Member Spotlight – A Life of Testing: Why Michael Dailey continually prefers what’s new and untried

Michael Dailey is a man who likes to extend his limits, to challenge himself by learning or trying something new.

Over the years he has been a hiker, a runner, a long-distance cyclist and glacial mountaineer, attempting to scale 6000 and 7000 metre peaks in North America, South America and Europe.

The same might be said of his professional life. While he customarily handles cases as head of the Anderson Dailey commercial litigation practice, when the opportunity arrives to become involved in a wholly different kind of case, he takes it.

A good example is a case on which he is presently working and which is proceeding through the US Supreme Court. “I represent a former but very prominent professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Holder of two endowed University Chairs, he was falsely charged with stealing from the Institute where he had been working for over 15 years.”

The professor’s career was demolished when an extravagantly false and misleading investigation, (about which the professor was never informed and with findings of illegality that the professor was never given an opportunity to refute) was presented to local law enforcement. When criminal charges were dismissed four and a half years later, Michael filed a 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 malicious prosecution action on the professor’s behalf, seeking damages for his wrongful prosecution. It was the first such case he had ever filed.

The case proceeded through various stages, including an appeal to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals after the case was dismissed by the trial court. On appeal, Michael successfully argued that the professor could bring his case despite the fact his criminal proceeding had ended without any “indication of his innocence” appearing on the record, a prerequisite which had been embraced by 7 of the 12 separate US Circuit Courts of Appeal. As a consequence of Michael’s appeal, the Eleventh Circuit now stands alone in holding that a criminal case dismissal is sufficient if the circumstances attendant to its entry are “not inconsistent with a finding of innocence.” At its next term of court, the US Supreme Court will resolve this conflict now existing among the Circuits.

“I am pleased I could make a contribution to this important legal issue. Most importantly, I look forward to the day when my client’s damages can be fully recompensed.”

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