Attorney, Arbitrator, Mediator
Areas of Expertise:
✔ Banking & finance ✔ Commercial/Business
✔ Construction ✔ Contract Disputes
✔ Debt/Foreclosure ✔ Defamation (Libel & Slander)
✔ Employment ✔ Energy including oil and gas
✔ Executive Compensation ✔ Family Businesses
✔ Health Care ✔ Industrial
✔ Intellectual Property ✔ International
✔ Joint Ventures ✔ Land Use/Planning
✔ Landlord/Tenant ✔ Legal Malpractice
✔ Mergers & Acquisitions ✔ Partnerships
✔ Premises Liability ✔ Probate
✔ Professional Fees ✔ Professional Liability
✔ Professional Malpractice ✔ Professional Negligence
✔ Real Estate ✔ Securities
✔ Shareholder Disputes ✔ Technology
✔ Title Disputes ✔ Trade Secrets and Confidentiality Disputes
Twenty years of ADR experience as arbitrator (125+ (85 as chair or sole arbitrator) commercial cases) and as mediator (1750+ commercial disputes), ad hoc and as a member of the panels referenced below:
Hirsch & Westheimer, P.C. - 1966 to 2020
Dispute between geophysical service provider and exploration company relating to the interpretation and construction of a service agreement for seismic shoot in Africa.
Various claims regarding contract interpretation including a drilling contract of an off-shore rig, provisions of a service contract maintenance, repair of a blowout preventer, and long-term operator agreement for the manufacture of products from certain feed stocks.
Dispute between two refineries regarding a determination of the compliance with emission limits imposed by consent decree, allocation agreement, and stock purchase agreement.
Disputes between international energy companies involving claims for conversion, defamation, violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and court orders limiting the emissions of chemical caused by refining petrochemical products.
Dispute between two gas companies concerning the obligation to pay excise taxes.
Dispute involving a refinery and chemical company dealing with the purchase, storage and sale of certain supplies of by-products used in the manufacturing chemicals and out-put requirements.
Disputes between exploration companies and service companies involving property damages relating to a bad squeeze job resulting in tubing being cemented in the well bore and drilling out of frac plug and stuck casing.
Dispute regarding representations and warranties in Asset Purchase Agreement involving fuel gases, including propylene, and provisions relating to working capital and account receivables.
Breach of Stock Purchase Agreement for sale of closely held private trust company and breach of fiduciary duty in a real estate limited partnership. Contract disputes and termination damages issues between multi-national retail companies and a software company for the manufacture of an application for mobile devices. Dispute between holder and issuer of warrants for common stock regarding the proper exercise of the warrants and whether the triggering event had occurred as referenced in the warrants. Dispute within a non-public limited partnership concerning a put option and buy/sell obligation.
Breach of fiduciary duty and securities fraud dispute between customer and financial advisor including allegations of the purchase of unsuitable investments and failure to properly diversify investments and to educate itself about the investor’s needs and financial knowledge. Securities and common law fraud case connected with the offering of ownership interests of a failed dotcom startup between 25 investors and the issuer and aiders and abettors. Claim for losses from alleged minority shareholder oppression and fraud for allegedly purchasing minority shareholder’s stock without disclosing ensuing sale of the company. Breach of non-competition between limited partners and general partner of blind royalty fund.
Dispute involving trade secrets between a software company and automobile dealerships. Breach of employment contract between national accounting firm and employee. Accounting malpractice disputes involving a bankruptcy trustee and an alleged failure to give a going concern opinion and allegations of improper use of company valuation. Dispute between minority and majority shareholders for alleged mismanagement and breach of fiduciary duties in paying excessive compensation and benefits. Claims against a bank for alleged wrongful dishonor, fraudulent inducement and wrongful foreclosure and cross actions for collection of obligations under notes and guaranties. Disputes involving interpretation of deadlock provisions of a Shareholder Agreement and exercise of buy/sell obligations, and real estate contract for failure to timely complete construction of improvements. Dispute between international banks regarding alleged fraudulent wire transfers. Lender liability suit between real estate developer and national bank. Dispute between investment advisor and company concerning whether a fee was earned with respect to locating a strategic investment partner. Case filed by sellers of a business operating from various locations in the United States against a European conglomerate seeking damages for breach of alleged breaches of representations and warranties as well as covenants requiring price adjustment and true-up based on physical inventory of assets, collection of accounts receivable and failure to meet a target amount of book value; Real estate lease dispute between international oil service provider and real estate developer regarding alleged breaches of lease, including failure to deliver property at the beginning of the lease.
Healthcare Alleged breach of support services agreement between company providing nonclinical business, administrative and marketing services to medical practices throughout the country and physician. Dispute between insurance companies and physician practice groups regarding timely payment of medical claims and applicability of prompt pay statutes.
Dispute between physician and owner of a clinic regarding the physician’s base compensation and incentive compensation after the closing of the purchase.
