With more than 45 years of experience handling high-stakes disputes, Mike McKay is a go-to attorney for clients seeking to prevent, minimize, and resolve matters across the spectrum of commercial, regulatory, and general civil litigation. Mike draws on his in-depth knowledge and experience to represent local, national, and international businesses with interests and operations across Louisiana, the southeastern United States, and beyond. He has a particular focus on mid-size, privately held and family-owned companies, helping his clients preserve key relationships and protect their market positions.
Among his other leadership activities, Mike is a past president of the Louisiana State Bar Association, a former president of the Baton Rouge Bar Association, and a former member of the executive council of the National Conference of Bar Presidents,. Mike has successfully represented clients in trials and proceedings argued at every level of state and federal court in Louisiana.. He is also a member of The Patterson Resolution Group, a team of highly experienced neutrals who help parties from a broad range of industries resolve conflicts in mediation and arbitration. He is a current member of the American Arbitration Association’s roster of arbitrators. Taken together, this multifaceted background enables him to provide strategic, cost-effective counsel that allows clients to focus their time and resources on what they do best: building and managing their businesses.
Mike has handled a broad range of complex and bet-the-company lawsuits, class actions, and derivative actions involving commercial agreements and breaches of contract; partnerships; labor and employment matters; insurance coverage; intellectual property; product liability; professional malpractice; and a host of regulatory matters, including enforcement of antitrust, consumer protection, and other federal and state laws and regulations. He has represented clients from across the industry spectrum, from manufacturing to technology development and services, with particular depth of experience in real estate development and construction, infrastructure projects, automobile manufacturing and retail sales, and public and government contracting.
After earning his law degree and while also in private practice, Mike served for 14 years as a captain in the Judge Advocate General Department of the US Air Force Reserve. Recognized as a legal thought leader, Mike is dedicated to preserving the rule of law, promoting diversity and increased access to justice, and strengthening the court system to better serve individuals, businesses, and other organizations. He writes and speaks frequently before legal and industry groups on issues such as conflict resolution, negotiation skills, and the broader impacts of contemporary court decisions.
Real Estate and Construction Litigation
- Represents a large regional multi-dealership automotive group on all general and corporate matters including, but not limited to, contractual disputes, human relations problems, regulatory issues, casualty and warranty claims, insurance coverages, real estate transactions and antitrust claim.
- Successfully defended the manufacturer of steam boilers for sugar mills in multiple cases with total exposure exceeding $10 million.
- Successfully represented a client on the issue of whether the client (insured) or the insurer was entitled to the salvage when the "covered loss" was millions of dollars in excess of the policy limits plus the salvage value.
Public and Government Contract Litigation
- In state court, successfully represented the managing partners and 50% owners of a $100+ million retail, commercial and residential development in a suit brought by the other partner for dissolution of the partnership and for damages alleged to have resulted from mismanagement.
Regulatory Enforcement and Related Litigation
- Successfully represented a national computer network services company in a suit for breach of a $200+ million public contract governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulations filed by the State of Louisiana with the ultimate result of a dismissal of the state's $17 million counterclaim, an agreement on a termination for convenience finding and a $25+ million arbitration award in favor of the client.
- Successfully defended a client from a subcontractor claim arising out of a public contract from the City-Parish of East Baton Rouge for disaster relief and cleanup.
- In federal court, represented multiple clients in multiple class action suits involving unsolicited facsimiles and emails under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991.
- In federal trial and appellate courts, successfully defended a multiple-line automobile dealership in an antitrust and unfair competition suit involving regional sales of automotive parts.
- Successfully argued to the Louisiana Supreme Court as amicus attorney in an issue involving state regulatory interpretation and collection of accounts due for medications provided under the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Act.
- Alternate Dispute Resolution: Arbitration & Mediation
- Appellate Litigation
- Commercial Litigation
- Design & Construction
- Insurance Defense
- Professional Liability
- All Louisiana State Courts
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
- US District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana
- US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
- US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- US Supreme Court
- Louisiana State University Law Center, Public Interest Law Society, Alumni Public Service Award (2016)
- Louisiana State Bar Association, President’s Award for Outstanding Service (1997 and 2012), Pro Bono Publico Award for Outstanding Service (1994)
- American Bar Foundation, Life Fellow (2015)
- National Conference of Bar Presidents, Life Fellow (2006)
- Louisiana Bar Foundation, Fellow (1992)
- Martindale-Hubbell, rated AV–Preeminent (since 1991)
- Louisiana State Bar Association, President (2012, 2004–2005), Treasurer (2000–2002), Board of Governors (1995–1998), House of Delegates (1981–1991, 2006–present); Co-Chair, Access to Justice Committee (1998–2000); Chair, Pro Bono Committee (1994–1995) and Insurance, Negligence, Compensation & Admiralty Section (1978–1980)
- Baton Rouge Bar Association, President (1992–1993), Secretary (1990–1991), Treasurer (1989–1990), Board of Directors (1985–1989)
- American Arbitration Association, Roster of Arbitrators (current)
- American Bar Association, House of Delegates (2003–2005, 2006–2020, Litigation Section
- National Conference of Bar Presidents, Executive Council (2006–2008), Communications Committee (2005–2008), Program Committee (2004–2005)
- Louisiana Bar Foundation, Board of Directors (2003–2005, 1998–2000)
- Louisiana State Law Institute, Council (2003–2020)
- Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, Board of Directors (1999–2001)
- Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Governors (1980–1985)
- American Board of Trial Advocates
- Defense Research Institute
- Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel
- American Inns of Court, Wex Malone Chapter, Master
- Community Service
- Shaw Center for the Arts, President (2016)
- Boys and Girls Clubs of Baton Rouge, President (2008-2015)
- City Club of Baton Rouge, President (2012)
- Edgewater Kiwanis Club of Baton Rouge, President (1979)
- “Georgetown’s Shame and Dilemma,” paper for course on “Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution: Resolving Conflicts and Systems Design” (August 2019)
- “Bill’s Firm: A Story and, Perhaps, a Template,” paper for course on “Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution: Conflict Consulting and Coaching” (January 2019)
- “Vioxx Litigation: Cave In, Windfall or Another Day at the Boudin Factory,” final paper for course on “Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution: Mass Tort Settlements,” in pursuit of Master of Law degree at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law School (November 2016)
- "Conflict Consulting and Coaching," Louisiana State Bar Association Quebec Seminar (March 2019)
- "Navigating the Swamp: A Review of Issues Encountered in Client Network Services, Inc. v. State, a Civil Contract Termination Case, Due to a Concurrent Criminal Prosecution and Indictment," Louisiana State Bar Association Seminar (March 2019)
- "Depose the Lawyers? How About the Commissioner? Why Not the Governor? Unique Discovery Issues from Client Network Services, Inc. v. State, et al," Baton Rouge Bar Association CLE by the Hour (December 2018)
- "The Art of Negotiation," Louisiana State Bar Association Las Vegas seminar (September 2016)
- "ADR: Stuff You Need to Know to Make You a Better Advocate in Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration," Louisiana State Bar Association Sonoma Wine Country seminar (February 2016)
- "The Rule of Law and Our Role as Guardian: Judicial Independence," Louisiana State Bar Association Uncorked CLE Adventure in California Wine Country (March 2014)
- Pepperdine Law School, Malibu, California
Certificate, Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution
- Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University
- Louisiana State University
BA, History and Political Science