Michael Burg J.D. is one of America’s leading trial lawyers, a best-selling author, legal expert and founding shareholder of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine. A legal champion for victims of corporate and individual malfeasance, negligence, overreach and abuse, Burg began his career fighting for the underdog and has gone on to successfully litigate some of the country’s most high-profile cases of the past four decades. Under Burg’s leadership, Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine has expanded to more than 70 attorneys across seven cities. A national leader in mass tort and class action litigation, the firm has won more than $1 billion in verdicts, judgments, and settlements on behalf of its clients.
During his 43-year career, Burg has been a vigilant consumer watchdog, representing thousands of individuals and helping their families overcome catastrophic injuries and immense hardship. He has taken on big pharma in multiple, dangerous drug mass tort cases including Fen-Phen, Yaz/Yasmin, Ortho Evra, and Pradaxa. Burg stood up to corporate greed fighting against UBS for knowingly selling risky mortgages to investors, creating the blueprint for many similar actions by states, municipalities, government regulators and other aggrieved investors. More recently, Burg filed a sweeping action against 28 California wineries to stop them from selling toxic wine contaminated with arsenic. In 2019, Michael Burg secured a $58.5 million dollar verdict in compensatory and punitive damage for families who had donated bodies of their deceased loved ones to the Biological Resource Center. He represented the victims of a fraudulent scheme to illegally sell human body parts of their loved one’s bodies that were supposed to be donated for scientific and medical education and research. The verdict is one of the largest civil case results in Arizona history.
Burg is a member of the Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska bars and is an inductee into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, an honor that recognizes his lifelong dedication to representing clients at the highest level. Michael Burg is a recipient of the Clarence Darrow Award, and was inducted into the 2019 US Legal 500 Hall of Fame for Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices-Plaintiff. He was also recognized by Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” in 2018,” for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs, Denver. In 2018, Law Week Colorado named Michael Burg “Barrister’s Best – People’s Choice, Best Class Action/Mass Tort Lawyer, Plaintiffs. Mike Burg has been consistently recognized by Colorado Super Lawyers every year since 2006
Burg is the author of the best-selling book, Trial by Fire: One Man’s Battle to End Corporate Greed and Save Lives, (BenBella Books 2016), a harrowing and moving account of his lifelong battle against corporate greed and corruption played out in a high-stakes courtroom drama.
Burg was admitted to the practice of law in 1976 after receiving a J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and a B.A. from the University of Denver. He’s an Advocate and Life Fellow of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a Sustaining Fellow of the Roscoe Pound Institute and serves on the board of Denver’s Mizel Museum.
An active and committed member of his community, Burg is a noted supporter of Toys for Tots, Make A Wish Colorado, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and the Denver Bar Association Community Action Network.
$6.4 Million verdict, Gas Explosion
$6 Million verdict plus interest, Gas Explosion
$5.6 Million verdict, Product Defect
$5.3 Million verdict including interest, Insurance Bad Faith
$4.6 Million verdict, Insurance Bad Faith
$2.4 Million verdict, Contract Dispute
$2.1 Million verdict including punitive damages, Lender Liability
$1.2 Million verdict, Construction Defect
$1.2 Million verdict with interest, Business Dispute
$1.15 Million verdict, Contract Dispute
Hall of Fame, U.S. Legal 500, Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices - Plaintiff, 2019
Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year 2018,” Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs, Denver
Law Week Colorado’s Barrister’s Best - People’s Choice, Best Class Action/Mass Tort Lawyer, Plaintiffs, 2018
2016 Barrister's Best "Best Civil Litigator"
Inducted to the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, 2016
Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year 2016,” Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs, Denver
America’s 50 Leading Trial Lawyers, The U.S. Legal 500, 2012-2019
Recommended Attorney, Mass Tort, The U.S. Legal 500, 2012-2019
Lawyer of the Decade, Law Week Colorado, 2000-2010
Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year 2013,” Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs, Denver
Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
Barrister’s Best People’s Choice, Best Civil Litigator, Law Week Colorado, 2015
Clarence Darrow Award, 2013
Outstanding Alumni Award, The University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 2013
Top 100 Most Influential Attorneys (National), the National Trial Lawyers
Top 100 Attorney, Civil Plaintiff, the National Trial Lawyers
Best Lawyers® in America, 2007 – 2020
Colorado Super Lawyers®, 2006 – 2020 and Top 100 Super Lawyers® 2014 and 2020
5280 Magazine Top Lawyer, 2015-2020
Wiedemann and Wysocki Award, American Association for Justice, 2014
Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation, United States – Plaintiffs, Mass Tort/Product Liability, 2013
Local Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation, Colorado – Plaintiffs, 2012 and 2013
Denver Business Journal Power Book, 2011 and 2013
President, the National Trial Lawyers, 2010
“Best of the U.S.” 2006 – 2011
Barrister’s Best Overall Litigator, Law Week Colorado, 2010
Barrister’s Best, Personal Injury, Law Week Colorado, 2009 – 2011
Barrister’s Best, Mass Tort Lawyer, Law Week Colorado, 2011 and 2012
Colorado Lawyer of the Year, Law Week Colorado, 2015
AV Preeminent® Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
Heavy Lifting Award, American Association for Justice (AAJ), 2011
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 1976
U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 2015
U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit, 1979
U.S. Supreme Court, 1990
Appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court Nominating Commission, 2014, by the Governor of the State of Colorado, the Colorado Attorney General, and the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court.
