Co-Managing Partner of the Firm, Mike O’Donnell provides a range of commercial litigation services to clients—particularly title insurance companies and financial institutions.
Mike believes in working with his clients to set end goals at the inception of any matter and striving to get there in the most efficient manner without ever sacrificing the flexibility needed for changing circumstances.
His work includes title disputes, mortgage fraud claims, lender liability claims, loan work-out, commercial foreclosure and evictions, judgment collection, fraud and fraudulent transfer claims, defense against RESPA, TILA and other consumer protection laws, and class action defense for the banking and title insurance industries.
Mike has represented every major title insurer, including Chicago Title Insurance Co., First American Title Insurance Co., Fidelity National Title Insurance Co., Old Republic National Title Insurance Co., Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Westcor Land Title Insurance Co., North American Title Insurance Company, WFG Title Insurance Company, and Connecticut Attorneys Title Insurance Co., as well as their insureds. He has served as coverage counsel for title underwriters on numerous wide-ranging real estate frauds, some of which losses exceeded $45 million. Finally, he represents title agencies in similar matters.
As to lending clients, Mike has represented most of the major financial institutions such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase, as well as smaller regional banks including Investors Bank, Carver Federal Savings Bank, Lakeland Bank, and Manasquan Savings Bank. He also represents Simon Property Group in commercial litigation and rent disputes in New Jersey and New York.
Mike has tried to verdict a wide range of commercial cases from lender liability claims and boundary-line disputes to a 31-day dispute among the members of a family-owned real estate business valued at over $50 million. He has also litigated numerous class actions from the overcharging of recordation fees to funds availability practices. He successfully argued in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit for the dismissal of a $170 million class action against the major title insurance companies for overcharges. He also successfully argued in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for the dismissal of a $120 million class action against a bank for alleged violation of funds availability practices. Mike also investigated and brought a fidelity bond claim that resulted in the Resolution Trust Corp., receiving a $23.5 million payment from an insurance company for a bank officer’s misdeeds. This resulted in a recovery that was the largest in RTC’s history as to fidelity bonds.
Mike serves as a Neutral in the Morris County Chancery Division’s pro bono mediation program. He lectures frequently on title insurance and banking matters, and he has authored a number of articles and runs a firm blog on these same areas.
When he is not practicing law, Mike is active in the community. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Zufall Community Health Centers. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Colonial Symphony in Morristown, as well as teaching CCD and Pre-Cana classes in his parish. Mike is also Past Chair of the District XB Ethics Committee. He is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is a member of the American Bar Association (TIPS Title Insurance Committee), Title Counsel Section of American Land Title Association, the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey, New Jersey State Bar (Banking, Real Estate and Federal Bar Sections), and Morris County Bar Association (Financial Services Committee). Finally, Mike had the honor of serving five years in the United States Marine Corps.
Best Lawyers in America®, a peer review of U.S. lawyers, has included Mike on its Best Lawyers list in the fields of Commercial Litigation and Banking Litigation since 2007. Thomson Reuters has included him on New Jersey’s “Super Lawyers” list for Business Litigation since 2011. See Awards and Honors Methodology.
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Real Estate Litigation
United States District Court, District of New Jersey
United States District Court, Southern District of New York
United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
United States Supreme Court
Untied States District Court, Eastern District of New York
United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1988
University of Notre Dame, B.A., Government, 1980
Member, Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey
Member, American Bar Association
Member, American Land Title Association
Member, New Jersey State Bar Association
Member, Morris County Bar Association
Neutral, Pro bono Mediation Program, Morris County Chancery Division
Member, Board of Directors of Zufall Community Health Centers