As Co-Chair of Shook’s Business Litigation Practice Group, Michael S. Cargnel focuses his practice on complex commercial disputes, with a special emphasis on construction. Mike has tried and won commercial cases across the country, both in courthouses and in arbitration rooms.
A trial attorney first and foremost, Mike’s philosophy is simple: favorable resolutions are earned before trial only when prepared for trial. Outside of active litigation, Mike also serves as a critical business adviser to his clients, helping them navigate “troubled” projects or challenging business endeavors.
Construction – Mike defends and prosecutes performance, payment and defect claims with an emphasis on large heavy civil projects in the water, geotechnical and energy industries. He has a deep breadth of experience across multiple technologies; he served as lead counsel for contractor/supplier disputes involving TBM tunneling and shaft construction (Washington, D.C.), high-rise specialty foundations (Miami), advanced water treatment plants (Phoenix), soil improvement and dam construction (Alabama), deep water well design and construction (Georgia) and power generation facilities (Texas).
Breach of Contract – Mike represents businesses and corporations in prosecuting and defending litigation concerning purchase agreements, service contracts, warranty claims and licensing agreements.
Fiduciary Duty/Business Torts – Mike prosecutes and defends claims stemming from joint ventures, partnerships and shareholder relationships. This work also includes litigation involving individual owner/executive misconduct.
Professional Malpractice – Mike defends securities brokers, insurance agents, lawyers and other professionals in claims asserting failure of performance or breach of the appropriate standard of care.
Employment – Mike represents companies in the enforcement or defense of restrictive covenants in employment or executive agreements. His work is focused on the preservation of employers’ rights.
Bankruptcy – Mike prosecutes the rights of business creditors in bankruptcy and adversary proceedings.
- August 2018 – Represented specialty foundation contractor in nine-figure dispute related to foundation remediation for tallest office tower on the West Coast.
- March 2017 – Represented Japanese heavy industry client in $130 million lawsuit asserting design defects at U.S. power generation facility.
- July 2016 – Tried $13 million defective design claim concerning water treatment plants in the Southwest on behalf of international water resources company. Trial was before construction-specific arbitration panel; matter resolved on terms beneficial to client at the conclusion of the plaintiff/opposing party’s case.
- August 2015 – Successfully resolved $30 million claim related to specialty foundation for condominium tower in Miami, Florida for international subterranean construction firm.
- May 2013 – Successfully resolved $11 million claim arising from municipal utility project for international construction company.
- April 2012 – Hired after trial and successfully secured reversal before the Oklahoma Supreme Court of a $10 million verdict in consumer protection, fraud case for international manufacturing client.
- August 2011 – Prevailed in preserving multimillion dollar creditor claim through complex Chapter 11 proceeding; including trial of contested appointment of trustee and adversary proceeding.
- November 2010 – Secured summary judgment for insurance broker on $13 million claim stemming from Katrina-related property damage.
- October 2010 – Secured a defense verdict for broker-dealer client before Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel.
- December 2009 – Won a $2.7 million federal jury verdict in favor of client asserting claims for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets, and breach of contract. Claims stemmed from the parties’ failed joint venture to co-develop and co-own a software product. Federal court granted multimillion dollar fee award.
- March 2009 – Successfully represented general contractor in breach of contract claim against project owner. Jury returned a verdict ($600,000) against owner for full amount of damages and rejected owner’s million-dollar counterclaim.
- J.D., magna cum laude, Washburn University School of Law, 2000
- B.S., cum laude, Evangel University, 1996
- U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
- American Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute
- Kansas Association of Defense Counsel
- Kansas Bar Association
- Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
- The Hon. Dale E. Saffels, U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
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