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Contact Information

michael.krauss​@FaegreBD.com

2200 Wells Fargo Center
90 S. Seventh Street

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402

T: +1 612 766 8514
F: +1 612 766 1600

Education

Stanford Law School
J.D., with distinction, Law Review (note editor) (1996)
University of Michigan
B.A., with highest distinction and high honors, Phi Beta Kappa (1993)

Bar Admissions

Minnesota New York

Court Admissions

U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Michael M. Krauss

Partner

Michael Krauss is a former Assistant United States Attorney (S.D.N.Y.) who now leads Faegre Baker Daniels' finance litigation team. The firm's team of trial lawyers litigates complex financial disputes nationwide. The team works alongside finance, restructuring and bankruptcy colleagues to represent the leading participants in the financial services industry.

Bank and Creditor Litigation

Michael enforces commercial loan and lease remedies and defends against claims of lender liability. His experience spans credit facilities of all kinds and ranges from commercial real estate financing to equipment leasing to asset-based lending.

  • Won, at trial, the dismissal of a $39 million claim under the anti-tying provisions of the Bank Holding Company Act
  • Won a $15 million judgment in favor of the lenders on a casino development loan
  • Obtained a $19 million settlement of a claim for default on a loan participation, despite the borrower's claims of fraudulent inducement
  • Obtained multiple judgments and settlements for an equipment lease financing company, including the dismissal of lender liability counterclaims
  • Won multiple judgments against debtors affirmed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals
  • Obtained a settlement for full recovery on behalf of an international commodities trader in a federal suit for breach of a series of coal purchase and sale contracts
  • Defended multiple actions against lead lenders on participants' claims of breach of representations and warranties, faulty servicing, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty
  • Currently defending a major financial institution against breach of contract and related claims with respect to reinsurance trusts

Corporate Trust and Structured Products

Michael represents trustees and holders in disputes involving indentures and securitizations. He has extensive experience litigating the duties of trustees and other parties before and after default, and pursuing claims against issuers for breach, fraudulent transfer and related misconduct.

  • After trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery, obtained a $155 million settlement of a fraudulent transfer and breach of indenture claim against the issuer on behalf of U.S. Bank as indenture trustee
  • Regularly represents U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo in RMBS repurchase litigation in their capacities as trustee, custodian, master servicer and/or securities administrator
  • Represents Wells Fargo as trustee in a New York state court proceeding seeking approval of a global $4.5 billion settlement of RMBS repurchase claims against JPMorgan Chase

Insolvency and Receiverships

Insolvency invariably brings litigation involving trustees, receivers, creditors and counterparties of the defunct company, particularly when the insiders committed fraud. Michael represents receivers pursuing claims for fraudulent transfer, breach of fiduciary duty, illegal distributions and related misconduct. And he routinely defends similar claims against creditors and other counterparties of the debtor.

  • Obtained a $42 million settlement on behalf of the receiver of an insolvent subprime construction finance company, on claims of fraudulent transfer and breach of fiduciary duty
  • Obtained the maximum available settlement for a bank against an investment advisory firm whose employee raided pension accounts
  • Defended breach of fiduciary duty claims in the Delaware Court of Chancery arising out of Refco's criminal collapse and bankruptcy
  • Defended a loan originator in a federal multi-district litigation against numerous claims arising out of Le-Nature's criminal collapse and bankruptcy

Tribal Gaming

Financial transactions involving tribal gaming operations raise unique issues of sovereign immunity, tribal jurisdiction and federal regulation. Michael has recovered judgments and settlements for lenders and developers nationwide in disputes raising issues of first impression.

