Michael D. Kibler

Managing Partner

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Biography

Mike Kibler litigates and tries complex commercial cases for large and small companies and individuals. His trial resume includes multiple plaintiff-side jury verdicts in complex commercial cases totaling nearly $200 million. He has represented businesses and financial institutions in litigation covering a wide range of industries, including real estate development and investments, finance and private equity, banking, pharmaceuticals and insurance. Over the past 20 years, Mike also has advised companies on litigation risk in connection with corporate transactions, and has successfully represented financial institutions before regulatory bodies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mike’s representative experience includes:

  • Lead trial counsel for the plaintiff Gray Development Group in a lawsuit against the master developer of a master planned community. Claims in the suit included breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and tortious bad faith in connection with the master developer’s efforts to block a competing project of Mike’s client. Following a six–week jury trial in Maricopa County Superior Court, a unanimous jury found for the plaintiff on all claims. The damage award - over $110 million - was reported to be the fourth largest in Arizona, ever.
  • Lead trial counsel for the plaintiff Placentia Development Company - an affiliate of national homebuilder Toll Brothers - in a jury trial against an oil company concerning the development rights of land in Orange County, California. Following four weeks of testimony, the jury returned a verdict of liability, awarding Mike’s client over $26 million in compensatory damages for breach of contract, nuisance and trespass. And then, following the punitive damages phase of the trial, the jury awarded an additional $10 million in punitive damages. After the trial, the court awarded an additional $5.5 million in discretionary prejudgment interest, bringing the final judgment to nearly $43 million.
  • Co–trial counsel for plaintiff in a lawsuit involving U.S. Department of Defense contracts to supply fuel to U.S. troops fighting in Iraq through the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Mike’s client–a member of the Jordanian Royal Family–alleged that his partners defrauded him of his share of the profits after he played an instrumental role in establishing a new supply route for U.S. troops that facilitated the procurement of the defense contracts. Following a three–week trial in Palm Beach Florida Circuit Court, an eight-member jury awarded $28.8 million, finding for the plaintiff on all six counts under Florida and Jordanian law.
  • Representation of Swiss Re, the largest property insurer of the World Trade Center, in epic litigation following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. The owner of the World Trade Center claimed entitlement to two full policy limits for its destruction. Following three years of litigation and a three–month jury trial, a unanimous jury found for Swiss Re on all claims, limiting its exposure to a single policy limit.
  • Representation of international banking institutions in litigation involving the sale of residential mortgage backed securities following the last financial crisis.
  • Successful representation of several financial institutions in non-public SEC investigations that resulted in the SEC declining to bring charges or engage in any public process.

Prior to co-founding Kibler Fowler & Cave LLP, Mike was a litigator at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett for over 18 years (14 years as a partner) in the firm’s New York and Los Angeles offices.

Mike’s community activities include serving as Vice Board Chair of Covenant House California, a non-profit serving homeless youth throughout California, coaching baseball in the Beverly Hills Little League, and serving as an Assistant Scout master in BSA Troop 223 in the Pacific Palisades.

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Education

  • Seton Hall University, B.A., cum laude
  • Seton Hall University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude

Clerkships

  • Hon. Robert B. Kugler, U.S. Magistrate Judge
  • Hon. Garrett E. Brown, Jr., U.S. District Judge

Bar & Court Admissions

  • California
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey