Representative Matters

For more than two decades, Michael Cunningham has focused his practice in the area of tort litigation including products liability, premises liability, construction site accidents, automobile liability, municipal liability and toxic torts. Most of his work involves catastrophic injuries or wrongful death claims. Many such cases also involve a large number of injured parties.

Mr. Cunningham handles all phases of the litigation process with particular emphasis on trial. He has also successfully mediated or arbitrated a large number of cases. He also serves as a consultant to companies on issues related to Risk Management.

Professional Background

Mr. Cunningham joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in March 1998. He was formerly a legislative aide for the Indiana House of Representatives.

Mr. Cunningham serves as a faculty member for Hinshaw University, the firm’s nationwide attorney training and education program. He is a member of the Society of Trial Lawyers and American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in the categories of Personal Injury Defense Law and Products Liability Defense Law
  • Member, Society of Trial Lawyers
  • Elected American Board of Trial Advocates

Representative Matters

Mr. Cunningham has experience representing companies in a broad spectrum of cases involving national retail stores; restaurants and shopping centers; youth recreational camps; school boards; property management companies and property owners; general contractors and subcontractors; manufacturers of products including HVAC equipment, safety glass, child safety restraints, exercise equipment, scaffolding and other products; national school bus companies; national common carriers; trucking companies; and media and broadcasting companies.

A selection of his representative cases includes:

  • Successfully defended the East Bank Club in a personal injury lawsuit involving a plaintiff with an incomplete quadriplegic injury. The jury reached a no liability verdict in favor of the East Bank Club. The plaintiff asked for $16,500,000.
  • Successfully defended a national school bus company in a case in which a four-year-old girl was struck by a bus, resulting in a fractured pelvis, bone deformity and reproductive loss. We successfully argued that plaintiff’s caretaker and mother were the cause of the accident. The jury returned a verdict of $800,000, but found the bus company to be only 5% responsible. During jury deliberations the plaintiff made a demand of $2.1 million.
  • Successfully tried multiple cases for Walmart, involving injuries to knee, back and neck. Each of those cases resulted in a finding for defendant or a minimal reward.
  • Successfully represented a large metropolitan school board in a case involving sexual assault.
  • Successfully represented a national media company following an alleged sexual assault arising after a radio promotional event.
  • Successfully represented a youth camp in a wrongful death case involving a minor.
  • Successfully represented a national transportation company in multiple cases involving alleged sexual assault or abuse.
  • Successfully represented a contractor in the DuPage County “sick building syndrome” case involving hundreds of claimed serious injuries.
  • Successfully represented building ownership in the litigation involving 3 deaths and other injuries following an accident in which scaffolding fell from the side of the John Hancock Building.
  • Successfully represented a crane manufacturer following an accident in which the crane tipped over and seriously injured the driver, resulting in permanent disability.


  • "Trial Techniques for Every Stage of a Case, " Chicago Bar Association, February 2014.
  • "Trial Readiness: Game On," Managing Litigation 2012: A Litigation Readiness and Project Management Forum for In-House Counsel, Chicago, Illinois, September 2012.
  • "Negotiation Strategies 2.0," Council of Litigation Management seminar to RLI Corporation, Peoria, Illinois, October 2012.
  • "Hands-on Mock Trial," Zurich, Schaumburg, Illinois, April 2012. 
  • "Deposition Workshop," Hinshaw University, Basic Skills, Chicago, Illinois, November 2011.
  • "Closing Arguments," Hinshaw University, Trial Advocacy Program, Chicago, Illinois, June 2011.
  • "Deposition Workshop," Hinshaw University, Basic Skills, Chicago, Illinois, November 2010.
  • "Deposition Workshop," Hinshaw University, Basic Skills, Chicago, Illinois, November 2009.
  • "Deposition Workshop," Hinshaw University, Basic Skills, Chicago, Illinois, October 2008.
  • "Trials: Judges’ Perspective," Hinshaw University, Trial Advocacy Program, Chicago, Illinois, March 2008.


J.D., cum laude, Indiana University School of Law, 1990

B.S., Indiana University, 1985