Over his 30 years of legal practice, Mike Rissman has developed a reputation for bringing a practical approach to efficiently and effectively handling a wide range of legal matters.  As the general counsel of a Fortune 500 public company, Mr. Rissman was responsible for all of its legal matters, including governance, securities, M&A, litigation, employment, executive compensation, compliance, contracting, and other matters.  In private practice, Mr. Rissman focuses primarily on complex litigation, where he has represented large corporations, small companies, and individuals in state and federal courts around the country.  He also possesses expertise on environmental issues affecting property transactions and regulatory compliance.

Representative Experience


  • Successfully defended corporate client from multi-million dollar breach of contract claim arising out of Drexel bankruptcy.
  • Obtained complete relief for FDIC in action to recover from borrowers asserting the “prime rate” defense.
  • Simultaneously prosecuted 12 foreclosure actions to protect assets of group of noteholders in connection with motel-chain bankruptcy.
  • Obtained favorable judgment for individual plaintiff in defamation action against newspaper.
  • Represented industrial client in a series of cases alleging toxic exposure and property damage arising from underground contamination.
  • Successfully defended oil company against claims by DOJ alleging Clean Air Act violations in connection with refinery turn-around.
  • Successfully defended industrial client in lawsuit seeking compensatory and punitive damages for alleged intentional dumping of waste.

Environmental counseling

  • Evaluated and mitigated environmental risks associated with hundreds of real property transactions for large hedge fund.
  • Developed and led seminars on environmental risk for REIT officers.

Civic Involvement

  • Daring Adventures, Board Member and Treasurer
  • Neighbors Helping Neighbors

News, Events & Insights


  • University of Chicago Law School, J.D.
    • with honors
  • Harvard University, A.B. 
    • magna cum laude

Previous Experience

  • Republic Services, Inc., General Counsel
  • Mayer Brown, LLP, Partner
  • Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, Associate


  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Prentice Marshall, 1986-1988


  • Arizona
  • District of Columbia
  • Multiple federal district and appellate courts

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