Michael Klein is a trial lawyer that focuses on winning trials for his clients. In his 35-year career, Mr. Klein has tried over 45 matters to final award or judgment in both state and federal courts, as well as arbitration. His two most recent jury trial victories involved wind-hail litigation.
His trial experience also covers an extensive and wide-ranging commercial litigation practice that includes healthcare litigation, managed care litigation, ERISA, environmental litigation, governmental investigations and civil investigative demands, consumer protection litigation, class action litigation, trade secret litigation, real estate and construction litigation, Fair Housing Act litigation, premises and employer liability matters, personal injury litigation, general torts, insurance coverage issues, insurance bad faith and professional malpractice matters.
A focus of Mr. Klein’s practice is representing large, national healthcare and insurance clients in governmental investigations, declaratory judgment actions and injunctive matters involving insurance regulatory and consumer protection issues. He has extensive experience in healthcare Prompt Pay litigation and advising payors/insurers on the implications of the statute.
In 2001, he filed the first lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the Insurance Commissioner’s power of restitution when the Commissioner ordered 47 insurers to pay $36 million in “restitution” to medical providers for violations of the Prompt Pay Act, in what the Texas Department of Insurance referred to as the “Prompt Pay Blitz.” He has represented payors and insurers in healthcare Prompt Pay disputes in state courts and in arbitration, including “mass action” lawsuits involving hundreds of providers.
Mr. Klein has also represented healthcare and insurance clients in network provider litigation, delegation oversight litigation and provider incentives litigation, as well as other healthcare-related matters.
- Secured a defense verdict in a wind-hail jury trial in Dallas County involving both contractual and bad faith allegations.
- Secured a defense verdict in a wind-hail jury trial in Dallas County involving the contractual portion of a case in which the bad faith allegations had been abated pending the outcome of the contractual portion of the lawsuit.
- Secured dismissal of wind-hail lawsuit in Hidalgo County following depositions of plaintiffs and plaintiffs’ expert.
- Secured a “claimant take nothing” arbitration award on behalf of a Texas HMO. A hospital brought suit under the Texas healthcare Prompt Pay Statute alleging that the HMO wrongfully denied payment on multiple claims involving long-term acute care hospital stays. In this 2013 victory, Mr. Klein argued that because there was no direct contract with the hospital, the claims should be denied.
- Represented the Texas Association of Health Plans and prepared its amicus brief at the Texas Supreme Court in support of Aetna in the only healthcare Prompt Pay case to reach the Texas Supreme Court. In April 2013, the court ruled in Aetna’s favor.
- Obtained a significant arbitration award in a dispute involving the expulsion of several medical partners from an imaging center partnership. The case involved breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract in the expulsion of the medical partners, among other issues.
- Obtained a significant arbitration award in a dispute involving the expulsion of a medical partner from an ambulatory surgery center partnership. The case involved allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract, sham peer review, defamation and other issues.
- Obtained a ruling on behalf of a large HMO that private medical providers had no private right of action against the HMO for alleged violations of the HMO delegation oversight statute.
- Obtained a ruling that the Texas Attorney General and the Texas Department of Insurance could not impose civil penalties against an HMO under the Prompt Pay Act in state court litigation.
- Obtained a summary judgment on behalf of a national rental company against the Texas Department of Insurance declaring that damage waivers were not insurance and hence could be sold without a license from the Department.
Presentations and Publications
Mr. Klein is a frequent speaker and writer regarding legal developments in Texas. He has been speaking and writing on the Texas Prompt Pay Act and the implications for health insurers. He also has written articles for Sedgwick’s Healthcare Law Newsletter on the Texas courts’ “double pay” theory of liability against HMOs. Mr. Klein’s speaking engagements and publications include:
- “Unauthorized Insurance: The Texas Story With National Context,” Journal of Texas Insurance Law, Vol. 13:4 (Fall 2015).
- “Subchapter B of Chapter 542: In Light of Christus, an Old Statute Gets a New Application. But is That What the Legislature Intended?” Journal of Texas Insurance Law, Vol. 12:5 (Spring 2014).
- “Endangered Species and Trade Secrets,” two-part series in “Insights” section, Natural Resources & Environment, American Bar Association (ABA), Vol. 28:3 (Winter 2013) and Vol. 28:4 (Spring 2014).
- Co-author, “The History and Constitutionality of the Commissioner’s Power of Restitution and Its Extension to the Prompt Pay Act,” Journal of Texas Insurance Law (Fall 2013).
- “Prompt Pay: Emerging Trends and Issues,” Texas Association of Health Plans (TAHP) Managed Care Conference, San Antonio, TX (2013).
- “Absent a Contract With the Provider, HMOs Are Not Liable for Unpaid Services,” Sedgwick’s Healthcare Law Newsletter (Spring 2013).
- “The Aransas Project v. Shaw: An Endangered Species Act Decision With Potential Implications for Water Rights,” Sedgwick’s Endangered Species Act Alert (April 2013).
- “Endangered Species and Trade Secrets,” Endangered Species Act Conference, sponsored by CLE International, Austin, TX (May 2013).
- “The Fair Housing Act & Municipal Zoning,” 2012 American Planning Association, National Planning Conference, Los Angeles, CA (2012).
- “What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Wind Energy Litigation: Trends and Highlights,” 4th Annual Wind Energy Conference, sponsored by CLE International, Austin, TX (2011).
- “The Fair Housing Act & Municipal Zoning,” The 2010 Land Use Conference held at the University of Texas School of Law, Austin, TX (2010).
- “30 Days Out: Tips for Being Prepared/Evidence,” Austin Bar Association’s 2009 Ultimate Trial Notebook Seminar, Austin, TX (2009).
- “Providing Affordable Housing: Fair Housing Act, Discrimination and Workforce/Affordable Housing Set-Asides,” 2009 ABA State and Local Government Law Fall Council Meeting, Austin, TX (2009).
- “The Practical Side of Trying a Fair Housing Act Discriminatory Impact Case,” LANDS Roundtable and Workshop, sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders, Atlanta, GA (Spring 2008).
- “The History and Constitutionality of the Insurance Commissioner’s Power of Restitution,” 2004 Annual Meeting of the Texas Association of Life & Health Insurers, Seattle, WA (2004).
- “To Sue or Not to Sue, Is That the Question? Do We Have Dual Regulation of Insurance in Texas?” 2002 Annual Meeting of the Texas Association of Life & Health Insurers, Monterey, CA (2002).
- “The Constitutionality of Texas Prompt Pay Act and Vulnerability to Challenge,” 2002 Prompt Pay Legal Summit, sponsored by the Health Insurance Association of America (2002).
- 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
- U.S. District Court (E.D. Tex.)
- U.S. District Court (S.D. Tex.)
- U.S. District Court (W.D. Tex.)
- J.D. (1981) University of Houston Law Center
- B.B.A. (1978) The University of Texas (Business Honors Program)
- Super Lawyer, Texas Monthly, recognized multiple times
- Super Lawyer, 2015 Super Lawyers Business Edition
Memberships and Affiliations
- American Bar Association
- American Health Lawyers Association
- State Bar of Texas (Insurance Section)
- Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America
- American Board of Trial Advocates
- University of Texas at Austin, Business Honors Program, Advisory Board