Michael F. Bonkowski is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department, resident in its Delaware office. In his thirty years in the Delaware Bar, Mike has tried cases to verdict in all of Delaware’s courts, both federal and state. He is also an accomplished appellate advocate, having appeared frequently before the Delaware Supreme Court as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He has also appeared before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Southern District of New York, as well as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth and Federal Circuits, and the State Court of Texas. His business practice is national in scope and focuses on complex corporate and commercial litigation, much of it in Delaware’s Court of Chancery. In his corporate and commercial practice, Mike has litigated statutory and contract claims, real estate and zoning, shareholder, partnership and limited liability company member actions, and foreclosure, surety and lender liability disputes. Described by clients as a natural born trial lawyer, Mike has had great success in jury trials in Delaware’s Superior Court. At one point he had a remarkable string of twelve consecutive defense verdicts. Mike has handled catastrophic tort cases, including wrongful death burn cases, in one of which, Marshall v. Callis-Thompson, et al., C.A. No. 90C-AP-256, he served as liaison counsel to the court for 47 defendants. He won summary judgment for his clients in that case. Mike has handled products liability cases including the defense of a national manufacturer of automobile and over the road tires. Mike successfully expanded Delaware’s doctrine of strict liability in a “lap belt” litigation in 2001. In 2010, he obtained a $3.7 million jury verdict in a commercial real estate commission dispute. Mike has made his mark in a wide variety of cases, including:
- Brown v. Kellar, et al., C.A. No. 2018-0687-MTZ, 2018 WL 6721263 (Del. Ch. Dec. 21, 2018) (Successful defense of summary judgment under the Schnell Doctrine)
- Daugherty v. Highland Capital Management, L.P., et al., C.A. No. 2017-0488-SG (Del. Ch. June 29, 2018)
- Schreiber v. ForU Holdings, Inc., et al., N16C-12-432 DCS (Del. Super. 2018) (Successfully pursued motion to dismiss complaint in deference to arbitration clause; Bench Ruling, June 8, 2018)
- In re Dissolution of Arctic Ease, et al. C.A. No. 8932-VCMR (Del. Ch. Dec. 9, 2016) (successfully pursued motion to dismiss all defendants for lack of personal jurisdiction)
- Gomes v. Karnell, et al., C.A. No. 11814-VCMR (Del. Ch. Nov. 30, 2016) (for defendants: successfully pursued motion to dismiss complaint in deference to arbitration clause)
- FdG Logistics LLC v. A&R Logistics Holdings, Inc.. et al., 131 A.3d 842 aff’d., 148 A.3d. 1171 (Del. 2016) (Table) (motion to dismiss granted due to failure to state a claim under the Delaware Securities Act)
- LV Highland Credit Feeder Fund LLC, Charles A. Walsh III, The Ruderman Family Charitable Foundation, The Friedman Family Foundation, The Louis E. Wolfson Foundation, Barbara Roberts, and Abram London v. Highland Credit Strategies Fund, LP, et al, App. No. 05-13-01118-CV (Tex. Civ, App., 5th Dist. August 28, 2015) (summary judgment for defendants affirmed)
- NAF Holdings, LLC v. Li & Fung (Trading) Limited, 118 A.3d 175 (Del. 2015) (en banc) (On Certified Question of Law from the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit);
- Carlyle Investment Management LLC, et al., v. Moonmouth Company SA, et al., 779 F.3d 214 (3d Cir. 2015) (Precedential Decision);
- In re Wayport, Inc. Litigation, 76 A.3d 296 (Del. Ch. 2013);
- National Industries Group (Holding) v. Carlyle Inc. Management, L.L.C., et al., 67 A.3d 373 (Del.2013) (en banc);
- WaveDivision Holdings, LLC, et al., v. Highland Floating Rate Advantage Fund, et al.: Obtained summary judgment in favor of senior creditors in multi-million dollar tortious interference action, C.A. No. 08C-11-132 (Del. Super. Oct. 31, 2011), aff'd, 49 A.3d 1168 (Del. 2012) (en banc);
- Patterson-Woods & Associates, LLC v. Realty Enterprises, et al., obtained a $3.7 million jury verdict in a commercial real estate brokerage dispute; C.A. No. 05C-01-224 JOH (Del. Super. March 11, 2010): aff'd, 11 A.3d 228 (Del. 2010) (Per Curiam);