Plaintiffs' Steering Committee for the Zyprexa Multidistrict Litigation - The Honorable Jack Weinstein, United States District Judge, Eastern District of New York
State Liaison Committee for the Vioxx Multidistrict Litigation - The Honorable Eldon Fallon, United States District Judge, Eastern District of Louisiana
Plaintiffs’ Co-lead Counsel, Ortho Evra Products Multidistrict Litigation - The Honorable David A. Katz, United States District Judge, Northern District of Ohio
Co-Lead Counsel, Yaz/Yasmin Multidistrict Litigation - The Honorable David Herndon, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Illinois
Appointed to the Executive Committee, 2019, by the District Court Judge, for the Lawrence/Andover, Massachusetts Gas Explosion Cases.
J.D., 1975, The University of Denver Sturm College of Law
B.A., 1972, The University of Denver
The Melvin M. Belli Society
The National Trial Lawyers (NTL)
Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA)
Colorado Bar Association
Denver Bar Association
Arapahoe County Bar Association (ACBA)
American Association for Justice (AAJ)
Presidents Club, American Association for Justice (AAJ)
Advocate and Life Fellow, American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
Executive Committee, The National Trial Lawyers, 2009
Sustaining Fellow, Roscoe Pound Institute
Board Member, Mizel Museum
Sponsor, Study Hall at The University of Denver
Sponsor, Moot Court Trial Room at The University of Wyoming
Food Bank of the Rockies
Ali Meyer Foundation
Kaps for Kendall
Toys for Tots
Make A Wish
Denver Bar Association Community Action Network
Colorado Symphony Orchestra
"Anatomy of a Personal Injury Lawsuit," Co-Author – Chapter 29, Damages: Punitive Damages. February, 2015.
12/11/ 2019: Michael Burg interviewed by The Daily Show regarding the $58 million verdict in the Biological Resource Center case in Arizona.
2018-2020: Short Informational and Promotional Videos
10/30/2017: Michael Burg discusses the Equifax breach and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s anti-arbitration rule with Law Week Colorado.
4/4/2017: In an interview on the P.O.T.U.S (Politics of the United States) channel on the Sirius XM Radio network, Michael Burg discusses Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and a potential Democratic filibuster.
2/18/16: Michael Burg talks with Ring of Fire host Farron Cousins about the nationwide problem of contaminated water. Despite a ban on lead pipes, nothing has been done to replace those pipes in many communities across the country.
10/5/2015: Through predatory lending and investing, Wall Street banks are now effectively driving some cities into bankruptcy. Michael Burg explains on this episode of Ring of Fire what is happening with variable rate demand bonds in many municipalities.
3/19/2015: On March 19, 2015, Burg Simpson filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court alleging that certain California wineries are violating state law by knowingly producing, marketing and selling arsenic contaminated wine, and failing to warn consumers about the potential danger. Michael Burg, along with shareholder David TeSelle, represent Burg Simpson at the press conference announcing this lawsuit.
7/27/14: Michael Burg and Ring of Fire guest host, Farron Cousins, discuss the multi-billion dollar Citigroup settlement after the Obama administration began investigating potential criminal activities from banks.
11/04/13: Recently, President Obama weakened the rules for defense contractors, and they are now allowed to sell deadly weapons to countries that are less than friendly to the United States. Michael Burg discusses on Ring of Fire.
8/19/13: The Republican Party is suffering from a severe identity crisis, but rather than trying to solve their problems, they’ve decided to attack members of their own party. Ring of Fire guest host, Farron Cousins, talks about the GOP's circular firing squad with attorney Mike Burg.
