mr. Collyard first chaired a complex federal jury trial and after the case was over, the judge’s court reporter told his trial team that Mr. Collyard’s opening statement and examinations were some of the best she had seen in more than 20 years of handling trials in federal court. A retired state court judge who had watched a week of the trial also commented that Mr. Collyard’s performance was “phenomenal” and compared his direct and cross examinations to “pitching a no-hitter.”
Mr. Collyard has argued and won numerous dispositive motions and he has taken and defended hundreds of depositions in many different types of complex cases. Clients often call on Mr. Collyard for his skills in these areas.
Mr. Collyard also knows how to run the most complex cases efficiently. He has created and implemented common sense approaches on cases that have saved clients millions of dollars in fees and costs. This led Mr. Collyard to creating and implementing his firm’s Ediscovery practice group, which is designed to protect clients and save them money at every stage of the litigation cycle. In fact, the systems that Mr. Collyard created have been so effective that clients have hired Mr. Collyard to step into their complex cases (being handled by other firms) to implement strategies that are designed to protect them and save them money.
And although Mr. Collyard prepares every case to be efficiently handled with a targeted trial strategy in mind from the beginning, he also understands business and how to create business solutions. As one example, after Mr. Collyard successfully tried a case, he created a business solution that allowed his client to sell products that had been returned as not-sellable.
Selected Case Results*
As an example of the work Mr. Collyard has recently completed, he first chaired a multi-billion dollar evidentiary trial in federal court in New York where his client was accused of intentionally destroying documents that were critical to the case. The judge in that case found the evidence showed Mr. Collyard’s client acted in good faith and denied the other side’s request for terminating sanctions in its entirety. That case was against one of the world’s largest law firms and, although Mr. Collyard handled all aspects of the trial on his own, the other firm split the argument and examination portions between different partners.
Mr. Collyard also recently first chaired a federal jury trial in Illinois in a case involving a broad spectrum of claims such as breach-of-contract, fraud, trademark infringement and patent infringement. Mr. Collyard argued and won summary judgment motions which kicked out many of the plaintiff’s claims. He then went to trial on the plaintiff's breach of contract and fraud claims. The other side was asking for millions and punitive damages. But after Mr. Collyard got the plaintiff’s president to admit on the stand at trial that one of the purportedly fraudulent statements was never made by Mr. Collyard’s client, the case settled during trial for $0.
In addition, Mr. Collyard recently won a complex antitrust and racketeering case in federal court in Illinois for SuperValu. The plaintiffs’ initial demand was approximately $30 million. Mr. Collyard argued and won a motion to dismiss in that case that kicked out the majority of the claims against SuperValu. That resulted in the plaintiffs agreeing to dismiss their remaining claims and settling the case for $0.
Mr. Collyard also recently served as lead counsel for U.S. Bank in a mortgage backed securities case in the Eastern District of Virginia. The case settled on the eve of trial for about the same seven-figure number that U.S. Bank was entitled to at trial.
Likewise, Mr. Collyard served as lead counsel for 3M on a trademark case relating to aftermarket auto parts. Mr. Collyard reached a favorable settlement for 3M at mediation on confidential terms.
As another example, Mr. Collyard recently represented TiVo (with the Irell & Manella law firm) in massive patent infringement cases against Verizon and AT&T in federal court in Texas, relating to multimedia time warping technology. Mr. Collyard handled the damages claims. TiVo reached settlements and business deals in each of those cases which resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in payments to TiVo.
In addition, Mr. Collyard settled a patent case in federal court in Delaware against some of the world’s largest online retailers. Mr. Collyard settled the case in favor of his client on confidential terms that paid his client millions of dollars.
Mr. Collyard has served as lead counsel for some of the largest and most well-known companies in the world. He has represented U.S. Bank in multiple financial litigation and securities matters, as well as intellectual property matters. He has also represented other well-known companies like Best Buy, 3M, SuperValu, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, TiVo, and Fair Isaac, to name a few. In addition, Mr. Collyard has represented clients against some of the largest companies in the world, like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citi Bank, UBS, Samsung, Verizon, AT&T, Experian, Motorola, and Amazon.com.
Mr. Collyard has also handled numerous pro bono cases in many different areas of the law. For example, in a case of first impression in Minnesota, Mr. Collyard represented a guardian ad litem at trial seeking the termination of a mother's parental rights to her one-year-old daughter. During the trial, the mother agreed to voluntarily terminate her parental rights and thanked Mr. Collyard for―what she called―Mr. Collyard’s “passionate opening statement” which made her realize that termination was best for her daughter. The child was later adopted by her foster parents who had cared for her since the day she was born.
Mr. Collyard has four young kids who are very loud, creative, and funny. Outside of the office, Mr. Collyard is usually playing golf with his kids, playing electric guitar, skiing with his family and friends, or playing hockey with his old college teammates.