Michael D. Sharkey

Shareholder

Legal Team

Paralegal:
Legal Secretary:

Michael D. Sharkey

Shareholder

Michael is a veteran attorney with a passion and enthusiasm for litigation. He also possesses a unique knowledge of the funeral industry and mortuary law. He is currently General Counsel to the Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association. He represents and advises funeral homes, crematories and cemeteries on legal and business matters. He also represents licensed professionals in administrative disciplinary hearings before the Minnesota Department of Health and the Federal Trade Commission. Before he became an attorney, he was a Funeral Director with a large funeral chapel and cemetery operation in the metropolitan area.

Michael was previously in-house counsel and on the trial team with Nationwide Insurance Company where he was involved in litigation and arbitration. Prior to that, Michael worked as an attorney with a local civil litigation law firm focusing on insurance coverage, premises liability, industrial equipment, utility liability, construction defect, and toxic/mass tort cases.

Michael is a qualified No-Fault Arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association.

He has been listed as a Minnesota Rising Star ­since 2009.

Michael also served in the United States Marine Corps.

Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, 2006
  • Wisconsin, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2013
Publications
  • Author, There Be Monsters Out There: Caution for Wisconsin Funeral Homes Who Work With Out of State Funeral Providers, Spotlight Express, WFDA, March 2016
  • Author, Defending the Agricultural Spray Drift Case: Microns, Biochemistry, and Phantom Phenomenon, Minnesota Defense, Spring 2015
  • Author, Fingerprints from Beyond the Grave: Liability and Risk Management for Wisconsin Funeral Establishments Concerning Capturing Biometrics of the Deceased, Spotlight Express, WFDA, April 2015
  • Author, Minnesota’s Newly Updated No-Fault Law and Its Effect on Funeral Arrangements: Relief for Your Families and Opportunities for Your Business, Bulletin, MFDA, Spring 2015
  • Author, ‘Til Death Do Us Part Redux: Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage in Wisconsin and the Implications for Wisconsin Funeral Directors, The Spotlight, WFDA, October 2014
  • Author, ‘Til Death Do Us Part: How Wisconsin Law Prevents Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Couples From Making Burial or Cremation Decisions When a Partner Dies in Wisconsin, Minnesota Defense, Spring 2014
Presentations
  • Speaker, An Update on Wisconsin Mortuary Law, presented at the WFDA Annual Convention 2016
  • Speaker, A Foot in the Grave and A Hand in Your Pocket: Legal Concerns for Cemeteries, presented at the Wisconsin Cemetery and Cremation Association Convention 2016
  • Speaker, Grave Matters: A Survey of Risk Management and Litigation Avoidance Lessons for Cemeteries, presented to the Minnesota Association of Cemeteries Annual Conference 2016.
  • Speaker, Grave Matters: An Introduction to Claims Against Funeral Homes, Crematories, and Cemeteries, presented in 2016 to the Twin Cities Claims Association.
  • Speaker, A Grave Situation: Mortuary Litigation and Risk Management for Funeral Homes, Crematories, and Cemeteries, presented to the Arrowhead Funeral Directors Association Annual Conference 2016
  • Speaker, Defend Your Home: A Guide to Modern Funeral, Crematory, and Cemetery Litigation, presented to the National Funeral Directors Association International Expo in Philadelphia, 2016
  • Featured on MPR as an expert on autopsy law, February 2015
  • Speaker, A Foot in the Grave and a Hand in Your Pocket: Legal Concerns for Cemeteries, Minnesota Association of Cemeteries Annual Conference, 2015
  • Speaker, Cultural and Historical Aspects of Grief from the Paleolithic to 1799, WFDA Annual Convention, 2015
  • Speaker, Defending the Funeral Home, Crematory, and Cemetery Case, Secura Insurance Annual Claims Conference, 2014
  • Speaker, Protecting Your Business, Reputation, and Pocketbook, WFDA Annual Convention, 2014
  • Speaker, Protecting Your Business, Reputation, and Pocketbook, MFDA Annual Conference, 2014
  • Speaker, When Lawsuits Happen to Good People, MFDA Annual Conference, 2012
Education
  • J.D., University of St. Thomas School of Law, 2004
  • Law Review, Senior Editor 2003-2004; Associate Editor 2002-2003
  • B.S., University of Minnesota, Mortuary Science, 1998
  • B.S., University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Biology, 1996
Associations & Memberships
  • Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Wisconsin Bar Association
  • Minnesota Association of Cemeteries
  • Minnesota Funeral Directors Association
  • National Funeral Directors Association
  • Qualified No-Fault Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association
  • Designated as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice, 2016