Jacob Mihm – Partner

Jake concentrates his practice in general commercial litigation, with an emphasis on complex insurance coverage litigation.  Jake has represented policyholders ranging from Fortune 500 companies, to municipalities and private mid-size companies.  The positive outcome of Jake’s work has paid out defense and indemnity of hundreds of millions of dollars.

For example, Jake prevailed as trial counsel for a mining and chemical company in a landmark insurance coverage trial held over a two-year period against dozens of insurance companies.  The trial court victories included:  (1) application of policyholder-friendly continuous trigger to long-tail claims alleging talc contains asbestos and causes asbestos-related diseases; (2) application of the policyholder-friendly “Unavailability Rule” where defense and indemnity costs are only spread across years in which insurance coverage was available for purchase by the policyholder – thereby limiting policyholder liability; and, (3) rejection of the insurers’ attempt to apply standard and absolute pollution exclusions to bar coverage for asbestos-related claims.  Jake also represented the client in the Connecticut Appellate Court and handled oral argument regarding continuous trigger, the Unavailability Rule, and other issues.  The Connecticut Appellate Court affirmed the trial court on these issues in a whopping 250 page opinion.  Before the Connecticut Supreme Court, Jake handled oral argument regarding continuous trigger, the “Unavailability Rule, and the pollution exclusions.  In 2019, the Connecticut Supreme Court upheld the policyholder-friendly rulings on continuous trigger and the Unavailability Rule and affirmed the lower court rulings that pollution exclusions only apply to traditional environmental pollution and not to run-of-the-mill products liability claims.  Law360® listed the decision first among four of “The Biggest Property & Casualty Rulings of 2019.”  For more details about this case click here.

Complex Insurance Recovery Experience Includes:

  • Representing a housing authority in its effort to secure insurance coverage for underlying environmental claims involving PCB, PAH and other contamination;
  • Representing a Chicago-based private equity firm in its effort to capture $20 million from an indemnity escrow account relating to its sale of a portfolio company;
  • Representing a Fortune 500 policyholder in its effort to secure insurance coverage for underlying environmental bodily injury and property damage claims involving PCB contamination;
  • Representing corporate policyholders of all sizes in their efforts to secure insurance for underlying asbestos claims.
  • Representing corporate policyholders of all sizes in their efforts to secure insurance for first-party property claims; and
  • Representing policyholders in their efforts to recover from insurance companies in liquidation or in schemes of arrangement.

General Commercial Litigation Experience includes:

  • Representing a Fortune 50 company in a patent infringement, false advertising and breach of contract lawsuit alleging hundreds of millions of dollars in damages;
  • Representing a leading telecommunications company in various types of litigation, including breach of contract and tort cases;
  • Representing large, full-service brokerage firms in litigating injunctive proceedings and arbitration matters, including prosecuting restrictive covenant enforcement, defending customer initiated actions, and defending wrongful termination cases;
  • Representing a former large shareholder of a publicly traded company in an action alleging securities fraud and breach of fiduciary duty against officers, directors and the corporation arising from a large stock buyback;
  • Representing corporate clients in federal actions alleging fraud and alleged violations of RICO; and
  • Conducting internal investigations for both privately held and publicly traded companies, including energy suppliers, securities firms, and venture capital entities, regarding compliance with consumer protection and safety laws.

Prior to joining Hoke LLC, Jake was a partner in Ungaretti & Harris, LLP’s Litigation Group (now part of Nixon Peabody LLP).  Prior to joining Ungaretti & Harris, Jake clerked for the Honorable Paul E. Plunkett, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois.

Courts & Adjudicative Bodies

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

Education

  • Southern Illinois University School of Law (J.D., 2000)
  • Elected by faculty to Order of Coif, for excellence in legal writing and oral advocacy
  • Loras College, B.A., 1997, with honors.

Admissions

  • Illinois, 2000