Michael B. MacWilliams

MacWilliams Michael

Michael MacWilliams chairs Venable’s Commercial Litigation Maryland Practice Group and co-chairs the firm’s E-Discovery Task Force. Michael represents clients in commercial, securities and shareholder, business tort, and intellectual property disputes.

Michael tries cases—jury and non-jury—in state and federal courts, and before arbitration tribunals across the country. He employs his technical background and decades of dispute resolution experience to develop the percipient, inventive, and realistic strategies necessary in complex, high-stakes litigation. Whether through negotiation or in trials that proceed to verdict and beyond, Michael delivers results his clients count on to achieve their strategic business goals.


Representative Matters

  • Served as principal attorney in the mass removal of hundreds of Depakote personal injury cases from St. Clair County and Cook County, Illinois, and briefed the defense of that novel Class Action Fairness Act  "mass action" removal effort in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, resulting in a reported opinion
  • Led the defense against fraud claims brought by a Florida-based travel agency, involving ex-U.S. real estate investments. The lawsuit resulted in dismissal with prejudice, and no monies were paid in settlement
  • Worked with Venable partners Paul Strain and David Heubeck to obtain a multi-million-dollar willful infringement verdict in an electric fireplace patent dispute tried before a jury in federal court in Chicago
  • Served as lead counsel in a software licensing and copyright suit involving complex and novel "work for hire" issues, ultimately settling the case on terms that resolved competing claims to ownership of the software in favor of Venable's client
  • Served as lead counsel in a patent infringement case involving temperature-controlled liquid dispensers
  • Played a key role in obtaining a multi-million-dollar counterclaim award in a trade secret case involving the polymer chemistry aspects of a commercial construction material, spearheading the expert chemist witness program; jury concluded that plaintiff/counter-defendant had directly and wrongfully copied client's proprietary product




  • J.D. summa cum laude University of Baltimore School of Law 1994
    • Editor in chief, Law Review
    • Law Faculty Award as the Outstanding Graduate
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering Virginia Tech 1989
    • National Merit Scholar
    • Marshall Hahn Engineering Scholar

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, Board of Directors, Maryland Chapter, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, Rule Day Law Club
  • Author, "Rule 30(b)(6) Depositions Directed to ESI Issues," in Managing E-Discovery and ESI: From Pre-Litigation Through Trial, Paul W. Grimm et al., eds., 2011


  • The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2013 – 2022, 2024
  • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star, 2020 – 2024
  • Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial, Maryland, 2023
  • Managing Intellectual Property, IP Star, 2013 – 2015, 2020, 2023
  • Super Lawyers
    • Maryland, 2013 – 2018, 2021 – 2023
    • Personal Injury Defense: Products, Baltimore, 2013
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Peer Review Rated



  • Member, Board of Directors, Special Olympics Maryland