Biography

E. Michelle Drake is a Shareholder at Berger Montague where she leads the firm’s Minneapolis office and chairs the firm’s consumer protection and improper credit reporting practice groups. The value of her career verdicts and settlements exceeds $200 million.

Ms. Drake focuses her practice primarily on consumer protection, improper credit reporting and financial services class actions. Ms. Drake is empathetic towards her clients and unyielding in her desire to win. Possessing a rare combination of an elite academic pedigree and real world trial skills, Ms. Drake has successfully gone toe-to-toe with some of the world’s most powerful companies.

Ms. Drake has since served as lead class counsel in over one hundred class and collective actions alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, various states’ unfair and deceptive trade practices acts, breach of contract and numerous other pro-consumer and pro-employee causes of action.

Ms. Drake’s litigation achievements include:

  • Co-lead class counsel in $110 million consumer protection settlement for a nationwide class of borrowers who were improperly force-placed with overpriced insurance.
  • Co-lead class counsel in FCRA settlement requiring sweeping reforms to credit reporting industry practices with a injunctive relief valued in the billions for consumers whose credit reports contained inaccurate public information.
  • Lead counsel in $15 million settlement on behalf of adult entertainers in New York who were misclassified.
  • Liaison counsel and Plaintiffs' Steering Committee Member in the Target Data Breach consumer litigation

Ms. Drake serves on the Board of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, is a member of the Partner’s Council of the National Consumer Law Center, and co-chairs Consumer Litigation Section for the Minnesota State Bar Association. She has been consistently named as a Super Lawyer. Ms. Drake was also appointed to the Federal Practice Committee in 2010 by the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. She has been quoted in the New York Times and the National Law Journal, and her cases were named as “Lawsuits of the Year” by Minnesota Law & Politics in both 2008 and 2009. 

Ms. Drake is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. She also received an M.Sc. in Sociology from Oxford University in England.  For the first seven years she was in practice, Ms. Drake worked as a public defender in Georgia where she defended numerous high-stakes felony cases in Georgia’s trial courts, including death penalty cases.  Ms. Drake has never lost her desire to litigate on the side of the “little guy.”