Innovative Mediator, Facilitator, and Communication Coach
Mike Heilbronner brings a fresh approach to resolving costly, prolonged, and destructive disputes. Mike provides a better path to satisfactory and concrete resolutions.
As a mediator of legal disputes, Mike’s persistent and creative approach helps parties identify options that achieve win-for-all outcomes, often in ways the parties had not considered previously.
As a facilitator in workplace/organizational conflicts, Mike helps leaders and teams improve communication, build trust, and bridge interpersonal divides.
As a communication coach, Mike helps individuals adapt communication styles and express ideas and vision in ways that inspire teams, peers, colleagues, and stakeholders.
In all of his work, Mike employs a blend of smarts, creativity, pragmatism, and humor to help parties identify their interests and understand the true costs of conflict (financial and otherwise).
Experience from All Perspectives
As a business-minded lawyer for more than 23 years, Mike negotiated and mediated resolutions in hundreds of IP and other commercial disputes.
In diverse roles, Mike saw conflict from all sides. As in-house counsel for Adidas, Mike gained valuable experience as a client, responsible for the bottom line and a 7-figure litigation budget. Mike also learned first-hand the different ways large and small companies approach litigation and settlement. He worked with Fortune 500 companies at one of the largest law firms in the United States and, later, as a solo practitioner, with emerging, rapidly growing small and midsize companies.
Mike began his legal career with the Kilpatrick Townsend Stockton law firm, and later joined the firm’s client Adidas as in-house counsel. While at Adidas, Mike created the company’s first comprehensive strategy for protecting its iconic Three-Stripe trademark in North America. Mike negotiated and mediated favorable resolutions with some of the largest brands and retailers in the world, including Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Steve Madden, J. Crew, and Kenneth Cole.
In 2004, he founded his own firm, IdeaLegal, where he protected and defended IP rights of hundreds of diverse companies, ranging from startups to mature businesses, including Dave’s Killer Bread, SkinnyPop, Voodoo Doughnuts, Nautilus/Bowflex, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Yogi Tea, and Humm Kombucha. In 2017, Mike sold IdeaLegal to a team of four talented lawyers.
In 2018, Mike launched Negotiate With as part of a career transition from advocacy — and its win/lose lens — to neutrality and its focus on multi-faceted solutions that serve all parties’ interests.
In addition to his work as a lawyer, Mike served from 2002 to 2016 as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland.
Mike received his law degree from Duke University School of Law and a BA in History from the University of Michigan.
In his free time, Mike enjoys spending time with his family, advocating for organ donation (he is a kidney transplant recipient), traveling, and seeing live music.