Michael H. Sampson
“Michael Sampson has helped me in the past untangle some gnarly cannabis insurance issues. If you need help navigating cannabis insurance, there is no one better than Mike!” – Alissa Lipson Jubelirer, Co-Founder at CannaMatch
“[Mike gave] probably the most substantive insurance-related webinar for cannabis I’ve ever seen, they typically tend to be much more entry-level. Great stuff.” – Rich Golz, CIC Principal at Symphony Grow
Michael H. Sampson is a Partner with Leech Tishman and a member of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, where he leads the Insurance Coverage Group. Mike also co-leads the Cannabis Industry Group. He is also a member of the Data Privacy & Cybersecurity, Emerging Cyber Technologies and Entertainment Industry Groups. Based in the Pittsburgh office, Mike represents diverse clients in a variety of complex civil and commercial litigation and other matters across the country, including, but not limited to, matters involving the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and similar state statutes.
Mike focuses his insurance coverage practice on assisting policyholders across various industries to address and resolve complicated insurance coverage matters relating to commercial general liability policies, property insurance, management liability coverages, cyber policies, and many other types of insurance, such as hull and marine liability, specie insurance, and pollution liability insurance. He has helped policyholders address insurance coverage matters involving a wide range of subjects, including toxic torts, hurricane damage, COVID-19, fire, shootings, boat damage, and personal health care.
While Mike routinely counsels clients at various stages on a wide range of insurance coverage matters (including policy review, placement, and procurement, as well as claim submission, documentation, and resolution), a significant portion of his practice is dedicated to litigating coverage claims against insurance companies and/or third-party claims administrators.
Mike also regularly advises U.S. and international cannabis-related businesses, as well as ancillary businesses servicing the U.S. cannabis industry. He frequently helps clients in the state-compliant medical and adult-use cannabis, as well as the CBD and hemp markets, comply with U.S. federal law (in particular, the federal Controlled Substances Act), understand the potential for aiding-and-abetting liability, navigate the conflict between federal and state laws, adhere to applicable state regulations, and protect their contractual rights. Bridging his insurance coverage and cannabis law practices, Mike also routinely assists cannabis dispensaries, REITs, and other cannabis-related businesses with various insurance coverage and risk management matters, including, but not limited to, contractual risk transfer provisions.
Recognized by the Chicago Tribune as a “prominent cannabis industry attorney,” Mike’s experience stretches beyond the courtroom to the classroom. Appointed an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Mike teaches the law school’s “Cannabis and the Law” course, a unique, cutting-edge class that he designed.
Representing policyholders, as well as other clients, Mike regularly appears in federal and state trial and appellate courts across the country. He was part of a team that obtained in 2017 what was understood to be, at least at that time, the largest bad-faith verdict against an insurance company in Pennsylvania. In addition to insurer bad-faith, Mike has successfully litigated insurance-coverage issues as diverse as trigger of coverage, other-insurance clauses, and application of the “employer’s liability” exclusion.
Mike also has unique experience working with and representing Old Order Amish families across the United States. In that regard, he has advised Amish individuals denied U.S. permanent resident status due to their religious beliefs and has litigated against the U.S. government to resolve these complicated disputes. For his pro bono work on Old Order Amish and other matters, Mike has received significant national and local media attention.
A detailed list of Mike’s representative experience is available here.
J.D. with honors, University of Chicago Law School
B.A. with high distinction in Government, University of Virginia
District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
Reed Smith LLP
Bredhoff & Kaiser, P.L.L.C.
Anti-Defamation League, Legal Affairs Department
Reed Smith LLP Sean Halpin Award, Honorable Mention (2009, 2019)
Congregation Dor Hadash (Member-at-Large, Board of Directors)
University of Pittsburgh School of Law (Adjunct Professor of Law)
A detailed list of Mike’s publications, is available here.
Representative Seminars & Presentations
A detailed list of Mike’s seminars & presentations, is available here.
A detailed list of Mike’s press mentions, is available here.