Recent representative mediations:
Lawsuit between oil service companies and exploration companies involving breach of contract;
Case pending in court between bank lenders, title company and borrowers on title and breach of contract;
Pending arbitration case by customer against brokerage firm for unauthorized trading and churning; case pending in court regarding oil and gas supplier contracts between producers and transporters;
Pending state court environmental case for damages resulting from contamination by a series of tenants and subtenants;
Pending bankruptcy case between trustee, creditors and investment partnership seeking additional capital contributions;
Case between creditors and oil and gas operator to recover amounts allegedly due and payable and to determine priority of liens;
International arbitration case pending between attorneys and middle eastern corporation providing goods and services involving disputed attorneys’ fees for filing and prosecuting case before international tribunal;
Will contest pending in probate court; state court case between supplier of gasoline and owner of retailer who purchased the facility from supplier on breach of requirements contract.
American Arbitration Association Training Workshop I and II in 1999 and 2001; Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, North American Branch, International Commercial Arbitrators Basic Training Course and Examination in 2000; and FINRA Dispute Resolution Arbitrator Training, Panel Member Course and Examination in 2002; AAA Arbitrator Ethics and Disclosure (ACE003), 2004; Texas Mediators Credentialing Association, Yearly Training, 2004; AAA Arbitration Awards: Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards (ACE001), 2004, 2003; AAA Arbitrator Update 2005, 2004, 2003, 2001; State Bar of Texas, Arbitration Fundamentals, 2005; AAA Neutrals Conference, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003; Faculty, AAA Dealing with Delay Tactics in Arbitration (ACE004), 2006, 2005; Houston Bar Association ADR Section, South Texas College of Law and Association of Attorney Mediators, Advanced Mediation Training: Communication Tools and Techniques, 2007; State Bar of Texas CLE, Alternative Dispute Resolution Texas Style, 2007; State Bar of Texas ADR Section, Legislative and Case Law Update, 2007; Electronic Evidence and Disclosure, International Arbitration by Juris Conference in 2008; AAA, ADR Strategies That Save Time and Money, 2010; AAA/ICDR Neutrals Conference, 2009; AAA, Efficient ADR - Saving the Client's Money Through Technology and Common Sense, 2010; College of Commercial Arbitrators Annual Meetings, 2008-2015.
Admitted to the Bar: Texas, 1966; U.S. District Court: Eastern, Southern, Northern, and Western Districts of Texas; U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit; U.S. Supreme Court.
AV Preeminent Status-Martindale-Hubbell; Recognized in Texas Monthly's annual publication, Texas Super Lawyers for ADR, every year since 2003 recognized as Top Lawyer in ADR in Houston Lawyer Magazine every year since 2008.
American Arbitration Panel of Neutrals (Large Complex Commercial Case Arbitration Panel and Mediation, National Panels Banking and Secured Transactions);
International Centre for Dispute Resolution;
CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (National Arbitration and Mediation Panel, Accounting, Banking, Energy and Financial Services Panel);
American Health Lawyers Association Panel of Neutrals (Arbitration and Mediation);
FINRA Dispute Resolution Panel of Neutrals (Arbitration and Mediation).
College of Commercial Arbitrators (Fellow); International Mediator Institute (Certified Mediator - http://www.imimediation.org/?cID=mediator_search_results&name=Michael+Wilk) Texas Mediator Credentialing Association (Credentialed Distinguished Mediator); State Bar of Texas (Past Chair Alternative Dispute Resolution Section); Association of Attorney Mediators, Inc. (Director-National; President-National 1996); State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee (Member and Past Chairman 4B); Harris County Dispute Resolution Center (Director, Pro Bono arbitrator, mediator, moderated settlement conference panelist); Houston Bar Association (Chairman Peer Mediation in Schools Task Force 1993-1994); Houston Bar Association (Past Council Member Alternative Dispute Resolution Section); American Bar Association (Alternative Dispute Resolution Section); Texas Bar Foundation Fellow; Houston Bar Foundation Fellow;
University of Texas (BA. 1964) University of Texas School of Law (J.D. with honors, 1966); Editor of Texas Law Review – 1965)
“Review of Arbitration Awards for Mistakes of Law or Fact, The Texas Lawyer, April 23, 2012;
"Review Awards for Mistakes of Law or Fact," Texas Lawyer, p. 19 (April 2012 - Volume 28, No. 4)
"Resolution of Domestic and International Bankruptcy Issues through Mediation,” Conflict Management, A Publication of the Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution – American Bar Association, p. 19 (Summer 2005 – Volume 9, Issue 2).
“ADR Basics,” Conflict Management, A Publication of the Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution – American Bar Association, p. 16 (Summer 2004 – Volume 8, Issue 3).
“Mediation of a Bankruptcy Case,” American Bankruptcy Institute Journal, (May 2003) at 12.
