Education

  • J.D., Pepperdine University School of Law
  • B.A., Rutgers University

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee
  • California

Selected Experience

  • Representation of one of Nashville’s oldest companies in a lawsuit involving breach of employment agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, and interference with business relations
  • Representation of majority owners of a Nashville LLC in a lawsuit involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty and usurpation of business opportunity
  • Tried the first bench trial in the Davidson County Business Court on behalf of the owner of a Nashville restaurant in a case involving breach of operating agreement, breach of fiduciary duty, and ownership of intellectual property rights.
  • Representation of designers of high-tech audio equipment in a lawsuit involving claims of breach of asset purchase agreement, fraud, and violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act
  • Representation of health maintenance organizations in multiple lawsuits involving claims of alleged antitrust violations and unfair competition
  • Representation of one of the world’s largest LED lighting companies in a case involving claims of alleged misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition
  • Representation of the sellers of a nationwide photocopy business in connection with claims involving alleged breach of an Asset Purchase Agreement
  • Defense of an international law firm in a lawsuit alleging claims of professional malpractice and breach of contract
  • Representation of a large manufacturer of industrial equipment in a lawsuit involving alleged environmental contamination and breach of contract
  • Representation of one of the largest real estate development companies in California in claims involving alleged breach of contract
  • Representation of majority shareholders of a privately-held, high-tech company in a lawsuit involving claims of breach of a Shareholder Agreement
  • Representation of the minority owner of a medical device company in a lawsuit involving a claim of breach of fiduciary duty
  • Representation of a manufacturer of oil field pipeline equipment in a product liability case involving alleged product defects
  • Defense of a regional accounting firm in a lawsuit involving claim of professional malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty
  • Defense of a Fortune 100 company in a series of intellectual property cases relating to the company’s building automation and energy management technology
  • Representation of a major oil company in a series of high-profile product liability cases involving the alleged releases of the gasoline oxygenate MTBE

Publications

  • False Marking Claims: The New Threat to Business, Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal (August 2010)
  • Video Game Developers Ignore Patents at Their Peril, National Law Journal (January 2010)
  • Lucent v. Gateway: Federal Circuit Provides Guidance on Patent Damages Issues, Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal (February 2010)
  • Reducing Malpractice Risk Through Effective Client Screening Techniques, The National Public Accountant (1996)
  • Employee Embezzlement: Methods of Avoiding Liability in Business Management Engagements, Verdict (1996)
  • Government's Denigration of Religion: Is God the Victim of Discrimination in Our Public Schools?, Pepperdine Law Review (1994)
  • Smith v. Regents of the University of California: Can Mandatory Student Fees be Used to Support Political or Ideological Activities?, Pepperdine Law Review (1993)

Professional Activities

  • Co-chair, Nashville Bar Association Federal Court’s Committee (2017-present)
  • Member, Nashville Bar Association Chancery Court Committee (2017-present)

Civic Activities

  • Board of Directors, Matthew 25, Inc., a homeless veterans shelter (2019-present)

Michael has been a trial attorney for over twenty-five years and has represented clients from individuals to Fortune 100 companies in complex civil matters in both state and federal courts. He has represented clients in a wide range of matters, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, business torts, business governance disputes, business “divorces,” misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of non-competition and other restrictive employment covenants, patent infringement, and professional liability. Throughout his career, Michael has been a frequent lecturer and guest speaker on issues such as trial practice, professional ethics, litigation avoidance, discovery, and calculating damages in complex cases.

Earlier in his career, Michael was a partner at the international law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery, LLP, where he served as head of his office’s intellectual property litigation practice group and on the firm’s associate development and recruiting committees. While at McDermott, Michael led litigation teams in multi-million-dollar cases that were venued throughout the country.

Michael graduated with honors from Rutgers University with a degree in accounting. He also graduated magna cum laude from Pepperdine University School of Law, where he served as the Lead Articles Editor for the Pepperdine Law Review.

Recent News

Funk and Sims Recognized by Chambers 2022

Once again, Chambers USA recognized Sam Funk and Scott Sims as leading lawyers in Tennessee. The firm was also recognized as one of the top commercial litigation firms in Tennessee. Chambers USA is a leading directory of lawyers and law firms. Chambers bases its annual rankings on in-depth market analysis and independent research.

Funk and Fox Present Non-Compete and Trade Secrets CLE

Sam Funk and Grace Fox recently presented a CLE for the Nashville Bar Association entitled, “Developments Within Non-Compete and Trade Secrets.”  During it, they discussed issues concerning noncompete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements. They also discussed the implications of an important recent opinion from the Tennessee Court of Appeals, captioned HCTec Partners, LLC v. Crawford, et […]

Peal Named a Fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation

Rob Peal recently received the designation of Fellow from the Nashville Bar Foundation. The Nashville Bar Foundation’s Fellows Program was established as a way for the bar to honor its colleagues who have contributed significantly to the community. Fellows are selected by their peers, and each class is limited to 2% of the bar in […]

O’Neill and Fox Receive NBA Awards

Michael O’Neill and Grace Fox recently received awards from the Nashville Bar Association. O’Neill received the NBA President’s Award. This award is given to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary service, leadership, and dedication to the NBA. Specifically, O’Neill was recognized for his work on the NBA’s Notable Trial Court Opinion newsletter. Fox received the President’s […]

Super Lawyers recognizes Sims|Funk attorneys as top-rated in Nashville

Mid-South Super Lawyers has recognized several Sims|Funk attorneys in its list of top lawyers for 2021. Sam Funk and Scott Sims have been named to its top 50 lawyers in Nashville and its top 100 lawyers in Tennessee. Rob Peal has been named a Super Lawyer for 2021. Gil Schuette, Mark Donnell, Mark Lenihan, and […]