Michael W. Kirk has extensive civil litigation experience representing a wide range of clients on a variety of constitutional, statutory, contractual, commercial and tort matters.
Mr. Kirk has appeared regularly in cases brought against the federal government. He is currently representing subsidiaries of Chevron Corporation in a suit in the Court of Federal Claims asserting that the United States must indemnify them for over $65 million in environmental cleanup costs incurred at three different Oil Refineries. He is also currently representing Shell Oil Company, Atlantic Richfield, Union Oil Company, and Texaco in a lawsuit seeking the recovery of over $35 million the Companies were required to pay to the EPA and the State of California.
He successfully represented The Boeing Company in an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in which the Court overturned the dismissal of Boeing’s challenge to the application of a cost accounting regulation that costs Government contractors hundreds of millions of dollars in equitable adjustments imposed by Federal contracting officers.
Mr. Kirk successfully represented Shell Oil Company, Atlantic Richfield, Union Oil Company, and Texaco in two separate lawsuits against the Federal Government seeking to recover environmental clean-up expenses arising from World War II contracts to provide aviation fuel. Following trial in the first suit, the Court of Federal Claims awarded the Oil Companies $99.5 million, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the judgment in toto. In the second suit, Mr. Kirk obtained summary judgment holding that the Federal Government must continue to reimburse the Oil Companies as ongoing environmental costs are incurred – a decision that should save the Companies tens of millions of dollars in future decades. Again, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the judgment in toto.
Mr. Kirk represented Ford Motor Company in a lawsuit against the Federal government arising from a World War II contract to build B-24 Bombers. While the Court of Federal Claims initially dismissed Ford’s suit, Mr. Kirk persuaded the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to reverse and remand with instructions that judgment be entered in favor of Ford.
Mr. Kirk served as lead trial counsel for American Capital Corporation in a lawsuit against the United States for breach of contract arising from an agreement entered by the Government in an effort to address the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. Following trial, the Court of Federal Claims awarded plaintiffs $109 million, and the United States Court of Appeals affirmed the liability judgment and upheld a damages award of more than $40 million.
Mr. Kirk is also currently representing The GEO Group, Inc. in lawsuits challenging California and Washington state statutes that purport to prohibit contracts with the Federal Government to operate federal detention facilities that will generate over $2.7 billion in revenue for GEO. In the California case, Mr. Kirk obtained an injunction barring application of the statute to GEO’s contract with the United States Marshals Service from the United States District Court of the Southern District of California. While the district court refused to extend the injunction to GEO’s contracts for the operation of immigration facilities, Mr. Kirk successfully represented GEO on appeal, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that application of the statute to all of GEO’s contracts must be enjoined.
Mr. Kirk is also representing GEO in an appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit of judgment awarding over $37 million in damages, unjust enrichment, attorney’s fees, costs, and interest against GEO in a suit brought by the State of Washington and a class of detainees at GEO’s Tacoma, Washington facility.
Mr. Kirk also represents state and local governments in complex constitutional and statutory cases involving such varied issues as Medicaid, school desegregation, and prison reform. He is currently representing the State of Tennessee in a putative class action challenging the State’s system for assessing eligibility for its Medicaid program in which Plaintiffs have sought injunctive relief that, if granted, would cost the State nearly $900 million in the next two years alone. He has successfully represented the State of Tennessee in several other cases involving its Medicaid program, saving the State hundreds of millions of dollars in annual expenditures by convincing the federal courts to vacate onerous injunctive decrees that had crippled the State’s efforts to reform its program. He has successfully represented public school districts in Marion County, Florida; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Rockford, Illinois; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in their efforts to obtain unitary status and end long-running school desegregation cases. In the civil rights arena, Mr. Kirk served as lead trial counsel on behalf of a plaintiff in securing the largest verdict ever returned against a suburban Maryland police department.
Mr. Kirk has an extensive appellate practice, and he has argued cases before the United States Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Federal, Third, Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits.
Mr. Kirk served as law clerk to Judge James L. Ryan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He received his J.D. degree, cum laude, in 1988 from Northwestern University. He served as Executive Editor of The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, and is a member of the Order of the Coif. He earned an A.B. degree, cum laude, from Georgetown University in 1985.
Mr. Kirk is a member of the Bars of the State of New York, the District of Columbia, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Eleventh, District of Columbia and Federal Circuits, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and the United States Court of Federal Claims.