Heyl Royster

Michael Gatling

Practice Groups:

Insurance Services

Trucking

Office Locations:

Ridgeland (Jackson), MS

Phone: 800.642.7471

Email Me

Education

  • Master of Business Administration, Millsaps College, 2013
  • Juris Doctor, University of Mississippi, 2004
  • Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University, 1999
  • Bachelor of Science, Zoology, North Carolina State University, 1997

Year Joined Firm

2021

 

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Heyl Royster

 

Attorneys

Michael Gatling (Of Counsel)

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Mike’s legal career has largely focused on the defense of insurers and their insureds, from garden variety auto and trucking accidents to premises liability shooting cases. Over the last fourteen (14) years, Mike has become more involved in first-party litigation and claims investigation, specializing in handling suspected fraud and coverage issues for his insurance clients. With respect to special investigations for insurance carriers, Mike has investigated and litigated hundreds of suspected fraudulent claims, including multi-million-dollar warehouse and business fires, flood and catastrophic damage claims, house fires and water loss damage claims, fraud rings, auto thefts and fires, tractor trailer thefts and fires, tour bus thefts and fires, staged auto accidents and personal injury claims, merchandise shrinkage, premises liability violence/assault claims and cargo claims.
 
Mike is also a Certified Insurance Fraud Investigator and a registered CellHawk user.

Significant Cases

  • Hammons v. Navarre 252 So. 3d 9 (Miss. 2018); Key concept(s): the relation-back doctrine and fictitious defendants
  • Mullen v. Miss. Farm Bureau Cas. Ins. Co. 98 So. 3d 1082 (Miss. Ct. App. 2012); Key concept(s): insured’s duty to cooperate and the EUO defense
  • IDS Prop. Cas. Ins. Co. v. Meeks 537 Fed. Appx. 513 (5th Cir. 2013); Key concept(s): material misrepresentations and avoidance of policy
  • Kelly v. Labouisse 364 Fed. Appx. 895 (5th Cir. 2010); Key concept(s): party admissions and hearsay
  • Kenney v. Foremost Ins. Co. 200 So. 3d 1048 (Miss. 2016); Key concept(s): choice of law, UM waivers
  • Miss. Farm Bureau Cas. Ins. Co. v. Bell 275 F. Supp. 3d 790 (S.D. Miss. 2017); Key concept(s): domicile and diversity jurisdiction

Publications

  • “Lightning Really Didn’t Strike Twice: Rule 404(b) and Civil Arson Litigation,” Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association (2013)

Public Speaking

  • “Cell Phone Investigation”
    Panelist, Mississippi Fire Investigators Association Annual Meeting 2021
  • Daubert and Fire Investigation”
    Mississippi Fire Investigators Association Annual Meeting 2019
  • “Insurance Fraud in Mississippi”
    EMC Insurance Company 2017
  • “Preventing CAT Fraud”
    Panelist, Alabama/Mississippi Insurance Fraud & Vehicle Crime Summit 2017
  • “Insurance Company Fire Investigation”
    Professional Insurance Agents Association of Mississippi 2015
  • “Fire Investigation for Insurers”
    Panelist, Mississippi State Fire College 2013

Professional Recognition

  • Mississippi Super Lawyers list (2020-2021) 
  • Mississippi’s America’s Top 100 Civil Defense Litigator (2019 & 2020)
  • Madison County Leadership

Professional Associations

  • Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association
  • Mississippi Fire Investigators Association
  • International Association of Special Investigative Units
  • Mississippi Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Alabama Bar Association
  • Madison County Bar Association
  • Certified Insurance Fraud Investigator (2019 - present)

Court Admissions

  • State Courts of Mississippi
  • State Courts of Tennessee
  • State Courts of Alabama