Overview

Michael Gretchen is a Partner with Fellows LaBriola who represents plaintiffs and defendants in complex litigation in state and federal courts.

Business Litigation – Michael represents corporate and individual clients in all manner of business litigation, including insurance coverage and bad faith disputes, partnership disputes, fraud and misrepresentation claims, breach of fiduciary duty claims, federal and state RICO claims, federal and state securities claims, and class action claims.

Personal Injury – Michael also represents injured clients and families in catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases. He has helped recover millions for his clients in cases involving medical malpractice, tractor-trailer and automobile accidents, and premises liability.

Michael has argued several cases in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, and he is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in Georgia.

Michael graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law, where he obtained several honors in moot court, mock trial, and law journal programs. Before law school, Michael graduated cum laude from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, with a degree in Classics and Politics. Michael lives in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur with his wife and daughter.

Honors

  • Catholic Charities of Atlanta, Leadership Class (2021-22)
  • Leadership Buckhead (2018-19)
  • Leadership Academy, State Bar of Georgia, Young Lawyer’s Division (2018)
  • Rising Star (2018-present)

Professional Activities

  • State Bar of Georgia
    • Young Lawyers Division
    • Co-Chair-YLD Business Law Committee (2018-2019)
  • Atlanta Bar Association
    • Litigation Section – Board of Directors, Member at Large (2022 – present)
    • Atlanta Council of Younger Lawyers – Board Member (2018-2019); Co-Chair, Associates’ Campaign (2019)
  • Federal Bar Association, Atlanta Chapter
  • Joseph Henry Lumpkin American Inn of Court (2018 – 2021)
  • The Judge Clarence Cooper American Inn of Court (2017 – present)
  • St. Thomas More Society
  • Parishioner, Cathedral of Christ the King

Representative Matters

Commercial and Appellate Litigation

  • Stockton v. Shadwick, 870 S.E.2d 104 (Ga. Ct. App. 2022) – Successfully defended business partner against claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, and conversion, arising from an alleged oral agreement to share revenues from coin-operated amusement machines (COAMs). The superior court granted our motion to dismiss, and the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed in a published decision.
  • Wade Park Land Holdings, LLC v. Kalikow et al., 522 F. Supp. 3d 1341 (N.D. Ga. 2021) – Successfully defended manager of real estate LLC against high-profile claims alleging violations of federal and state RICO, breach of fiduciary duty, and theft of trade secrets, stemming from failed multi-billion dollar Wade Park real estate venture outside Dallas, Texas. The federal district court granted our motion to dismiss in a published decision and transferred the action to New York.
  • Cisneros v. Petland, Inc., 972 F.3d 1204 (11th Cir. 2020) – Successfully defended national pet store franchisor against class action claims alleging violations of federal and state RICO regarding the health of pets sold at franchise locations. The federal district court granted our motion to dismiss in a published decision, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed in a published decision.
  • My24Hournews.com, Inc. v. AT&T Corp., 791 Fed. Appx. 788 (11th Cir. 2019) – Successfully defended NTT America, Inc. and Verio, Inc. against claims seeking $2 billion in damages alleging violations of federal and state RICO, fraud, and violations of the Georgia Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, stemming from failed internet news venture. The federal district court granted our motion to dismiss, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed.
  • Singleton v. Petland Mall of Georgia LLC, 2020 WL 3400194 (N.D. Ga. Mar. 18, 2020) – Successfully defended national franchisor against class action claims alleging negligence and negligent misrepresentation regarding the health of pets sold at franchise locations. The federal district court granted our motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.
  • Montauk U.S.A., LLC v. 148 South Emerson Associates, LLC – Represented restaurant investment LLC in defense of claims alleging trademark infringement and breach of licensing agreement, stemming from ownership dispute concerning “The Sloppy Tuna” bar and restaurant in Montauk, New York. After we defeated the plaintiff’s motion for temporary restraining order, it dismissed its suit. See Horowitz v. 148 S. Emerson Associates LLC, 888 F.3d 13 (2d Cir. 2018).

 Insurance Coverage and Bad-Faith Litigation

  • Representation of policyholders in coverage disputes with insurers under commercial liability, D&O, E&O, property, and professional liability policies for general liability claims, construction defects, intellectual property, business interruption, and first party property losses.
  • Classic Millwork Designs, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mut. Ins. Co. (N.D. Ga.) – Successfully represented policyholder in bringing claims against insurer for bad faith failure to settle an underlying lawsuit within the policy limits. The case resulted in a settlement that also resolved the appeal of the underlying lawsuit.
  • Colliers International – Atlanta, LLC v. Maxum Indemnity Company, 2022 WL 17369284 (N.D. Ga. Nov. 7, 2022) – Successfully represented commercial real estate broker in bringing claims against insurer for failure to pay defense costs after issuing a reservation of rights to defend significant Mattress Firm lawsuit. Although the insurer obtained a declaration of non-coverage, we prevailed in obtaining a ruling guaranteeing the payment of defense costs that accrued before the declaration. After we obtained partial summary judgment, the case settled on the eve of trial.

Catastrophic Personal Injury

  • Panuska v. AAA Cooper Transportation et al. (Fulton County State Court) – Successfully brought claims on behalf of quadriplegic client stemming from a disputed liability tractor-trailer accident. The case required expert testimony on complex issues, including accident reconstruction, speed calculations from dashcam video on a moving vehicle, human factors, the use of FARO® laser data, lifecare medical plans, and complex physics calculations.  The case settled on the eve of trial.
  • Rodriguez v. Soyoola et al. (Gwinnett County State Court) – Successfully brought claims on behalf of an injured woman who suffered catastrophic injuries following her OB/GYN’s failure to diagnose a post-partum infection. Following extensive discovery involving several expert witnesses, the case settled for multiples of the available insurance policies after the insurers failed to accept a policy limits demand.


Education

University of Georgia School of Law

  • J.D., cum laude
  • Best Oralist & Finalist — National Moot Court Competition.
  • Best Advocate, National South Texas Mock Trial Challenge.
  • Best Oralist – Talmadge Moot Court Competition.
  • Finalist – Richard B. Russell Moot Court Competition.
  • Georgia Journal of Intellectual Property Law, Notes Editor.
  • National Order of Barristers.

Washington and Lee University

  • B.A., Classics and Politics, cum laude
  • State Chair, Mock Convention.