Michael Thompson has an active appellate practice and, in the past five years, has handled more than twenty appeals in the Arkansas and federal appellate courts, providing oral argument in many of those cases. Those cases span the broad range of substantive law areas in which WLJ practices, including commercial and real-estate disputes, tax appeals, agricultural torts, civil rights and constitutional claims, professional liability, and personal-injury cases. At the trial level, Thompson’s practice is primarily focused on defending trucking and transportation companies in personal-injury lawsuits, products liability, insurance-coverage disputes, and agricultural torts, including defending operators in spray-drift cases.
Thompson’s more recent experience includes:
- Counsel for an international oil and gas company in several state and federal cases resulting from a release of oil from an interstate pipeline, defeating certification of a multi-state class, obtaining summary judgment on the class action, and briefing the case successfully on appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Lead trial counsel for a ground herbicide applicator in a spray-drift case, resulting in a defense verdict.
- Briefing a case successfully on appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court that established the applicability of the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Act’s exclusive-remedy doctrine to the claims of employees whose alleged asbestos-exposure injuries first manifested after the time limitations set by the Act.
- Lead appellate counsel in an Arkansas Supreme Court case affirming summary judgment for a national magazine in an illegal-exaction tax dispute brought by an Arkansas taxpayer.
- Lead appellate counsel in an Arkansas Court of Appeals case affirming summary judgment for the sellers in a dispute over a $350,000 deposit paid on an ultimately canceled real-estate contract.
- Lead appellate counsel in a case in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming summary judgment for a multi-national paper and packaging company against the personal-injury claims of an individual making a delivery to one of the company’s facilities.
- Counsel for numerous trucking companies and their drivers in negligence actions brought in state and federal court.
Thompson is a member of the American Bar Association, Arkansas Bar Association, Pulaski County Bar Association, Defense Research Institute, and Arkansas Association of Defense Counsel.
In 2017, Mid-South Super Lawyers named Thompson a “Rising Star” in civil litigation.
In 2017, the Arkansas Bar Foundation awarded Thompson its Best Legal Writing Award for his article “The Emerging Field of Drone Law,” which was published in The Arkansas Lawyer’s Fall 2016 issue.
Thompson is a contributing author of the Arkansas Chapter of the Tort Law Desk Reference.