6/28/13: The effects of corporate money are just as apparent in the judiciary as they are in the other branches of our government. Ring of Fire guest host Farron Cousins discusses this with attorney Michael Burg.
Building a Successful Mass Tort Project: Identifying the Opportunities; October, 2016
Never Give Up!: Top Ten Lessons from Our Eight-Year Battles in the CDO Litigation about the Collapse of the U.S. Economy, January, 2016
Punitive Damages: What You Should Know to Prepare Your Next Case and to Maximize Your Damages by Including a Punitive Damages Claim; June, 2015
Protection of California Wine Consumers: Arsenic is Poison; June, 2015
Advertising: Necessity? Dangerous? Out of Control?; May, 2015
Mass Torts & Class Actions 101; May, 2015
Arsenic Levels in Popular, Low-Cost California Wines; April, 2015
The Importance of the Judge and Jurisdiction to Your Case and Common Benefit Percentages; April, 2015
Mental Pain and Anguish in Injury Cases; January, 2015
If You Build It... They Will Come: How We Have Succeeded and Thrived; January, 2015
Morcellator Litigation Primer; October, 2014
Referrals and Networking for the Future; January, 2014
Voir Dire: The New Goals in 2014 and How They Differ From the Old Goals; January, 2014
Roadmap of a Mass Tort: Lessons Learned and Strategies for the Future; September, 2013
How to Choose Your Next Mass Tort; September, 2013
Punitive Damages; June, 2013
Commercial Litigation Update; October, 2012
Presenting to the Defense and the Jury; June, 2012
Direct and Cross Examination of Life Care Planners; April, 2012
National Trial Lawyers Summit – Flourishing in the Age of Tort Reform: A Brainstorming Session; January, 2012
Panel Member: Judicial Forum on Mass Torts; January, 2012
Defining Mental Anguish; September, 2011
Moderator: Civil Court Judicial Forum: Advanced Discovery & Trial Practice; Denver, Colorado; May, 2009 and October, 2010
Trial of the Plaintiff Personal Injury Case; September, 2010
Statutes Which Affect Liability Evaluation in Personal Injury Actions; September, 2010
PI Litigator’s Summit; Las Vegas, Nevada; March 7-9, 2010
The Plaintiff Practice Goes Green; Maximizing the Value of Your Cases and Your Practice; Napa, California; September 19-20, 2010
The Art of Negotiation. What Makes Some Lawyers Poor Negotiators and Other Lawyers Superb Negotiators. The Art, Science and Skill of Mastering Negotiation Methods in Order to Maximize the Benefit for your Clients; April, 2010
The Challenge of Proving “Physical” and “Mental” Pain and Suffering; February, 2010
How to Get the Big Verdict (Personal Injury, Product Liability, and Commercial); October, 2009
Snow Skiing and Other Head Injury Cases; February, 2009
The Collapse of Wall Street and What Only Trial Lawyers Can Do About It; February, 2009
If You Build It They Will Come. The Steps to Building a Successful Law Firm; Various presentations – 2009 to present
Florida Justice Association: 2008 Workhorse Seminar; Orlando, Florida; February, 2008
Moderator: What Civil Court Judges Want You to Know; Denver, Colorado; June, 2008
How and Why Economic Damages Drive a Case; September, 2008
Proof and Argument of Damages: Wrongful Death Cases; September, 2008
Obtaining the Best Settlement for Personal Injury Clients; Denver, Colorado; March, 2007
Pharmaceutical & Human Tissue Litigation Conference; Charleston, South Carolina; June, 2006
Plaintiff’s Personal Injury: Practice Tips and Application; October, 2006
Faculty: Emerging Drugs Conference; Chicago, Illinois; October, 2006
Trying the Pharmaceutical Case; Pharmaceutical Litigation 101; New Orleans, Louisiana; June, 2005
Practical Aspects of Being a Trial Lawyer; Sturm College of Law; February, 2005
Faculty Member: Trends and Hot Topics in Pharmaceutical Litigation; Las Vegas, Nevada; September, 2005
Pharmaceutical Torts Cases in Colorado: Ethical Consideration for Practitioners; Denver, Colorado; November, 2005
Drug Litigation Conferences; Zyprexa Litigation; November, 2004
Advanced Expert Witness Deposition Tactics in Colorado; 2002
Successfully Presenting the Complex Case to a Colorado Jury; 2001
Adjunct Professor: The University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 1995 to present