Professional Experience

Michael Barnes’ more recent experience includes:

  • Counsel for an international oil and gas company in litigation resulting from a release of oil from an interstate pipeline.
  • Lead trial counsel in defense of chemical repackaging facility in individual, mass tort and class actions, brought by residents who claimed adverse effects following a massive explosion at the facility.
  • Lead trial counsel for major transportation companies in defense of tractor-trailer accident cases, including wrongful death and catastrophic injury.
  • Lead trial counsel for metal supplier in product liability litigation following nationwide recall of canned goods.
  • Lead counsel for supplier of window coverings in wrongful death action alleging product design defects.
  • Lead trial counsel for sports arena in premises liability litigation.
  • Lead counsel for oil refinery in personal injury and product liability litigation.
  • Lead counsel for several major insurance carriers in various types of insurance coverage disputes.
  • Lead counsel for oil/gas drilling equipment company in product liability and personal injury litigation.

Before joining the firm, Barnes served as a deputy prosecuting attorney (1992-93) and as an officer in the United States Marine Corps (1988-91).


Barnes is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), the Arkansas Association of Defense Counsel (President 2009-10), the Defense Research Institute (DRI State Representative 2005-2008), ALFA International Product Liability and Complex Torts Practice Group (Steering Committee), the American Bar Association (Tort and Insurance Practice Section), the Arkansas Bar Association, the Pulaski County Bar Association (Board of Directors 2008-10; President 2013-2014) and the Judge Henry Woods American Inn of Court (Master of the Bench).

Barnes has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© in the categories of Product Liability Litigation – Defendants and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants (2006-2023), and in Mid-South Super Lawyers in the category of Civil Litigation: Defense (2016-2021). Since 2015, Chambers USA has recognized him for his work in General Litigation. Barnes has received an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating through LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell,

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