University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., Magna Cum Laude
University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications, B.A.
Bar & Court Admissions
- North Dakota
- U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
- U.S. District Court District of North Dakota
- U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin
- U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
- Honorable Jeanne J. Graham, United States District Court, District of Minnesota
Mike Sawers is a member of the Business Litigation section. He practices principally in the areas of:
- Business litigation and corporate dispute resolution
- Railroad litigation
- Banking and finance litigation
- Agricultural litigation
- Intellectual property litigation
Business Litigation and Corporate Dispute Resolution
Mike represents individuals and corporate clients in a wide variety of corporate and commercial disputes, including corporate governance, shareholder and partnership disputes, employment contracts disputes and appeals of property tax assessments.
Mike represents Class I railroads in cases ranging from employee or third-party injuries, to regulatory disputes with shippers. Mike also represents clients in Federal Employer Liability Act cases, and other crossing and catastrophic torts.
Banking and Finance Litigation
Mike defends large and midsized financial institutions against claims arising under various federal statutes, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Consumer Fraud Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other similar laws. Mike represents financial institutions in cases defending mortgage buyback claims and other unfair and predatory lending claims. Mike also represents financial institutions in enforcing security agreements and loan defaults.
Mike represents agricultural industry clients, including grain and livestock producers. Mike has represented agricultural clients in arbitration and litigation in several areas in the upper Midwest.
Intellectual Property Litigation
Mike represents companies in patent and trademark infringement cases, as well as trade secret and unfair competition cases.
While in law school, Mike served as a first year legal writing instructor. He also was a member of the Minnesota Journal of International Law, during which time he focused on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act research. Mike volunteered at the United States Attorney's Office during law school, where he assisted primarily in the prosecution of financial crimes and drug and gun offenses.
Mike serves on the firm’s recruiting committee and diversity committee. He also serves on the Federal Bar Association‘s board of directors for the District of Minnesota, and the seminar committee and grants committee.
Mike also is an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota Law School.
Honors & Awards
- 2016 Social Justice Award, National Lawyers Guild of Minnesota
Business Litigation and Corporate Dispute Resolution:
- Represented former Minnesota based manufacturer in defending a claim in Minnesota federal district court. Mike took the lead on drafting dispositive motions and, with co-counsel, prevailed in getting our client a Rule 12 dismissal.
- Acted as lead counsel in defending the former owner of a Minnesota-based business in an action based on breach of a non-competition agreement. Mike obtained partial summary judgment in favor of the client and secured a settlement below cost of defense.
- Assisted in the representation of individually-named members of a limited liability corporation in a lawsuit in which the team prevailed on summary judgment and the clients were dismissed from the case.
- Compelled arbitration after a counter party brought suit in federal court. At the conclusion of the arbitration, the arbitrator found in favor of the client and resulted in a significant award.
- Assisted in the representation of a Minnesota county in a property tax appeal. After a two-week trial, the court issued a decision valuing the subject property at nearly double the assessed value.
- Assisted in the representation of a shareholder of a closely-held corporation’s statutory buyout of his interest in the company. The court granted the buyout at a favorable amount, which was affirmed on appeal.
- Defended against a motion for temporary restraining order where shippers sought to enjoin the application of a railroad’s published tariff. The district court denied the motion for temporary restraining order and referred the dispute to the Surface Transportation Board. After the plaintiff appealed, Mike assisted in drafting the responsive brief before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed the district court’s order.
- Obtained a Rule 12 dismissal on constitutional grounds of a challenge to railroad’s published tariff in North Dakota federal court. The district court declined to consider the merits because the dispute was not ripe for adjudication.
Banking and Finance Litigation:
- Acted as lead counsel in obtaining a favorable settlement within two days of arguing summary judgment based on alleged violation of loan documents.
- Assisted in the representation of a mortgage servicing company in putative class action Fair Credit Reporting Act case involving allegations of improperly accessing consumer credit reports following a borrower’s bankruptcy.
- Assisted in the representation of multiple banks defending against mortgage repurchase actions in federal district courts.
- Acted as first chair in representing a swine producer in federal litigation related to a breach of a service contract. Mike led the case from drafting the initial pleadings, through all stages of discovery, motion practice, and trial preparation. The case settled less than a week before trial with a significant payment from the defendant to our client.
- Represented an agricultural producer in arbitration involving claims and counterclaims. Mike led the case from the initial pleadings through trial preparation. Along with another Briggs lawyer, tried the case in the arbitration. The arbitrator returned a decision awarding our client all of its claimed damages and granted none of the other party’s requested relief.
- Represented swine producer in exclusive contract dispute. Shortly after the case began, the parties settled with our client receiving the majority of its claimed damages.
Intellectual Property Litigation:
- Representing a Minnesota-based manufacturer in trademark infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition case against a competitor in federal district court.
- Represented a Minnesota-based manufacturer in a patent infringement case in which the patent infringer voluntarily modified its infringing design shortly after the case began.
Internal and Governmental Investigations:
- Represented non-profit organization in investigation into volunteer misconduct. Interviewed several witnesses, drafted a report detailing my findings and recommendations, and presented findings to the client’s board of directors.
- Counseled individual licensed by Minnesota Department of Commerce with respect to State Attorney General investigation. Following Mike’s counsel, the State Attorney General did not bring any action against the client.
American Bar Association, Member
Federal Bar Association, Member
- Minnesota Chapter, Director
Minnesota State Bar Association, Member
- Attorneys Steve Kirsch and Michael Sawers Win Client's Case in United States District Court, District of MinnesotaOctober 24, 2017
- May 19, 2016
- Judge Dismisses Charges Against Black Lives Matter ActivistsNovember 10, 2015