Michael A. Hughes Partner

Phone: (608) 663-1888
Fax: (608) 663-1889
Assistant Name: Leah Watson
Assistant Phone: (608) 663-1882
Michael represents clients in a wide variety of litigation matters in federal and state court at both the trial and appellate levels across the country as well as regulatory actions before state agencies. Michael's primary practice is in the Firm's Toxic Tort practice group wherein he represents specialty product manufacturers in complex chemical exposure cases. Michael also represents clients in an array of other legal actions, including contract and trade secret disputes, personal injury, product liability, insurance coverage, and workers compensation.

Michael has an innate ability to analyze complex factual and legal issues and develop favorable defenses for our clients. He is acutely aware of the importance and use of all current and historical records to craft strong, positive factual narratives for our clients and affirmative, aggressive rebuttals to the opposition's allegations as part of our overall strategy to further our client's objectives. Simply put, Michael knows how to leverage testimony and evidence to reach favorable outcomes for our clients, whether at the outset of a case or at trial.

Prior to joining Chilton Yambert Porter, Michael worked at a large Midwest law firm where his practice focused on environmental actions to obtain successful results for clean energy companies and large-scale cattle operations in Clean Air and Clean Water actions. His practice also concentrated on medical malpractice, land use, and municipal zoning.

In addition to his private practice experience, Michael has worked for all branches of the federal government. After graduating law school, he was an "elbow" law clerk to the Honorable Thomas K. Moore, Judge of the U.S. District Court of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas & St. John Division. He also worked at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. where he was part of a multi-interagency team investigating attempts by international criminal enterprises to infiltrate the country through visa and immigration fraud pursuant to the Immigration & Naturalization Act. In addition, Michael worked at the U.S. Senate for two years after graduating from Dartmouth College in 1993.

When not at the office, Michael enjoys spending time with his family and playing hockey whenever he can.

Practice Areas

Appellate & Legal Issues, Class Action, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Practice, Environmental Law, General Negligence, Insurance Coverage, Labor & Employment Law, Medical Malpractice, Municipal Law, Products Liability, Professional Negligence, Real Estate Law, Regulatory, Toxic Tort Law, Trade Secrets & Non-Disclosure Agreements, Workers' Compensation

Bar Admissions

  • 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals
  • 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin
  • Federal Court of Appeals
  • State of Wisconsin (2003)
  • U.S. District Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands


  • J.D., American University Washington College of Law, 2001
  • M.A., American University School of International Service, 2001
  • B.A., Dartmouth College, 1993

Professional Affiliations

  • Western District of Wisconsin Bar Association
  • Wisconsin Bar Association

Representative Cases

  • Bartholomew v. Patients Compensation Fund, 2006 WI 91 (Wis. 2006) (overruling the portion of Maurin v. Hall, 2004 WI 100 to limit recovery of noneconomic damages in medical malpractice actions involving death).
  • Equivest St. Thomas v. Government of V.I., 208 F. Supp. 2d 545 (D.V.I. 2002) (enjoining territorial government from assessing and collecting property taxes on commercial properties until the assessor's methodology complied with federal and territorial law), aff'd sub nom, Bluebeard's Castle v. Government of V.I., 321 F.3d 394 (3rd Cir. 2003), cert. denied, 540 U.S. 823 (2003).
  • Fabend v. Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, L.L.C., 174 F. Supp. 2d 356 (D.V.I. 2001) and 181 F. Supp. 2d 439 (D.V.I. 2002) (granting summary judgment to commercial property owners on failure to warn claims), aff'd, 381 F.3d 152 (3rd Cir. 2004).
  • Roberts v. Manitowoc County, 2006 WI App 169, 295 Wis.2d 522, 721 N.W.2d 499 (Wis. App. 2006) (affirming county board's grant of conditional use permit to client to build a forty-nine-turbine wind energy park).

Community Involvement

  • Gilda's Club of Madison, Board of Directors

Publications and Speaking Engagements

  • Misrepresentation in the Life, Health, and Disability Insurance Application Process: A National Survey (Wisconsin Section) (ABA Publishing 2009)
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