• Phone: 859-231-5800
  • Fax: 859-281-1179
  • mgartland@dlgfirm.com

Experienced KY Litigator

  • Practice concentrated in the areas of commercial, civil and appellate litigation, commercial law, bankruptcy law, and debtor/creditor rights.
  • Lead counsel in numerous reported decisions.
  • Licensed to practice law in Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Colorado, for a total of seventeen state and federal courts.
  • Sole or primary responsibility for prosecuting or defending several hundred civil actions in federal and state courts in several different states involving a broad range of causes of action including:
  • Environmental contamination
  • Liability under the WARN Act
  • Misappropriation of trade secrets
  • Liability under ERISA for an under-funded health plan
  • Lender liability
  • Avoidance and recovery of preferences and fraudulent transfers
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Enforcement of nondisclosure and noncompetition agreements
  • Breach of contract
  • Negligent misrepresentation
  • Enforcement of money judgments
  • Conversion
  • Fraud
  • Foreclosure of mortgages
  • Failure to pay wages
  • Obtained a reversal at the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit of the trial court’s dismissal of claims against Kim Davis (the then-Clerk of Rowan County) in her individual and official capacities for her refusal to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple in in Ermold v. Davis, 855 F.3d 715 (6th Cir. 2107).  This case is ongoing and has been covered by the Associated Press.
  • In October 2015, obtained as lead counsel for twenty-one plaintiffs at a thirteen-hour mediation a confidential settlement against Fifth Third Bank less than three weeks before a scheduled three-week jury trial before the Fayette Circuit Court in a civil action styled CPC Livestock, LLC, et al. v. Fifth Third Bank, et al., Civil No. 13-CI-03666.  Plaintiffs’ asserted tort claims totaled approximately $7.8 million.
  • In October 2014, obtained as lead counsel for counterclaim-defendants a summary judgment on $5.1 million of asserted counterclaims for breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment in First Technology Capital, Inc. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 53 F. Supp. 3d 972 (E.D. Ky. 2014).
  • In March 2012, obtained as lead counsel for plaintiff after an eight-day jury trial a $4.1 million verdict (the second largest verdict ever in the Bell Circuit Court), including a $2.6 million punitive damages award (the largest punitive award ever in that court) in Asher Land and Mineral, Ltd. v. Nami Resources Company, LLC.  The $4.1 million judgment was affirmed by the Kentucky Court of Appeals, but reduced to $1.3 million on appeal to the Supreme Court of Kentucky in Nami Resources Co., L.L.C. v. Asher Land and Mineral, Ltd., 554 S.W.3d 323 (Ky. 2018).
  • Successfully defended a federal class action that raised a liability issue of first impression concerning the intersection of bankruptcy law and Maine law governing the failure to pay severance pay.  Carrier v. JPB Enters., No. 01-187-P-C, 2001 WL 1646673 (D. Me. Dec. 26, 2001).
  • Collected $2.0 million from Mary Alice Davis, the heiress to the Shaw’s supermarket chain, in a Maine case that received significant local press coverage, both in newspapers and on television.
  • Created new law in the First Circuit as to the interpretation of Rule 60(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in Crowe v. Bolduc, 365 F.3d 86 (1st Cir. 2004).
  • Briefed and argued one of the most often-cited parol evidence cases decided under Maine law.  Handy Boat Serv., Inc. v. Prof’l Servs., Inc., 711 A.2d 1306 (Me. 1998).
  • Negotiated transaction documents for the sale of substantially all the assets of Optical Dynamics Corporation for $1.4 million in its assignment for the benefit of creditors’ proceeding.
  • Successfully defended and settled, in January 2010, an action styled Covol Fuels No. 3, LLC v. Redbird Mountain Coal Co., LLC, Adv. Case No. 09-6064 (Bankr. E.D. Ky.), in which the plaintiff sought $32.0 million of damages related to the construction of a coal processing facility on property owned by Asher Land and Mineral, LLLP.  Through the settlement, Asher (the defendant client) received $2.8 million in the first quarter of 2010 and a favorable new long-term coal lease.
  • Lead litigation counsel for a plaintiff in a coal lease dispute involving millions of dollars in an adversary proceeding within the chapter 11 case of Horizon Natural Resources Company, one of the largest reorganization cases ever filed in the Eastern District of Kentucky.  The case settled before trial with the client receiving one hundred percent of the overriding coal royalties due it and ninety percent of its legal fees, costs and expenses in bringing the enforcement action.
  • Taken or defended at least 400 depositions or Bankruptcy Rule 2004 examinations.