- CCS Investors, LLC et al. v. David Brown, et al., 997 A.2d 301 (Del. 2009) (en banc);
- In re AIG International Group, Inc., Consolidated Derivative Litigation, 965 A. 2d 763 (Del. Ch.2009);
- In re Loral Space & Communications, Inc., 2008 WL 4293781, 34 Del. J. Corp. L. 670, (Sept. 19,2008);
- B.F. Rich Co., Inc. v. Gray, et al., 933 A. 2d. 1231 (Del. 2007) (en banc);
- Vandeleigh Industries, LLC v. Storage Partners of Kirkwood, LLC, 901A.2d 91 (Del. 2006) (en banc);
- Canadian Commercial Workers Industry Pension Plan v. Eric Alden, et. al., C.A. No. 1184-N,2006 Del. Ch. LEXIS 42 (Del. CH. 2006);
- In re Hechinger, 327 B.R. 537, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14386,. (D. Del. 2005);
- MDIP v. Rapoport, C.A. No. 03-779, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9901 (D. Del. 2005);
- MDIP v. Rapoport, C.A. No. 1035-N, 2005 Del. Ch. LEXIS 180 (Del. Ch. Nov. 23, 2005);
- In re Hechinger, C.A. No.: 00-973, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5537, aff’d, 147 Fed. Appx. 248 (3d Cir. 2005);
- In re Hechinger, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26725 (D. Del., Dec. 1, 2004);
- Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Integrated Health Services, Inc. v. Robert N. Elkins, et. al., 20228-NC, 2004 Del. Ch. LEXIS 122 (Del. Ch. August 24, 2004);
- In re Hechinger, 287 B.R. 145, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25205 (D. Del. 2002);
- Qwest Communications Int’l Inc. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co., 821 A.2d 323 (Del. Ch. 2002);
- Beattie v. Asplundh Tree Expert Co., et al., 786 A.2d 549 (Del Super. 2001);
- LNC v. Democratic Republic of the Congo, 69 F. Supp. 2d 607 (D. Del. 1999);
- Moody v. Nationwide Ins. Co,. 549 A.2d 291(Del. 1988) (en banc);
- Weinberger v. UOP, et. al., 1985 Del. Ch. LEXIS 378, aff’d, 497 A. 2d 792 (Del. 1985) (Table) (rescissory damages trial following remand, for plaintiffs);
- Smith v. VanGorkom, et al., 488 A.2d 858 (Del. 1985) (en banc) (on Supplemental Briefs of Liability, on appeal, for plaintiff-appellant).
Mike has also served as a special master in matters before Delaware’s Court of Chancery, and as mediator and arbitrator in a variety of actions. He served as an expert in Sam J. Alberts, Trustee for the DCHC Liquidating Trust v. Redman, et. al., Adv. No. 06-10040 (Bankr. Ct. D.C. 2006). Mike sat on the Delaware Board of Bar Examiners, by appointment of the Delaware Supreme Court, as an Associate Member from 2004 to 2009, and as a Member from 2010-2012. He also sat on the Board of Trustees for the Delaware Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Mike obtained his J.D. from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law in 1983 and his A.B. from Columbia University in 1978.
EducationTemple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., 1983Columbia University, A.B., 1978
Bar & Court AdmissionsDelaware, 1983U.S. District Court, District of Delaware, 1983U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1983U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 1989
As published in: Law360 July 25, 2017
Michael Bonkowski was mentioned in an article titled, "HP Sues Executive Who Went To Work For Competitor"
As published in: Law360 August 30, 2016
Michael Bonkowski and Nick Brannick were mentioned in an article titled, "Parts Supplier Tried To Loot $60M Enviro Fund, Suit Says"
As published in: Law360 August 23, 2016
Michael Bonkowski was mentioned in Law360 article titled, "Casino Owner Says It Can't Arbitrate Amid Death Threats"
As published in: Law360 July 18, 2016
Michael Bonkowski and Nicholas Brannick were mentioned in article titled, "Chancery Keeps Fraud Claims In $200M Trucking Sale Row"
As published in: Law360 February 23, 2016
Law360 May 31, 2017Michael F. Bonkowski
Corporate Law April 24, 2017Michael F. Bonkowski and Joseph B. Doll
Anti-Takeover Measures in Ebay vs. Craigslist: How Much Is Too Much?
Corporate Counselor February 2010Michael F. Bonkowski
The Latest News from the Delaware Courts: Decisions of Interest to Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals
The Americas Restructuring and Insolvency Guide September 30, 2008Michael F. Bonkowski, Norman L. Pernick, Patrick J. Reilley and J. Kate Stickles