  • Won, at two trials, separate multi-million dollar arbitration awards for Wells Fargo against a tribe in Oklahoma for breaches of a casino loan and an equipment lease
  • Won a unanimous decision of the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals affirming arbitration award and related enforcement efforts
  • Won a decision of the Washington Supreme Court holding that a tribe had waived its sovereign immunity and could be sued in state court for breach of a loan agreement.
  • Obtained a multi-million dollar settlement for a casino developer in North Dakota, following arbitration and concurrent tribal court proceedings
  • Obtained  a multi-million dollar settlement for a lender against a tribe in Washington, following concurrent proceedings in federal and state courts
  • Won a preliminary injunction against a tribal gaming commission, barring it from taking any action that would adversely affect the lender's contract rights

Bankruptcy Litigation

Michael represents creditors in bankruptcy court in New York, Delaware and Minnesota. For example, at trial in 2014, Michael won an order ousting management for fraud and appointing a chapter 11 trustee in Delaware within weeks of the petition date. The national legal press covered each day of trial, and the trustee since has sued the insiders for breach of fiduciary duties, corporate waste and related misconduct.

Before Faegre Baker Daniels

Michael was a litigator in New York before joining Faegre Baker Daniels. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, Michael tried multiple cases to verdict and argued over 10 appeals before the Second Circuit. He also was a litigation associate at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and Shearman & Sterling, where he specialized in federal securities actions, and served as an adjunct professor at Cardozo Law School. Michael clerked for the Hon. Eric L. Clay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in his home state of Michigan.

Pro Bono

  • Asylum/Refugee Assistance
  • Guardianship
  • Criminal Appeals

Honors

  • Minnesota Super Lawyers — Rising Star, Business Litigation, 2008-09 and 2012

Civic Activities

  • Ronald McDonald House Charities Twin Cities — Board of Directors

Clerkships

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, Hon. Eric L. Clay, 1998-99

Presentations

  • Subprime Auto Loan Securitizations: Yellow Light Ahead?
    Client Presentation, 2015
  • For Whom the Whistle Blows: The Role of Private Enforcement in Dodd-Frank's Public Regulatory Framework
    University of St. Thomas Journal of Law and Public Policy Spring 2014 Symposium
  • Trustees' Potential MBS Liability
    Client Presentation, 2014
  • Business Torts: Common Law Fraudulent Misrepresentation
    Minnesota CLE, 2008-09, 2013 and 2015
  • Trust Instruction Petitions: Judicial Guidance for Trustees
    Client Presentation, 2012
  • An Honest Discussion About How to Handle Liars
    Minnesota CLE, 2011
  • Financial Reform: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
    Minnesota CLE, 2010
  • Remedies, Damages and Liability: Advising Clients on Either Side in a Breach of Contract
    Minnesota CLE, 2007-09

Published Articles

  • For Whom the Whistle Blows: The Role of Private Enforcement in Dodd-Frank's Public Regulatory Framework
    University of St. Thomas Journal of Law and Public Policy (forthcoming 2015)
  • Common Law Fraudulent and Negligent Misrepresentation
    Business Disputes: Claims and Remedies, 2015
  • New Minnesota Trust Code in the Works
    Faegre Baker Daniels, 2015
  • Dodd-Frank Offers Whistleblowing Incentives
    City A.M., 2010
  • A CDO Goes Moo: Three Email Guidelines Goldman Players Should Have Followed
    Faegre Baker Daniels, 2010
  • Navigating Troubled Waters: Fiduciary Duties of Directors and Officers of Distressed Companies
    Buying and Selling Distressed Businesses: Leading Lawyers on Evaluating Assets and Identifying Buyers, Negotiating Deals, and Advising Directors and Officers on Fiduciary Duties, Aspatore, 2009
  • Digging Deeper: Damages When an Insolvent Corporation Plunges Further Into Debt
    Pratt's Journal of Bankruptcy Law, 2008
  • Houses Divided: Does TILA Prohibit Classwide Rescission Claims by Subprime Borrowers?
    Real Estate Finance, 2007
  • Taming the Data Dragon: Protecting Your Company From Liability Due to Data Security Breaches
    Privacy & Data Security Law Journal, 2007
  • From Martha to Michael: Lessons in Litigation From Recent High-Profile Trials
    Trends, 2005
  • Fundamental Fairness in Child Sexual Abuse Civil Litigation
    Stanford Law & Policy Review, 1997

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