Mike Strom is the Treasurer and former President and Managing Partner of Sieben Polk, and has been a trial lawyer with the firm since 1985. He has obtained several recoveries for his clients in excess of one million dollars. He has represented Plaintiffs in Minnesota’s four largest recoveries in asbestos personal injury claims. His eight million dollar verdict on behalf of a Koch Refinery employee in 2001 stands as the largest asbestos verdict in Minnesota history. In March of 2008, he obtained a 4.6 million dollar damage award on behalf of an NSP pipefitter. In 2014, he was part of the trial team that obtained a $4.5 million award on behalf of a Taconite Harbor laborer. In addition to toxic torts, Mr. Strom focuses his practice in the area of complex products liability, premises liability, and general personal injury. He has been a partner and shareholder of the firm for many years.
Mr. Strom’s accomplishments have led to his being named Plaintiff’s Product Liability “Lawyer of the Year” for 2020 by “Best Lawyers.” He has similarly been honored as a “Super Lawyer” by Minnesota Law & Politics, Twin Cities Business Monthly, and Mpls St. Paul Magazine since 2004. Mr. Strom has been voted a “Top 100” Super Lawyer six times, placing him in the top one percent of Minnesota attorneys as ranked by his peers. He has also been repeatedly recognized as one of Minnesota’s “Top 40” Plaintiff personal injury attorneys by Minnesota Super Lawyers. For many years, he has also been selected as one of the “Best Lawyers in America.” He has further obtained an AV attorney ranking in Martindale Hubbell, the highest ranking available from that publication. Finally, Mr. Strom received a perfect 5.0 peer rating from lawyers.com.
In addition to his extensive trial practice, Mr. Strom heads the firm’s appellate department, and recently defeated asbestos product manufacturer John Crane’s appeal of a $3,689,193.00 judgment in Newinski v. John Crane, Inc., WL 1752011 (Minn. Ct. App. June 23, 2009), rev. denied, (Minn. Sept. 16, 2009). Mr. Strom had previously tried the case to a Ramsey County jury in March of 2008. The jury returned a verdict for $4,611,492.00, and had determined that Crane was responsible for 55%. Mr. Strom successfully argued in post-trial motions that Crane was jointly and severally liable for 80% of the verdict under Minnesota law, raising Crane’s liability from $2,536,320.60 to $3,689,193.00, an increase of $1,152,872.40 for his clients.
Another aspect of Mr. Strom’s support of asbestos victims is his service as a member of the claimants’ committee of the Western Asbestos Settlement trust, which administers claims of individuals suffering diseases caused by exposure to asbestos by various entities including MacArthur Corporation, one of the most prevalent former asbestos contractors in Minnesota.
Mr. Strom also argued successfully on behalf of the Plaintiff in the Minnesota Supreme Court’s landmark decision of Gray v. Badger Mining Co., 676 N.W. 2d 268 (Minn. 2004). The decision overruled a Court of Appeals decision that would have deprived injured workers from recovering damages against manufacturers of defective products if the worker’s employer knew of the product’s dangers.
Mr. Strom recently served on the Products Liability subcommittee assigned to assist the District Court Judges Association in drafting Minnesota’s newest civil jury instruction guide, the purpose of which is to assist trial courts and practitioners in properly advising jurors of the law applicable to the case before them. He had previously served on the General Law subcommittee for the previous edition of the guide.
In addition to presenting continuing legal educational programs to fellow attorneys, Mr. Strom served from 2001 to 2009 as an adjunct professor at the William Mitchell College of Law teaching first year law students legal research, writing, and analysis. He has also contributed materials to publications of the Minnesota Association for Justice, and served for many years on the prestigious Amicus Committee.
Mr. Strom is frequently asked by other attorneys to serve as a case arbitrator, and is a certified neutral of the American Arbitration Association. He further serves as an arbitrator of asbestos claims for the Eagle-Picher Industries Personal Injury Settlement Trust, and routinely serves as a case evaluator for other attorneys through the MAJ case evaluation service.
Mr. Strom is an honors graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, and completed his undergraduate training at Carleton College, where he was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He has been a member of the Minnesota State Bar since October of 1985, and is currently licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, and Minnesota’s state court system. He has also been admitted to practice pro hac vice to litigate cases in the state and federal courts in Ohio, and also Wisconsin.
In addition to serving as a Master and membership committee co-chair of the Warren E. Burger Inn of Court for many years, Mr. Strom is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, the Minnesota Association for Justice, and the American Association for Justice.
Mike Strom is a lifelong Minnesotan, and lives with his wife Pamela and two children in Minneapolis.
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