Property Rights are Human Rights
Mona Lisa Wallace, who leads the Wallace & Graham law firm in North Carolina, called on Mike Kaeske and Lisa Blue Baron to form a team to represent neighbors against the world's largest hog producer, the owner of confined animal feeding operations creating a nuisance for the residences of the local rural communities. The trial team faced off against a deep bench of some of the best defense lawyers in the country, litigating a series of five separate cases for almost five years in Federal Court in North Carolina.
On behalf of their clients, the team brought in five unanimous jury verdicts, each trial lasting the better part of a month and the entire series of cases taking more than one year.
The team brought each of the five bellwether cases to winning verdicts by representing great clients and sharing their belief in the right to speak truth to power, and to a jury.
On appeal to the Fourth Circuit, the Honorable J. Harvie Wilkinson III wrote:
“If this were my property, I’d be outraged at some of these conditions that were allowed to persist. Less fortunate citizens have property rights, too. They have a right to good health and enjoyment of their property. If this were some ‘McMansion’ surrounding hog farming operations, or houses of the affluent and more politically powerful were here, wouldn’t these conditions have been cleared up sooner rather than later? That is my problem.”
Mike led the team that included Lisa Blue Baron, Lynn Bradshaw, Jeremy Martin and Eric Manchin, along with the fine lawyers and staff at Wallace and Graham. They fought for their clients' property rights, and the right to use and enjoy their property without interference from commercial confined animal feeding operations. In 2020, Mike and the entire trial team were honored with the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by Public Justice.
These trials could not have been won without the strength and persistence of our clients. They continually inspired us throughout this litigation. Together, we fought for truth, justice, and a commitment to what it means to be a good neighbor.
Throughout his career, Mike has handled high-profile personal injury and commercial litigation cases across the country. Mike enjoys putting together teams based on the specific needs of each case, including working with other firms, and coordinating a winning trial strategy from the time the case is filed to final verdict.
Focus on "One Case at a Time"
Part of his success comes from his ability to focus – almost to the exclusion of all else –on the case he has set for trial. This unique approach is fundamental to Mike’s process of learning every detail of a case, and invaluable to the clients (and Mike’s co-counsel) who invariably benefit. Simply put, Mike stays focused on the matter in front of him, which enables him to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the facts and case details. Mike’s mastery of his cases, decades of courtroom experience and focus on understanding what matters most to a jury have—not surprisingly—led him to be one of the most successful trial lawyers in the country.
Expertise at Kaeske Law Firm
From day one, Kaeske Law begins strategically putting together the building blocks that will effectively communicate with a modern jury. The firm draws on decades of experience, relying on the state-of-the-art skills needed to effectively handle high-stakes litigation.
Mike is also often called in just to take critical expert depositions or to try a case that has already been prepared for trial. Mike’s proven negotiations skills also routinely allows him to negotiate settlements in tough cases where others have reached a deadlock.
Today, one of the biggest issues lawyers face when handling a high-profile trial is the influence of the internet on jurors, including social media platforms. In the current digital world, a trial team must focus not just on the trial, but on real-time feedback on-line. Trial lawyers must be prepared to respond to these outside forces quickly and effectively.
Trial practice has changed dramatically and evolved quickly. In the courtroom, jurors expect a rapid-fire response time. And they expect to see the latest and most refined video and digital platforms and presentations. Kaeske Law prioritizes being on the cusp of developing state-of-the-art trial concepts, including the unique considerations posed by trying cases to millennial jurors and their emphasis on authenticity and effective use of courtroom technology.
We employ communication tools designed to effectively convey a fast-paced, fact-based story. Visuals are key to our firm’s success. Mike Kaeske employs a team of experts who respond creatively with animation, graphics and video.
Mike is an early adopter. His teams make sure he has a command of trial technology that allows him to communicate confidently, effectively, and—when called for—aggressively. Mike’s goal is to educate and empower the jury to make the right fact-based decision. The visual component of the trial is as important as any other aspect of case presentation.
Contingency Fee Contracts
The Kaeske Law Firm handles cases on a contingency basis. That means we pay all the upfront costs. The client owes us nothing unless we secure a financial recovery through a verdict or settlement.
Most people simply cannot afford litigation case expenses, much less the cost of an attorney—even one without Mike’s skills and expertise—on an hourly basis. The contingency fee arrangement allows the little guy to go against the resources of big business, or the well-heeled client to know its lawyer has “skin in the game.”
Because we work under contingency agreements, if our client doesn’t win a financial recovery, we don’t either. The more we can earn for our clients, the more we earn for our work. The contingency fee arrangement is a proven model for personal injury cases and complex commercial disputes.
There is never any fee to talk to us about a potential lawsuit, so feel free to call or email us. We will take your call seriously, and we won’t take your case unless we think we can help you.