Michael J. Steinlage

Professional Profile
For more than twenty years, Michael has aggressively represented clients in consumer and business litigation and arbitration disputes in the areas of insurance, reinsurance, financial services and mortgage lending. Since 2004, his practice has focused primarily on the representation of financial institutions, mortgage servicing companies, and reinsurers and cedents in their most challenging class action and significant litigated matters.

Michael’s insurance background includes significant experience representing insurers, policyholders, reinsurers and cedents in major disputes involving catastrophic property and business interruption losses, mass tort and class action exposures, professional and environmental liability, and life and health reinsurance on a national and international basis.

Michael also advises broker-dealers and investment professionals regarding significant regulatory developments and handles disputes before FINRA and other self-regulatory organizations relating to misconduct in the promotion, sale and handling of securities, 1031 exchanges, insurance products and qualified funds.

Prior to joining Larson • King in 1999, Michael was an attorney with a national litigation firm in Minneapolis and completed an intensive three month trial training program as a prosecutor for the City of Minneapolis during that time.

Law School
William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1993

University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1990

Excess, Surplus, Lines and Reinsurance Law Committee of the American Bar Association (Chair 2007-2009)
ABA TIPS Task Force on Disaster Insurance Coverage (2009-2010)
Minnesota State Bar Association
Risk and Insurance Management Society
Defense Research Institute (DRI)
Our Lady of Grace Catholic School, Advisory Council (2010-2013)

Minnesota; U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota; U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin; U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

Representative Litigation Experience
Lead counsel in defense of bank holding company against legacy representation and warranty/repurchase claims relating to $346 million of subprime loans originated between 1999 and 2007. 

Assisted cedent in presenting and recovering over $18 million from multi-national excess of loss and clash reinsurers relating to lump sum class settlement of lead paint liability and related bad faith claims, through pre-demand negotiations and arbitration.

Obtained summary judgment for senior noteholder in a trust instruction proceeding over application of the overcollateralization test in the structured indenture, after a New York federal court had ruled against other senior noteholders on the same issue, resulting in a $3.5 million additional distribution to senior noteholders.

Successfully defended certification of a consumer class action related to servicer compliance with the federal HAMP loan modification program, resulting in withdrawal of the claims following oral argument on the motion to certify.

Successfully defended broker-dealers against dozens of NASD/FINRA arbitrations involving allegations of unsuitability, fraud and misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with private placements, 1031 exchanges, Brady Bonds, and other investments by accredited and non-accredited investors.

Successfully defended and resolved numerous FDCPA, FCRA and TCPA putative class claims against mortgage servicing companies.

Retained as trial counsel in nationwide class action alleging Yield Spread premium payments to mortgage brokers constituted illegal kickback payments under RESPA. Successfully opposed petition for review to the United States Supreme Court following Eighth Circuit’s decertification of class on eve of trial.

Represented fronting carrier against various reinsurers for losses paid under an agent-managed HPR/Property insurance program insuring satellites, underground mining, and other exotic risks.

Advised cedent in connection with recovering multi-million dollar settlements paid in related wrongful death and bad faith litigation involving fatal gas explosion at a corporate-owned farm, through litigation and arbitration with reinsurers.

Arbitrated and litigated disputes between cedents and reinsurers over access to records and audit rights, under variety of different reinsurance contracts and circumstances.

Spent the better part of a decade representing insurers in coverage litigation around the country against Fortune 100 companies over coverage for environmental liabilities and site investigation and remediation costs.

Represented excess of loss reinsurers in connection with cessions of asbestos product and non-product losses and related bankruptcy settlements.

Successfully defended litigation by fronting carrier against retrocessionaire, involving advanced payments on reported losses to insolvent reinsurer/retrocedent.

Successfully defended claims by insolvent insurer on behalf of quota share reinsurers under common account excess of loss agreements, designed to circumvent prior commutation agreements.

Successfully litigated and mediated intra-insurer and reinsurer dispute over allocation of $100 million of business interruption loss between Boiler and Machinery and All Risk Insurers relating to 1989 Quantum Chemical plant explosion.

Defense verdict for insurer against multi-million dollar bad faith claims arising out insurer’s handling of class action claims against a Nevada developer.

Defense verdict for commercial property insurer on fire loss, based on arson defense.

Successfully defended and resolved numerous defective product claims and associated insurance coverage disputes.