Core Values in Action

"The cost of exceptional legal services should never operate as an incentive not to utilize those services."  

Mike Summerhill is a Partner in the Litigation Practice Group.

Mike has extensive appellate litigation experience and has successfully argued matters and drafted briefs in successful appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Illinois Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Ohio. At the trial court level, Mike has defended clients in many class action suits and multi-district proceedings involving a variety of industries including healthcare, software, medical devices and consumer products. He has also litigated complex mass torts and commercial disputes, product liability, securities and consumer fraud actions and arbitrated commercial disputes before the American Arbitration Association.

Mike currently represents a medical device manufacturer in product liability and negligence actions and a manufacturer of consumer appliances in product liability, breach of warranty and consumer fraud actions. He also represents a software developer in commercial litigation and has also previously provided representation to an international manufacturer of food flavorings and food additives in toxic tort, exposure and defective product litigation; an international biotechnology corporation in litigation arising out of the growth and distribution of genetically engineered food; and not-for-profit hospitals in litigation alleging consumer fraud in the pricing of medical services to the uninsured.

Before joining Freeborn, Mike was a Partner in the Chicago offices of SmithAmundsen and Katten Muchin Rosenman.

Mike Summerhill helps food companies in complex commercial and product liability litigation. He has broad experience in the food industry, with a particular emphasis on food safety issues. Among other matters, he has provided representation to an international crop science corporation relating to the release of genetically engineered corn in the human food supply, an international manufacturer of flavors and fragrances relating to claims of severe personal injuries from exposure to microwave popcorn butter flavoring, an alcoholic beverage producer in claims alleging serious personal injuries from the consumption of alcohol and a food distribution chain in claims arising from tainted dairy products.

Professional Activities: 
  • American Bar Association
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Co-author, "When is a Resignation Actually a Termination? The Doctrine of Constructive Termination and Coerced Resignations," Westlaw Employment Journal, Vol. 29, Issue 14 (February 2015).
  • Co-author, "Take these Four Steps to Prepare for the Physician Payment Sunshine Act," Med City News (May 28, 2013).
  • Co-author, "The Five-Step Protocol to Prepare for the Physician Payment Sunshine Act," Modern Aesthetics (May 2013).
  • Author, "Point, counterpoint: Will Mortimore v Merge Healthcare Inc. have Lasting Effect on Wisconsin Arbitration?," Wisconsin Law Journal ADR Section (December 2012).
  • Co-author, "Company Representatives in the Operating & Treatment Room: How to Navigate the Ever-Expanding Theories of Liability for Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Companies," DePaul Journal of Health Care Law and The Brief, American Bar Association, Vol. 39:1.
Speaking Engagements: 
  • Co-presenter, "Exposing Fraud in the Healthcare Industry: What You Need to Know on Healthcare Strike Force," The Knowledge Group webinar series (March 10, 2015).
  • Presenter, "Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors: The Appeals Process," Aegis Compliance & Ethics Center, Freeborn & Peters LLP and SmithAmundsen LLC joint webinar series (July 20, 2009).
  • Presenter, "A Litigation Perspective on How Illinois Has Responded and Ruled on New Requirements and Trends Associated with PhRMA and AdvaMed Codes," Annual Joint Convention of the Illinois Psychiatry Society and the Wisconsin Psychiatry Society, Lake Geneva, IL (October 16, 2009) and the Chicago Bar Association - Young Lawyers Section: Health and Hospital Committee, (April 28, 2009).




J.D., The John Marshall Law School, cum laude, Editor-in-Chief, The John Marshall Law Review
B.A., The Ohio State University

State Bar Admissions


Federal Bar Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Teaching experience

Adjunct faculty member, Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy, The John Marshall Law School

Community Service

  • Board Member, Positive Coaching Alliance, Chicago-Chapter
  • Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation
  • Lance Armstrong Foundation
  • Imerman Angels