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2020 Attorneys of the Year: Michael Sacchet

Kate Leibsle//February 18, 2021//

2020 Attorneys of the Year: Michael Sacchet

Kate Leibsle//February 18, 2021//

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Michael Sacchet has built his career on helping people — first as an eighth-grade science and math teacher through Teach for America, and for the last seven years as an attorney.

As an attorney, Sacchet’s 2020 was taken up serving on the national leadership team for a mass tort case against 3M. The case was recently certified as the largest mass tort in the history of federal courts.

The Harvard Law School graduate has been at the forefront of determining whether 3M should be held liable for hearing loss suffered by thousands of military service members who used 3M earplugs.

Sacchet is hoping that the first trials will begin early this year. As the only member of Ciresi Conlin in a leadership position in the case, much of the work falls to him, but he is quick to give credit to all the attorneys nationwide on the case, and especially his colleague Megan Odom, who works with him here.

In June 2020, Sacchet offered a daylong argument against 3M’s global motion for summary judgment on the “government contractor defense,” which immunizes corporations that work with the government on making products. The federal judge ruled in Sacchet’s favor and publicly extolled his performance as “outstanding” — one of the best arguments she had observed in 18 years on the bench. More than 200,000 cases may now proceed to trial.

For Sacchet, that was all in a day’s work. His take on mass tort cases is that they are “high-risk, high-reward.” “I loved being a teacher, but I wanted to effectuate change on a macro level.”

“My goal is to be a force for good, representing people from all walks of life who deserve the very best representation but might not otherwise receive it. To level the playing field for everyone involved.”

Read more about Minnesota Lawyer’s superb class of Attorneys of the Year for 2020 here.

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