- Shareholder Rights & Fiduciary Duty Litigation
- Shareholder Derivative Litigation
- Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions
- Securities Fraud Class Actions
- University of Colorado Law School (J.D. 2010)
- University of Calgary (B.S. 2007)
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Hon. J. Clifford Wallace American Inn of Court
- Super Lawyer Rising Star (2016, 2017)
- George C. Aguilar and Michael J. Nicoud, Fee-Shifting after ATP Tour, ABA Securities Litigation Newsletter, June 9, 2015
- Kevin A. Seely and Michael J. Nicoud, Amex Oral Arguments Reveal Hope For Consumers, Law360, August 27, 2013
Michael J. Nicoud dedicates his practice to representing plaintiffs in complex litigation including shareholder derivative actions, securities class actions, antitrust actions, and consumer class actions. He has litigated cases involving antitrust violations, accounting fraud, insider trading, false and misleading statements, and other types of fiduciary misconduct at public companies. Mr. Nicoud earned the distinction of being named to Super Lawyer’s list of Rising Stars in 2016 and 2017 for his work on behalf of shareholders and consumers.
Prior to joining Robbins Arroyo LLP, Mr. Nicoud concentrated on business litigation at a San Diego based firm, where he worked on several trials, arbitrations, and mediations in cases before state and federal courts.
Mr. Nicoud received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Colorado Law School. While in law school, Mr. Nicoud served as an intern at the San Diego Public Defender’s Office and as an editor of the Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy. As a member of the mock trial team, Mr. Nicoud earned a best advocate award at the national level, and received the Melanie Ruth Vogl Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Trial Advocacy. Mr. Nicoud received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, with honors, from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.
Selected Noteworthy Cases
Gas Natural, Inc.
As an integral part of the litigation team in this shareholder derivative action on behalf of Gas Natural, Inc., Mr. Nicoud led an investigative effort that included interviewing multiple confidential witnesses and drafting a comprehensive amended complaint—the quality of which was one of several factors that led the court to appoint Robbins Arroyo LLP as lead counsel in this matter. Mr. Nicoud's drafting skills further assisted the litigation and were instrumental in the court's denial of defendants' motion to dismiss. Mr. Nicoud also led a discovery team, took a 30(b)(6) deposition of Gas Natural's corporate designee, and interviewed Gas Natural's CEO and former general counsel in connection with settlement negotiations. Finally, Mr. Nicoud participated in multiple mediations, and negotiated significant corporate governance reforms for the company, which formed the primary component of the successful settlement of the action. [case info]
Community Health Systems, Inc.
Robbins Arroyo LLP served as co-lead counsel in a shareholder derivative action against the officers and directors of Community Health Systems, Inc. alleging that the fiduciaries systematically steered patients into medically unnecessary inpatient admissions when they should have been treated as outpatients. Mr. Nicoud deposed a dozen individuals during this complex litigation, including CEOs and other C-suite executives from multiple hospitals, as well as other corporate representatives and a consulting physician. After five years of contentious litigation and discovery, with a $60 million cash payment to Community Health – what is believed to be one of the largest shareholder derivative recoveries in the Sixth Circuit to date – and the implementation of extensive corporate governance reforms. In re Community Health Systems, Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litig., No. 3:11-cv-00489 (M.D. Tenn. Jan. 20, 2017).
Computer Sciences Corporation
Shareholders in this derivative action on behalf of information technology and professional services company Computer Sciences Corporation ("CSC") alleged certain members of the company’s senior management and board of directors breached their fiduciary duties by allowing false and misleading statements regarding the company’s $5.4 billion contract with the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, the adequacy of CSC’s internal controls over financial reporting, and financial and accounting irregularities primarily related to CSC’s operations in Europe’s Nordic region. Mr. Nicoud managed the discovery team and oversaw and directed the significant document review challenges. Mr. Nicoud also helped to craft the extensive corporate governance enhancements to be implemented at the company as part of the settlement, including personnel changes, the implementation of a Global Ethics & Compliance Program, and additional finance and administration training to strengthen accounting procedures and processes, among others. Bainto v. Laphen, Consolidated Case No. A-12-661695-C (Nev. Dist. Ct.-Clark Cnty. Nov. 6, 2013).