Mike Gruber is the must-hire trial lawyer for large, complicated cases with enormous stakes. Unlike many litigators, he isn’t afraid of the number of zeroes in a claim – throughout his career, clients’ dollars at risk have risen into the billions, including three such cases in 2014. Mike represents companies, executives, bankruptcy trustees, wealthy families, trusts and individuals as plaintiffs and defendants on their most sensitive, high-risk, confidential and contentious matters.
He is as skilled in litigation avoidance and pre-litigation strategy as he is in state and federal courts in Texas, as well as in other jurisdictions, such as the Southern District of New York. With subject matter ranging from warring families in major probate disputes, the jurisdiction of bankruptcy courts (a seminal case, Wellness/Sharif, won in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015), a billion-dollar fraudulent transfer case, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and intellectual property ownership claims, to energy and real estate investments gone bad, Mike has the proven experience, confidence and drive that clients seek and referral sources trust.
Clients who hire Mike quickly recognize why he is praise-worthy – he designs a comprehensive Trial Plan, often in the hundreds of pages, which starts at the end – the appeal – and works backwards to the original petition or answer. He builds the arguments and evidence at every stage, and anticipates every possible outcome, eliminating surprises and operating from a position of strength that is fully informed. As Mike describes it, "The only way for a David to take down a Goliath - someone with superior resources - is to out-plan, out-execute and out-work them. That is what a legal good slingshot is made of." In addition, unlike many lawyers and firms, Mike fairly aligns fee arrangements with the goals and interests of his clients. He's willing to have skin in every case.
Mike sees several horizon issues that are concerning to senior executives and business owners. He is brought into the largest and most complicated multi-generational disputes of high-profile families and expects estate planning, probate and trust fights to continue – and, in fact, escalate – for years to come.
Awards listed are net of attorneys' fees and expenses.
Here's how Mike describes one case that says a lot about the firm, his approach and his experience: "I had a client who was up against a multi-billion dollar corporation. We won a huge verdict after the other side initially offered us pennies on the dollar. Afterward, my client gave me a big slingshot. "Our attitude is to put ourselves on the line, not just bill and collect when your client wins or loses. The firm does things on a value-based approach. If you believe in your client and believe in the importance of being passionate about a case, you have to invest yourself in it."
Other representative cases with awards net to our clients include:
- In 2014, handled two, billion-dollar probate fights – one in Dallas County and the other in Harris County, Texas
- In Texas State Court, represented the original investors in and the trial of a partnership dispute against Blockbuster Video – resulted in a $123 million dollar judgment
- $30 million verdict in a fraud claim for Main Street Ventures involving intellectual property against Shell Oil Company.
- $22 million judgment in sexual assault/Dram Shop case following bench trial. (largest bench trial verdict in Texas - 2015)
- Represented a key employee in a $20 million jury verdict in an employment case against Roche Pharmaceuticals – one of the largest verdicts of its kind in the country.
- Represented major property owner in a $45 million settlement during trial in Texas federal court over the conversion of large oil and gas interests.
- Represented major investors in Enron-related litigation against a major financial institution, and obtained a $40 million dollar settlement on the first day of trial.
- $35 million settlement in a fiduciary partnership dispute.
- Represented Securus Technologies, a developer of civil and criminal justice technology solutions, with more than $30 million in settlements in patent litigation over 5 years.
- Obtained a $20 million settlement on behalf of a founder of a multi-billion dollar investment fund.
- $10 million-dollar settlement for Collins Family Trust after arbitration award and judgment – involving a fraudulent financing scheme.
- Served as Counsel to School Board President Kathleen Leos in highly publicized DISD litigation after she sought a fraud investigation of the Dallas Independent School District.
- Defended ElkCorp in $2 billion tender offer strike litigation.
Referring to another high-profile and sensitive matter, Mike was later quoted as saying, “Every now and then you get a case where it’s legally the right thing to do, morally the right thing to do and personally the right thing to do. This was one of those cases. It made me glad that I had gone to law school.”
- Pappas Brothers
- Securus Corp.
- Interstate Batteries
- CBRE Trammell Crow
- Texas Capital Bank
- Jones Lang LaSalle
- Ryan, Inc.
- BosGen Liquidating Trust
- MCAR Liquidating Trust
- THQ Liquidating Trust
- Dedman Family Trusts
- Dickey's Family Trusts