Michael Bentley is a partner in the Jackson, Mississippi office, where he concentrates his practice on appellate and commercial litigation, including class actions and complex disputes. Michael has extensive experience in healthcare litigation, including defense of private correctional healthcare providers operating in state prison systems.
In his appellate practice, Michael advises clients on trial and appeal strategy, drafts and argues critical trial motions, and handles all aspects of an appeal – from briefing through oral argument. He has litigated a wide variety of appeals, including constitutional and statutory claims, tax disputes, product liability claims, insurance coverage disputes, healthcare matters, and professional malpractice claims. Michael frequently represents amicus parties on appeal. In addition to his appellate responsibilities at the firm, Michael serves on the Board of Governors for the Bar Association of the Federal Fifth Circuit. Prior to joining the firm, Michael clerked for Judge Leslie H. Southwick at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Michael’s litigation experience ranges from class actions and commercial disputes to tax protests, zoning contests, and commercial speech challenges. Michael has represented healthcare providers in regulatory investigations, administrative proceedings, and litigation. He also has significant experience handling Section 1983 civil rights suits, with a particular emphasis on defending correctional healthcare providers. Michael also advises clients on insurance coverage issues, a critical and sometimes undervalued component of business litigation.
From 2000 to 2004, Michael served in state government, first as an aid to Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and later as office manager for the State Superintendent of Education. As a member of the governor’s staff, Michael was responsible for constituent communications and legislative affairs; he was also the governor’s liaison to county and municipal governments.
In addition to his law practice, Michael remains active in his community and local bar organizations, having served as the president of the Jackson Young Lawyers Association, a director for the Mississippi Young Lawyers Division, and a volunteer pro bono attorney for clients referred by the Mississippi Center for Justice and Southern Poverty Law Center. In 2011, he was named “Young Lawyer of the Year” by his alma mater, Mississippi College School of Law, for his contributions to the legal community. In 2014, he was recognized by the Mississippi Business Journal as one of Mississippi’s “Top 40 Under 40” business leaders.
Michael graduated summa cum laude from Mississippi College School of Law, where he served as articles editor for the Mississippi College Law Review and was a member of the Moot Court Board. Before law school, Michael graduated magna cum laude from Millsaps College. At Millsaps, he was a writer and editor for the college newspaper, The Purple & White, and the recipient of the Reid and Cynthia Bingham Award for Excellence in Political Science.