In that span of time, Michael has handled more than 30,000 cases and more than 100 jury trials, his efforts resulting in millions of dollars in recoveries for clients. He now oversees management of the cases that the firm is handling, applying his many years of experience to the process. “My forte, I think, is developing cases in terms of strategy,” he says. “And I know how to make sure we don’t make mistakes.”
A native of Trinidad, Colo., Michael knew from childhood that he wanted to be a lawyer because he was a fan of the Perry Mason TV show. “I told people I either wanted to be an actor or a lawyer,” he says. “And after a while, I realized that I was a little more likely to succeed at being a lawyer.”
Michael spent most of his childhood in Denver, having moved there with his family at the age of 3. He attended Denver public schools and got a B.A. degree from The Colorado College with a double major in sociology and economics. He then attended Texas Tech University School of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies, graduating with honors in 1975.
He then returned to Denver and worked with another lawyer for less than two years before partnering with a colleague to start a new firm. Initially, that firm was a general practice, handling a broad range of legal matters. But during the 1980s, Michael decided that he wanted to concentrate on helping people who were injured through no fault of their own, and by 1989 that became the sole focus of the firm.
Michael believes the steady growth of the firm is attributable to the 12 core values that he and the firm have established to guide its operation. To demonstrate how two of those core values — service and trust — inform his own day-to-day work, Michael makes sure that he personally meets every client with an injury case from the first time they visit the firm.
“I want them to know that I’m there, and I try to understand where they’re coming from,” he says. “I also think it makes me a better lawyer and a better person, too.”
His commitment to helping people is not limited to his own practice and his own firm. Michael is a member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Board of Directors, has been a frequent speaker at professional gatherings, and is the founder of the Civic Engagement Institute, an organization that helps youth in Denver learn about community responsibility. He is also a board member of the Latino Victory Project in Washington, D.C., which aspires to help Latinos get elected to public office, and is active in the NAACP and the Native American Rights Fund.
In his spare time, Michael pursues a passionate interest in music — he plays saxophone and flute and is learning piano — and enjoys cooking and baking. He is also interested in neurolinguistics programming and has written a book on spiritual matters.
With approximately 17,000 injury cases in the past 40 years, Michael Sawaya is considered an expert in personal injury law.
If you feel like you have a potential case in the Rocky Mountain Region, feel free to contact Michael and his staff of Colorado personal injury attorneys at The Sawaya Law Firm to see how they may help you.