Mike represents individuals who have been injured through no fault of their own.
Mike was born and raised in the Kansas City area and graduated from Bishop Miege High School in 1988. He then moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to attend college at Harvard University. At Harvard, Mike made the Dean’s List and was the starting left guard for the football team. After graduating from Harvard in 1992, Mike worked for three years before returning to law school at the University of Kansas.
Mike graduated from KU Law in 1998 as one of the top five students in his class. It was at KU that Mike met his current law partner Rachel Smith.
After law school, Mike worked for some of the largest firms in Kansas City, where he spent several years defending cases involving car wrecks, tractor-trailer crashes, medical malpractice and nursing home neglect. He was also very involved in insurance coverage litigation to determine the scope of an insurance company’s obligations under its insurance policies. This experience gave Mike an insight into the tactics insurance companies use to defend, delay and deny serious personal injury cases.
In 2002, Mike joined The Sly James Firm, where he stopped defending corporations and insurance companies and limited his practice to representing injured individuals. Mike practiced with Sly James until 2011, and was ultimately made a partner at the firm.
At the Sly James Firm, Mike represented real people injured in car wrecks, semi truck crashes, falls, electrical shock incidents, and by medical malpractice and nursing home negligence. Mike was able to help his clients obtain many six and seven figure verdicts and settlements.
After Mr. James was elected Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri in 2011, Mike became a partner at Smith Coonrod Mohlman, LLC, where he continues to represent people injured in automobile collisions, tractor-trailer wrecks and other personal injury cases.
Mike is a graduate of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College. The Trial Lawyers College is the most prestigious and selective trial advocacy program in the United States, and it is dedicated to training lawyers who are committed to obtaining justice for regular individuals against large corporate interests and insurance companies. At the College, Mike spent three weeks in the mountains of Wyoming working on advanced trial techniques with Gerry Spence and some of the best trial lawyers in the country.
Mike has been rated as one of the 10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys in the State of Missouri based on client satisfaction by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys (AIOPIA). AIOPIA is is an impartial third-party attorney rating service recognizing excellence in fellow practitioners. AIOPIA looks for attorneys that have achieved unparalleled success but most importantly have done so for the benefit of their client.
Mike is also a member of the National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers group. The Top 100 is an invitation-only group composed of premier trial lawyers. Membership is extended to only a select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state who demonstrate superior leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile. Before that, Mike had been invited to join The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 – an invitation extended only to attorneys who exemplify superior qualifications, trial results and leadership as young trial lawyers.
Mike has repeatedly been named a Missouri and Kansas “Super Lawyer” – an honor limited to only 5% of the lawyers in a given jurisdiction. In 2013, the Super Lawyers publication selected Mike as one of the top 100 lawyers in Missouri and Kansas and as one of the top 50 lawyers in the Kansas City area. Mike has also been named to the Kansas City Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” list on several occasions, which recognizes outstanding lawyers throughout the Kansas City area as chosen by their peers. Mike is frequently requested to speak to other attorneys on topics regarding litigation strategy and trial practice. He has been asked to get involved in cases all over the United States, and he has tried cases in both state and federal courts throughout the country.
In addition to his legal practice, Mike is very involved in community service. Mike is a co-founder of the Smith Coonrod Mohlman Kids Foundation, a foundation dedicated to promoting the safety of children in our community. A portion of every fee earned by Smith Coonrod Mohlman LLC, is donated to the Kids Foundation. Mike is also the former Chair and is a current member of the Board of Directors for Mental Health America of the Heartland (MHAH). MHAH is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons with mental illness, through advocacy, education and support. Mike is the former president of Missouri Watch, a consumer rights organization dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals from wealthy special-interest lobbies. He is also the former chair of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association’s Nursing Home Negligence Committee.
Outside of work, Mike tries to spend as much time as he can with his wife Jodie and his children: Samantha, Zachary and Elise.