People

Michael Smith focuses on securities and shareholder litigation, along with related board investigations. A partner and Co-chair of our Securities and Shareholder Litigation practice, Michael represents corporate clients in a wide range of matters related to corporate governance and fiduciary duties.

Michael represents corporations, officers and directors in a wide variety of shareholder disputes, including securities fraud class actions, shareholder derivative litigation, merger litigation, and audit committee and other board committee investigations. He has appeared in courts throughout the southeastern United States, and in New York, Delaware, California, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Illinois, Minnesota and Texas.

A frequent speaker and writer on securities litigation topics, Michael has been recognized as a "Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation. He has also received recognition from The Best Lawyers in America for as well as from Legal 500 US .

Full Bio

Credentials

J.D., Harvard University, cum laude

A.B., University of Georgia, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Georgia

Atlanta Bar Association

State Bar of Georgia

Matters

Defense of Equifax, Inc. and certain of its officers in securities class action litigation and related government investigations arising out of the consumer data breach announced in September 2017 affecting 148 million consumers.

Defense of SCANA Corp. and certain of its directors and officers in 10b-5 securities class action and shareholder derivative litigation arising out of the Company’s 2017 decision to cease construction of two nuclear power units in South Carolina.

Defense of FleetCor Technologies, Inc. and certain of its officers in 10b-5 securities class action litigation arising out of stock drops following publication of short-seller reports in 2017 criticizing the Company’s practices in billing fuel cardholders certain fees.

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Matters

Defense of Equifax, Inc. and certain of its officers in securities class action litigation and related government investigations arising out of the consumer data breach announced in September 2017 affecting 148 million consumers.

Defense of SCANA Corp. and certain of its directors and officers in 10b-5 securities class action and shareholder derivative litigation arising out of the Company’s 2017 decision to cease construction of two nuclear power units in South Carolina.

Defense of FleetCor Technologies, Inc. and certain of its officers in 10b-5 securities class action litigation arising out of stock drops following publication of short-seller reports in 2017 criticizing the Company’s practices in billing fuel cardholders certain fees.

Defense of TransEnterix, Inc. and its board of directors in 10b-5 securities class action and related shareholder derivative litigation arising out of the FDA’s 2016 rejection of the company’s 501(k) substantial equivalence submission for its robotic surgery system. Motion to dismiss the securities suit was granted in full in September 2017, which led to the voluntary dismissal of all derivative litigation.

Defense of Galectin Therapeutics, Inc. and its directors and officers in 10b-5 securities class action and related shareholder derivative litigation arising out of stock price drop following announcement of results of Phase 1 clinical trial and allegations that Galectin paid a stock promotion firm to place articles touting Galectin and its prospects. Won motions to dismiss both actions in 2015 and 2016. Dismissal of 10b-5 class action affirmed on appeal by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Defense of EndoChoice Holdings and its board of directors in securities class action litigation under the Securities Act of 1933 challenging the company’s 2015 initial public offering.

Defense of World Acceptance Corporation in federal securities class action and related shareholder derivative litigation arising out of a regulatory investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Defense of Aeterna Zentaris, Inc. and its directors and officers in 10b-5 securities class action litigation arising out of stock price drop following announcement of the FDA’s rejection of the company’s NDA for approval of its Macrilen drug for testing of Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency.

Defense of AGL Resources Inc. and its board of directors in securities class action litigation challenging AGL’s agreement to merge with The Southern Company in a transaction valued over $12 billion.

Defense of The Home Depot, Inc. and its directors and officers in various securities class actions and shareholder derivative suits arising out of return-to-vender credit issues, executive compensation, and stock options. Grant of motion to dismiss securities class action affirmed by the 11th Circuit.

Defense of First Horizon National Corporation/First Tennessee Bank and its directors and officers in shareholder derivative litigation in Tennessee alleging improper board oversight leading to losses in the credit crisis. Won motion to dismiss all claims, which was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Defense of Tractor Supply Company and its Board of Directors in a shareholder derivative action based on “whistleblower” allegations of accounting manipulations. Won motion to dismiss all claims.

Matters

Defense of Equifax, Inc. and certain of its officers in securities class action litigation and related government investigations arising out of the consumer data breach announced in September 2017 affecting 148 million consumers.

Defense of SCANA Corp. and certain of its directors and officers in 10b-5 securities class action and shareholder derivative litigation arising out of the Company’s 2017 decision to cease construction of two nuclear power units in South Carolina.

Defense of FleetCor Technologies, Inc. and certain of its officers in 10b-5 securities class action litigation arising out of stock drops following publication of short-seller reports in 2017 criticizing the Company’s practices in billing fuel cardholders certain fees.

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Defense of Equifax, Inc. and certain of its officers in securities class action litigation and related government investigations arising out of the consumer data breach announced in September 2017 affecting 148 million consumers.

Defense of SCANA Corp. and certain of its directors and officers in 10b-5 securities class action and shareholder derivative litigation arising out of the Company’s 2017 decision to cease construction of two nuclear power units in South Carolina.

Defense of FleetCor Technologies, Inc. and certain of its officers in 10b-5 securities class action litigation arising out of stock drops following publication of short-seller reports in 2017 criticizing the Company’s practices in billing fuel cardholders certain fees.

Defense of TransEnterix, Inc. and its board of directors in 10b-5 securities class action and related shareholder derivative litigation arising out of the FDA’s 2016 rejection of the company’s 501(k) substantial equivalence submission for its robotic surgery system. Motion to dismiss the securities suit was granted in full in September 2017, which led to the voluntary dismissal of all derivative litigation.

Defense of Galectin Therapeutics, Inc. and its directors and officers in 10b-5 securities class action and related shareholder derivative litigation arising out of stock price drop following announcement of results of Phase 1 clinical trial and allegations that Galectin paid a stock promotion firm to place articles touting Galectin and its prospects. Won motions to dismiss both actions in 2015 and 2016. Dismissal of 10b-5 class action affirmed on appeal by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Defense of EndoChoice Holdings and its board of directors in securities class action litigation under the Securities Act of 1933 challenging the company’s 2015 initial public offering.

Defense of World Acceptance Corporation in federal securities class action and related shareholder derivative litigation arising out of a regulatory investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Defense of Aeterna Zentaris, Inc. and its directors and officers in 10b-5 securities class action litigation arising out of stock price drop following announcement of the FDA’s rejection of the company’s NDA for approval of its Macrilen drug for testing of Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency.

Defense of AGL Resources Inc. and its board of directors in securities class action litigation challenging AGL’s agreement to merge with The Southern Company in a transaction valued over $12 billion.

Defense of The Home Depot, Inc. and its directors and officers in various securities class actions and shareholder derivative suits arising out of return-to-vender credit issues, executive compensation, and stock options. Grant of motion to dismiss securities class action affirmed by the 11th Circuit.

Defense of First Horizon National Corporation/First Tennessee Bank and its directors and officers in shareholder derivative litigation in Tennessee alleging improper board oversight leading to losses in the credit crisis. Won motion to dismiss all claims, which was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Defense of Tractor Supply Company and its Board of Directors in a shareholder derivative action based on “whistleblower” allegations of accounting manipulations. Won motion to dismiss all claims.

Credentials

J.D., Harvard University, cum laude

A.B., University of Georgia, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Georgia

Atlanta Bar Association

State Bar of Georgia