E. Michelle Drake is a skilled trial lawyer dedicated to advancing her clients' interests.
As a graduate of both Harvard Law School and Oxford University who learned to practice law by trying high stakes criminal cases, Michelle possesses a rare combination of elite academic pedigree and real world trial skills.
Michelle started her career working as a public defender in Atlanta, Georgia. During that time, Michelle was lead counsel in hundreds of felony criminal cases. She tried many cases, including five murder cases, to verdict. After working as a public defender for several years, Michelle founded her own law firm and expanded her practice to include civil cases. In 2007, Michelle moved back to her home state of Minnesota and decided to join Nichols Kaster.
Michelle has represented thousands of employees and consumers, in both individual and class cases. Her efforts have resulted in her clients recovering millions of dollars.
Michelle has never lost her desire to spend her career fighting for the rights of individuals. Whether her clients are misclassified employees or consumers who have been treated unfairly by their bank, Michelle is happiest fighting on the side of the underdog. She is a fierce and fearless litigator and always puts her clients' interests first.
Michelle's dry wit and straightforward speaking style have made her a valued member of the local and national community of consumer and employee rights litigators. She has spoken at numerous continuing legal education seminars. Michelle’s opinions have been published in the National Law Journal, and her cases were named as "Lawsuits of the Year" by Minnesota Law & Politics in both 2008 and 2009. Michelle has been named to the Rising Stars list by Minnesota Super Lawyers. Michelle leads the firm’s Consumer Class Action Team, which helps originate individual and class action cases directed at achieving justice for consumers. In particular, Michelle is currently lead counsel on several cases involving Fair Credit Reporting Act violations.
Licensed since 2001
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|MN||Authorized to practice||2007||06/04/2015|
|GA||Active Member in Good Standing||2001||08/22/2015|
|Award Name||Grantor||Date Granted|
|Super Lawyer||Super Lawyers Magazine||2013|
|Rising Star||Super Lawyers Magazine||2012|
|Rising Star||Super Lawyers Magazine||2011|
|Thurgood Marshall Defender Award||Committee for Public Counsel Services||2001|
|Partner||Nichols Kaster, LLP||2011 - Present|
|Association Name||Position Name||Duration|
|Minnesota State Bar Association Consumer Litigation Section||At-Large Council Member||2013 - 2014|
|Federal Practice Committee, U.S. District Court of Minnesota||Appointed Member||2010 - Present|
|American Bar Association, Business Law Section||Member||N/A|
|Minnesota Association for Justice||Member||N/A|
|National Association of Consumer Advocates||Member||N/A|
|Federal Bar Association||Member||N/A|
|Children's Law Center of Minnesota||Volunteer Attorney||N/A|
|American Bar Association||Member||N/A|
|National Lawyers Guild||Member||N/A|
|American Civil Liberties Union||Member||N/A|
|Minnesota Women Lawyers||Member||N/A|
|National Employment Lawyers Association||Member||N/A|
|Hennepin County Bar Association||Member||N/A|
|Minnesota State Bar Association||Member||N/A|
|Oxford University||N/A||MS - Master of Science||1998|
|Minnesota Continuing Legal Education||Employment Law 360||2014|
|Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute||The Misclassification Mess-What Do You Do If You Have Misclassified Workers as Exempt?”||2013|
|The Civil Litigator's Annaul Short Course||5 Developments in E-Discovery||2013|
|Minnesota Continuing Legal Education Seminar||Beyond the Headlines – What Every Lawyer Should Know About the U.S. Supreme Court’s Big New Decisions||2013|
|Minnesota Continuing Legal Education Seminar||The Complete Lawyer: Quick Answers to Questions about Consumer Law||2013|
|Bridgeport Class Action Conference||Precertification Discovery Strategies including Issues of Standing & Certification||2013|
|American Bar Association Business Law Section Spring Meeting||Housing Finance – Consumer Financial Services||2013|
|National Business Institute Webinar||Federal Court 101||2012|
|Minnesota Continuing Legal Education Webcast||Employment Law Series: Ethics Issues for Employment Law Lawyers||2012|
|Goodwill Easter Seals Presentation||Employment Rights & Criminal Backgrounds in the Context of the FCRA and Title VII||2012|
|National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Annual Convention||Litigation and the Federal Rules. What Every Paralegal Should Know||2011|
|Minnesota Continuing Legal Education Seminar||Real World Ethics Issues and Answers for the Employment Lawyer||2011|
|Minnesota Continuing Legal Education Seminar||The Complete Lawyer: Consumer Law 101||2011|
|Defending and Managing Retaliation and Discrimination Claims Conference||Dukes v. Wal-Mart: the View from the Plaintiff’s Bar.||2011|
|Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute||Strategic Discovery Practice||2010|
|Minnesota Paralegal Association Annual Convention||Maintaining Privilege and Confidentiality||2010|
|Minnesota Federal Bar Association Annual Seminar||Recent Trends in FLSA Collective Actions Panel||2010|
|Minnesota Continuing Legal Education Seminar||How to Practice in Federal Court: Complaints, Answers, and Service of Process||2010|
|Minnesota Continuing Legal Education Panel||Impact of Twombly and Iqbal on the Pleading Standard||2010|
|Minnesota Continuing Legal Education Panel||Real-World Ethics, Issues, and Answers for the Employment Lawyer||2010|
|National Law Journal Interview||Recent wave of tip pooling cases||2009|
|Minnesota Institute for Continuing Legal Education||Strategic Discovery: How to Fight Discovery Abuses and Win Discovery Disputes||2009|
|Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Investigator Training||Who is the Boss? Joint employers, successor employers, and integrated enterprises||2008|
|Advanced Capital Defender Training||Litigating Capital Cases Under Georgia's New Discovery Statues||2006|
|Advanced Capital Defender Training||Responding to Changes in Georgia's Criminal Discovery Statutes||2005|