Mr. Giel practices family law and family law appeals exclusively. But his prior experience in high-stakes business litigation and appeals helps him represent you when you’re facing the most important and emotionally charged challenges in your life: those affecting you and your children. As a business litigator, he was selected by Florida Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Florida Super Lawyers also selected Mike as a Rising Star in appellate law in 2014 and 2015.
His experience before joining J. Demere Mason, P.A. includes handling complex commercial litigation and appeals with the Jacksonville office of an international law firm and a Jacksonville business litigation firm. He has represented some of America’s largest financial institutions and businesses in class actions and business, insurance, real estate, or intellectual property disputes. He also worked as a vice president and litigation counsel for a Jacksonville-based bank. Mike draws on this background to help clients grappling with the complex financial issues that can arise in a divorce, support, or modification proceeding, such as the valuation and distribution of properties, businesses, retirement funds, and other assets.
Mike has remained dedicated to effective appellate advocacy throughout his legal career. He graduated from the prestigious University of Chicago Law School, where he was a member of the Chicago Journal of International Law and participated in moot court. After graduation, he clerked for Judge Emerson R. Thompson, Jr. of Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal. There, by analyzing hundreds of briefs and assisting the court with the legal research and writing required to resolve appeals, he gained invaluable perspective on how judges evaluate and decide cases. He relies on that experience when crafting arguments designed to convince the appellate court to rule in favor of his clients. He has prepared and filed briefs in most of Florida’s district courts of appeal, the Florida Supreme Court, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
His appellate practice, supplemented by legal research and publication, also shapes his approach to litigating family law cases at the trial level. Handling appeals and preparing legal publications requires familiarity with the latest family law cases and current legal trends. Such familiarity helps clarify the central factual and legal issues in each family law trial. Focusing on the critical points of your case serves the goal of pursuing an efficient, cost-effective resolution that will withstand appeal. Mike handles family law appeals anywhere in the state of Florida.
Mike gained his most valuable experience before he even finished college. He was a machinegunner in the United States Marine Corps and finished active duty as a Sergeant. As a lawyer, he brings to bear the same dedication and tenacity fostered in the Marine Corps. He has represented sailors in federal or state courts and in administrative proceedings. He is a member of the Jacksonville Semper Fidelis Society, an organization of honorably discharged Marines and Navy corpsmen, chaplains, or surgeons. Most recently, he was appointed to serve on the Military Affairs Committee of the Florida Bar until 2018. Finally, having served as a team leader and squad leader, Mike appreciates the challenges facing servicemembers and their families, especially those contemplating military divorce, paternity issues, or modifications of alimony, child support, or parenting plans.
Mike and his wife, Ana Maria, have been married for over a decade and are committed members of St. Luke’s Parish. They have three children who, like Mike, love cheering on the Jacksonville Suns, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Jacksonville Axemen. Together, they enjoy the wealth of outdoor activities offered in Jacksonville – but, unfortunately, many of Mike’s fishing trips teach the children why it’s called fishing, not catching.
Rising Star (Business Litigation), Florida Super Lawyers – 2010, 2011, 2012
Rising Star (Appellate), Florida Super Lawyers – 2014, 2015
Chicago Journal of International Law – 2004-2005
Superb (10.0) Rating, AVVO
U.S. Supreme Court, 2009
Florida Bar, 2005
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, 2005
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, 2005
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, 2006
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 2006
J.D., University of Chicago, 2005
B.A., cum laude, University of South Florida, 2002
Publications and Speaking Engagements
Wurtz v. Rawlings Co.: The Second Circuit Resurrects a Class Action Against Insurers Raiding Plaintiffs’ Tort Settlements In Defiance of New York’s Anti-Subrogation Law, The AAJ Insurance Law Newsletter, 2014.
Protecting the Ruling on Your Motion in Limine, The Lawyer, 2014.
Moderator, Professionalism Presentation and Panel Discussion, Practice Before the Fifth District Court of Appeal Continuing Legal Education Seminar, 2010.
Key Considerations for Litigating Class Action Waivers within Arbitration Agreements, Part II, Conflict Management, 2009.
Key Considerations for Litigating Class Action Waivers within Arbitration Agreements, Part I, Conflict Management, 2009.
Instructor, Avoiding Fundamentally Erroneous Jury Instructions CLE, Orange County State Attorney’s Office, 2008.
Recent Developments in Commercial Litigation, Fla. Civil Trial Cert. Review, 2008 (co-authored with David M. Wells).
Accounting for Accountants’ Breaches of Fiduciary Duty in Motions to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment, ABA Business Torts Journal, 2007.
Litigating Lost Profits for New Businesses, ABA Commercial and Business Litigation Newsletter, 2007.
“Practically Capable of Maritime Transport”: Semantics and the Definition of Vessel after Stewart v. Dutra Construction Co., ABA –TIPS, Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee Newsletter, 2007.
Fifteen Common Mistakes in Appellate Briefs, The Record: The Journal of The Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice Section, 2007 (co-authored with Elaine Williams, Rob Seegmiller, and David Barr).
Avoiding Fundamentally Erroneous Jury Instructions: Pointers for Counsel in Criminal Trials and Appeals, Florida Bar Journal, 2007.
Young Lawyers’ Focus: Making the Most of Your Appellate Clerkship, ABA Appellate Practice Journal, 2007.
Apprendi in Florida: Jury Findings on Sentencing Factors and Elements, Retroactivity, and Harmless Error in Non-Death Penalty Cases, The Record: The Journal of The Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice Section, 2006.
Florida Bar Association
Member of the Appellate Practice Section and Family Law Section
Assistant Editor of the Record: the Journal of the Appellate Practice Section
Member of the Appellate Practice Section’s Publications Committee
Jacksonville Bar Association
Catholic Lawyers Guild
Jacksonville Semper Fidelis Society
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Certified Divorce Financial Analyst
Business Valuators / CPAs