  • Defended a state court action to establish liability for real estate taxes that had been discharged in a chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding, and successfully argued before the trial court and Supreme Judicial Court of Maine that a state statute of limitations provision did not toll the time for the taxing authority to commence the suit.  City of Saco v. Pulsifer, 749 A.2d 153 (Me. 2000).


Georgetown University Law Center
J.D., 1989

University of Northern Colorado
B.S., Marketing, 1981

Clark University
M.B.A., Finance, 1984

  • Massachusetts, 1989
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, 1990
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, 1990 Colorado, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 1990
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 1992
  • New Hampshire, 1992
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 1990
  • Maine, 1997
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maine, 1997
  • Kentucky, 2006
  • U.S. District Court, 2006
  • Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, 2006
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2006
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Fayette County Bar Association
  • American Bankruptcy Institute

Law Clerk to the Hon. James F. Queenan, Jr. of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts, September 1989 – 1990

Reported cases include:

  • CPC Livestock, LLC, et al. v. Fifth Third Bank, Inc., et al., No. 1:12-cv-00204-JHM, 2013 WL 1411222 (W.D. Ky. Apr. 8, 2013)
  • Richard, et al. v. Spradlin, Trustee, et al., No. 12-127-ART, 2013 WL 1571059 (E.D. Ky. Apr. 12, 2013)
  • Williams, et al. v. THC Kentucky Coal Venture I LLC, No. 7:11-cv-45-KKC, 2011 WL 6027722 (E.D. Ky. Dec. 5, 2011)
  • Turner, Trustee v. J.P. Bolduc, et al. (In re Crowe Rope Industries, LLC), 307 B.R. 1 (Bankr. D. Me. 2004)
  • Northeastern Graphic Supply, Inc. v. Net 2 Press, Inc. (In re: Northeastern Graphic Supply, Inc.), 2003 WL 22848944 (Bankr. D. Me. Dec. 2, 2003)
  • Carrier v. JPB Enterprises, Inc., 2001 WL 1646673 (D. Me. Dec. 26, 2001)
  • City of Saco v. Pulsifer, 749 A.2d 153 (Me. 2000)
  • Handy Boat Service, Inc. v. Professional Services, Inc., 711 A.2d 1306 (Me. 1998)
  • Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith v. Bennert, 980 F. Supp. 73 (D. Me. 1997)
  • Northeast Office & Commercial Properties, Inc. v. Smith Valve Corp. (In re Northeast Properties & Commercial Properties, Inc.), 178 B.R. 915 (Bankr. D. Mass. 1995)
  • Big & Tall of America, Inc. v. Den Norske Bank A/S (In re Big & Tall of America, Inc.), 167 B.R. 1 (D. Mass. 1994)
  • Continuing Legal Education Award, Kentucky Bar Association, 2013 and 2014
  • Kentucky Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2016)
  • Michael J. Gartland and J. Wesley Harned, Overview of H.R. 2533: Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Venue, Vol. 9., No. 1, ABI Legislation Committee Newsletter (Feb. 2012)
  • Michael J. Gartland and J. Wesley Harned, Overview of § 3545: The Family Farmer Bankruptcy Tax Clarification Act of 2012, Vol. 9., No. 4, ABI Legislation Committee Newsletter (Dec. 2012)
  • Michael J. Gartland, Excusable Neglect: A Trap for the Unwary, Vol. 10., No. 2, ABI Bankruptcy Litigation Committee Newsletter (May 2013)
  • Michael J. Gartland and J. Wesley Harned, speaker, The “Big Six” Admissibility Questions, National Business Institute (NBI), The Rules of Evidence: A Practical Toolkit(Aug. 2014)

About Mike

Mike Gartland evaluates every aspect of a case with an eye towards obtaining optimal results for his clients. He believes that every detail is vital and deserves his attention, and he never loses sight of the big picture. Mike applies this perspective to every stage of litigation, remaining devoted to his clients’ desired results in a case and keeping them abreast of all developments from beginning to end. Mike’s thorough case preparation and tireless attention to details throughout the life of a case helps to achieve optimal results and has served his clients well for almost three decades.

He focuses his practice on civil and commercial litigation, debtor and creditor rights, including bankruptcy law, and has an active appellate practice. Mike represents both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of matters across industry lines, including oil and gas, coal, commercial contracts, and disputes among business owners.

Outside of the office, Mike likes to spend time with his wife and two children. He is an avid bicycle rider and buyer, seller and trader of high-end billiard cues, the captain of an eight ball team and one of the top players in the Bluegrass BCA