Michael is a seasoned business litigator and a trusted advisor who counsels business clients on strategy, risk evaluation and cost management for regulatory and litigation matters. His practice includes advising senior level executives and general counsel on complex business litigation, consumer product regulation, mass tort and class action litigation.
Michael regularly advises clients on regulatory matters involving the Consumer Products Safety Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and other agencies. He also deals with supply chain compliance and reporting issues.
An experienced toxic tort litigator, Michael has been lead counsel for clients in various industries facing product liability as well as Per and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), asbestos, formaldehyde, lead and benzene litigation matters. He understands how to analyze technical and scientific issues as part of determining a successful trial strategy.
Most importantly, Michael creates solutions for his clients, whether by fighting lawsuits or by building the best team to deal with regulatory issues. He has worked extensively in the automotive, aerospace, furniture, consumer products, medical products, and wholesale distribution and supply chain industries.
Michael keeps current on legal issues affecting his clients through membership in ASTM, F15.42 Committee, Defense Research Institute, International Association of Defense Counsel and Georgia Automotive Manufacturers Association.
Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
- Represented an international automotive company as National Coordinating Counsel in mass tort asbestos litigation, supervising law firms across the country, preparing and enforcing billing and cost control guidelines, and managing bet-the-company risk issues.
- Represented several domestic and international automotive component part suppliers as lead counsel in product liability matters.
- Represented international aerospace component part manufacturer in trade secret litigation regarding commercial airline production.
- Represented a pharmaceutical industry supplier in antitrust, tortious interference and unfair trade litigation affecting businesses in both Europe and the United States.
- Represented an international furniture manufacturer with manufacturing operations in Southeast Asia on product recall, Consumer Product Safety Commission and litigation risk issues.
Presentations and Publications
- Product Stewardship for Nanotechnology Products: Current Regulation and Risk Management, Nanomanufacturing Summit, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, October 2013
- Changing Times, New Opportunities: What Buyers of Legal Services Need to Know About Changes in the Client-Attorney Dynamic, Keith A. Clinard, John Parker Sweeney and Michael J. Sullivan, September 2009
- The Lawyer as Counselor, Article in The International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) Newsletter, January 2009
- Working with others in Mass Tort Litigation: Case Management Orders, Lone Pine Orders and Joint Defense Agreements, Daniel J. Scully, Michael J. Sullivan and Steven R. Williams, Product Liability Advisory Council Fall Conference, November 2003
- Litigation Strategy and Tactics, Dennis G. Bonnuchi and Michael J. Sullivan, National Business Institute’s Product Liability Law Seminar, November 1986
- Right to Die: An Update, Robert Weyhing and Michael Sullivan, Michigan Pharmacist, The Journal of the Michigan Pharmacists Association, November 1985
- Co-presenter, Non-Remote Manufacturing in a Remote World, Womble Bond Dickinson's Everything from Everywhere Virtual Summit, January 29, 2021
- Managing Risk: A Business Approach to Proposition 65, American Home Furnishing Alliance’s Prop 65 Workshop 2018, March 21, 2018
- Co-presenter, AHFA Regulatory Summit, “Compliance & Risk Management: Cost of Business or Competitive Advantage”, October 25, 2017
- Co-presenter, AHFA Joint Regulatory Workshop, “Best Practices for Document Retrieval/Section 770.30 + Labeling”, January 19, 2017
- Lumber Liquidators and Its Aftermath – Essential Lessons You Should Learn, American Home Furnishings Alliance Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, November 14, 2015
- Compliance to the Letter of the Law, Furniture Today 2014 Regulatory & Compliance Summit, High Point University, High Point, NC, April 23, 2014
- Best Practices and Risk Management: Patent Trolls, New Regulation and Tort Risks, Nanotechnology Commercialization Conference, Wake Forest Biotech Place, Winston-Salem, NC, April 9, 2013
- Nanotechnology, Still an Emerging Issue, The New Era of Product Liability Law – Emerging Issues Driving Mass Tort & Environmental Litigation Conference (Perrin Conferences), New Orleans, Louisiana, May 5, 2011
- Nanotech and Chemical Exposure, Emerging Insurance Coverage & Allocation Issues Conference, New York City, New York, January 24, 2011
- The Friction Case: How to Defend Non-Occupational Exposures, Asbestos Litigation Conference (Perrin Conferences), September 2009
- The Latest on Removal, Panel Presentation at Mealey’s National Asbestos Litigation SuperConference, Scottsdale, Arizona, September 23, 2008
- Working with others in Mass Tort Litigation: Case Management Orders, Lone Pine Orders and Joint Defense Agreements, Daniel J. Scully, Michael J. Sullivan, Steven R. Williams; Product Liability Advisory Council Fall Conference, November 2003
- Litigation Strategy and Tactics, Dennis G. Bonnuchi, Michael J. Sullivan; National Business Institute’s Product Liability Seminar, November 1986
Civic and Professional Activities
- American Bar Association (Litigation Section)
- Georgia Bar Association
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- DRI (formerly Defense Research Institute)
- Georgia Defense Lawyers Association
- Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
- Georgia Automotive Manufacturers Association
- Leadership Atlanta Class of 2015
- Special Olympics of Georgia Capital Campaign Committee 2015-2016
- Woodruff Arts Center Annual Corporate Campaign 2013-2015
Honors and Awards
- AV® Preeminent™ rated, Martindale-Hubbell
- Received the Best Lawyers® "Lawyer of the Year" Award in the field of Product Liability Litigation – Defendants (Atlanta), 2022
- Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings) in the fields of Commercial Litigation, Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2005 – Present
- Named to Georgia Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) in Personal Injury – Products: Defense, 2012 – 2019
- Marquis Who's Who in America, 2019