“Helping Attorneys See Beyond The Case: Return To Objectivity,” Alternative Resolutions No. 2, p. 13 (November 2002).
“Alternative Dispute Resolution with the Resolution Trust Corporation and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,” 9 The Practical Real Estate Lawyer (May 1993) at 27.
“Disclosures, Dispositive Motions and Discovery Disputes in Arbitration”, HBA ADR Section (November 14, 2017).
“AAA’s ACE 14: Red Flags and Risk Areas: Challenges to Arbitrator Authority,” Houston, Texas (October 25, 2017).
“Emergency Arbitrations,” 17th Annual Meeting of the College Commercial Arbitrators, Minneapolis, MN (October 13, 2017).
“Handling Your First (or Next) Arbitration”, State Bar of Texas CLE, Austin, Texas (December 6, 2013).
“Managing a Successful Arbitration”, American Arbitration Association, College of Commercial Arbitrators and JAMS, New Orleans, Louisiana (March 14, 2013).
“Managing the Arbitration Process for Efficiency and Economy Following the Preliminary Hearing”, American Arbitration Association University, ACE Course (August 23, 2012).
“Mediated Settlement Agreements”, Advanced Mediation Training, AA White Dispute Resolution Center, University of Houston Law School (December 2011).
“The Award” Managing Your First Arbitration”, AAA, CCA, JAMS and AA White Dispute Resolution Center, University of Houston Law School (November 2011).
“The College of Commercial Arbitrator’s Protocols for Expectations, and Cost Effective Commercial Arbitration: An Overview”, ADR Section, State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting (June 2011).
Arbitration Roundtable, State Bar of Texas, ADR Counsel, February 28, 2010.
"Everything You Wanted To Know About Being a Mediator But Were Afraid To Ask," AAM Annual Meeting, April 2008.
“Facilitative Mediation,” Alternative Dispute Resolution Texas Style, Texas Bar CLE, Dallas, Texas, October 2007.
“Mediation of Securities Fraud Disputes,” Houston Bar Association, Securities Litigation and Arbitration Section, Houston, Texas, January 2007.
“Delaying Tactics in Arbitration,” American Arbitration Association ACE Program, Houston, Texas August 2006.
“Arbitration Fundamentals,” State Bar of Texas CLE Web Cast, October, 2005.
“Delaying Tactics in Arbitration,” American Arbitration Association ACE Program, Houston, Texas July 2005.
“Mediation of a Bankruptcy Case,” Mediation for Litigators, South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas, October 2002.
“Mediation of Bankruptcy Disputes,” Oklahoma State Bar Meeting, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, November 2001
Presentation of Mock Mediation,” National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts, Houston, Texas, September, 2000
“Helping Lawyers See Beyond the Case,” Texas Association of Mediators Annual Conference Training Course, Houston, Texas, February 26, 2000
“Ethical Considerations in Mediation,” 16th Annual Bankruptcy Conference, the University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas, November 1997.
“Consensual Settlement,” Association of Insolvency Accountants, 13th Annual Bankruptcy and Reorganization Conference, Dallas, Texas, May 1997.
“Advocacy In Mediation,” The CLE Institute, Houston, Texas, October 1996.
“The CPA's Role in Alternative Dispute Resolution,” AICPA National Advanced Litigation Services Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, October 1996.
“Evaluative Mediation: Why, When, and How to Manage the Merits,” American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution, Orlando, Florida, August 1996.
“Mediation — Five Years Later,” Houston Bar Association Institute, Houston, Texas, October 1994.
“Future ADR Trends and New Concepts: Resolving Disputes: Litigation vs. ADR,” South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas, March 1993.
“Mediation of Business Disputes,” Houston Bar Association, Corporate Counsel Section, Houston, Texas, November 1992.
“Alternative Dispute Resolution with the Resolution Trust Corporation and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,” American Bar Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, August 1992.
“The Mediation Session — Non-judicial Resolutions/Alternatives to Duking It Out,” 5th Annual Valuation of Assets in Bankruptcy Conference, The University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas, July 1992.
“The Mediation Solution — Low Cost Salve For Thorny Real Estate Disputes,” American Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Trust and Probate Law, Third Annual Spring CLE and Committee Meeting, Nashville, Tenn., May 1992.
“Arbitration — A Primer for the Business Lawyer,” 14th Annual Conference on Securities Regulation and Business and Law Problems, The University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas, March 1992.
“Initiating and Objecting to ADR Procedures, the Art of Advocacy in ADR,” South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas, June 1991.
“Controlling Litigation With Boilerplate — Opportunities, Pitfalls & Limitations: “Mediation/Letters of Credit,” American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law, Spring CLE and Committee Meeting, Orlando, Florida, April 1991.
“Alternative Dispute Resolution in a Banking Context,” 13th Annual Banking Law Institute, Texas Association of Bank Counsel, Houston, Texas, March 1990.