University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., Magna Cum Laude

University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications, B.A.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • 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 8th Circuit


  • Honorable Jeanne J. Graham, United States District Court, District of Minnesota
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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
  • Intellectual property litigation
  • Professional liability 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.

Railroad Litigation
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 banks 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 also represents financial institutions in state court cases defending mortgage buyback claims and other unfair and predatory lending claims.

Intellectual Property Litigation
Mike represents companies in patent and trademark infringement cases, as well as trade secret and unfair competition cases.

Professional Liability
Mike represents professionals, including attorneys and dentists, in defending against claims of professional negligence.

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:

  • 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 interest in the company. The court granted the buyout at a favorable amount, which was affirmed on appeal.

Railroad Litigation:

  • 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.

Intellectual Property Litigation:

  • Currently, Mike is assisting in the representation of 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.

Professional Liability:

  • Currently, Mike is assisting in the representation of a client against his former accountant in an accountant and auditor malpractice case.

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association, Member

Federal Bar Association, Member

  • Minnesota Chapter, Director

Minnesota State Bar Association, Member