Disclaimer

Please be advised that contacting Bassford Remele, P.A. by email does not establish a lawyer-client relationship. Instead, a written engagement agreement is required. By sending us an email, you agree that Bassford Remele, P.A. will have no duty to keep confidential the information you provide to it unless and until there is an engagement agreement.

If you agree, please click on the "Submit" button below to continue processing your email message.

SUBMIT

Back to People

Michael A. Klutho

Shareholder

Michael A. Klutho

Shareholder

Practice Groups

Class Action/Multidistrict Litigation, Consumer Law Defense, Professional Liability/Claim Prevention

Industry Groups

Credit and Collection, Financial Services, Law Firms and Lawyers

Overview

Mr. Klutho has more than 30 years of experience defending clients and helping them prevent consumer law, professional liability, and products liability disputes.

Mr. Klutho represents creditors, financial institutions, collection agencies, attorneys, hospitals, and other businesses facing state and federal consumer-protection statutory lawsuits, defending thousands of consumer related lawsuits during the course of his career. He also defends clients against claims brought by governmental regulators overseeing entities involved in the credit and collection industry.

With extensive experience in the professional defense arena, Mr. Klutho represents lawyers and other professionals in alleged malpractice litigation. He has defended clients in a range of board proceedings, investigations, and related lawsuits for decades. Mr. Klutho also handles products liability and construction law disputes.

Mr. Klutho is chair of Bassford Remele’s Consumer Law Defense Practice Group and is co-chair of the firm’s Professional Liability/Claim Prevention–Legal Malpractice Group.

Education & Admissions

Education

  • William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1987
  • Southern Illinois University, M.A., 1983
  • University of Missouri, B.S., 1980

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska
  • U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Missouri
  • Wisconsin


Certifications

  • Minnesota State Bar Association Board Certified Senior Civil Trial Law Specialist
Michael A. Klutho
Rated by Super Lawyers


loading ...
Michael A. Klutho
Rated by Super Lawyers


loading ...

Experience

Representative Cases

Represented a collection agency in district court, ultimately obtaining an affirmance of the district court’s order dismissing the plaintiff’s FDCPA claims; the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held in a matter of first impression that a materiality standard applies to claims of deception under the FDCPA; Hill v. Accounts Receivable Servs., LLC, 888 F.3d 343 (8th Cir. 2018).

Represented a law firm and one of its attorneys in district court and on appeal and obtained a decision affirming summary judgment in a legal malpractice case involving but-for causation claims; Zimmer v. Larson, 2018 WL 256742 (Minn. Ct. App. Jan. 2, 2018).

Represented a collection agency on appeal, obtaining a decision reversing a federal district court order granting class certification on claims involving the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; Powers v. Credit Mgmt. Servs., 776 F.3d 567 (8th Cir. 2015). 

Represented a collection agency in district court and on appeal, obtaining a motion to dismiss in a case involving the alleged failure to advise of the possible tax consequences of accepting a reduced offer of a delinquent account; Altman v. J.C. Christensen & Assocs., 786 F.3d 191 (2d Cir. 2015). 

Represented a collection agency, obtaining summary judgment in a case alleging the agency’s voicemail was a third-party communication in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; Zortman v. J.C. Christensen & Assocs., 870 F. Supp. 2d 694 (D. Minn. 2012).

Represented a collection agency in district court and on appeal, winning summary judgment when the creditor did not relay that the debtor was represented by a lawyer, establishing a creditor’s knowledge is not imputed to a collection agency. This was the first case to address this issue in the Eighth Circuit; Schmitt v. FMA All., 398 F.3d 995 (8th Cir. 2005).

Represented a collection agency in district court and on appeal, obtaining dismissal of claims alleging the language and/or symbols on transmitting collection notices violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; Strand v. Diversified Collection Serv., Inc., 380 F.3d 316 (8th Cir. 2004).

Additional Representative Cases
Hudson v. Wilford, Geske & Cook, P.A., 2016 WL 3383268 (D. Minn. June 17, 2016).

Adams v. J.C. Christensen & Assocs., Inc., 777 F. Supp. 2d 1193 (D. Minn. 2011). 

Lynch v. Nelson Watson & Assocs., LLC, 2011 WL 2472588 (D. Kan. June 21, 2011).

Savig v. First Nat'l Bank of Omaha, 781 N.W.2d 335 (Minn. 2010). (Amicus Curiae) 

Represented a law firm in district court and on appeal, winning summary judgment and judgment on the pleadings in an alleged unlawful attorney-fee collection and unlawful levy/garnishment practices claim; State ex rel. Swanson v. Messerli and Kramer, P.A., 2009 WL 1046869 (Minn. App. Apr. 21, 2009). 

Rahr Malting Co. v. Climatic Control Co., Inc., 150 F.3d 835 (8th Cir. 1998).

Fletcher v. Zellmer, 105 F.3d 662 (8th Cir. 1997).

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • ACA International, Inc., Fellow and Scholar

Bar Associations

  • Federal Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
    • Civil Trial Certification Board, past member
    • Consumer Law Section, Co-Chair
  • Iowa State Bar Association
  • The Missouri Bar
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
    • Environmental Law Committee
    • Fourth Judicial District Ethics Committee, past investigator

Professional Associations

  • ACA International, Inc.
    • Judicial Committee, 2018-present
    • Certified Instructor, 1997-present
    • Board of Directors, 2002-2004
    • CNR Committee, Co-Chair
    • Members’ Attorney Program
    • QBE North America Regional Defense Panel
    • Travelers Insurance Companies Regional Defense Panel
    • Northland/Gulf Insurance Company Regional Defense Panel, 2000-2003
    • AIG Claim Advisory Panel, member, 1998-2000
  • Great Lakes Credit and Collection Association, Treasurer, 2018-present
  • Association of Defense Trial Attorneys
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Maritime Law Association
  • Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association
    • Products Liability Committee
    • Toxic Tort/Environmental Law Committee
    • Technology Committee
  • Minnesota Supreme Court Pro Se Implementation Committee, past member
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • Professional Liability Defense Federation
  • The National Creditors Bar Association

Accolades

Honors & Awards

  • Top Attorneys in Collections list, Collection Advisor, 2018
    (selected by peers for efforts to improve collections through creditor defense and legal consultation)
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers, 1998-present
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers Top 100 list, Super Lawyers, 2013-2014
  • Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Fred Kirschner Instructor Achievement Award, ACA International, Inc., 2012
  • Foundation Fellow Award, ACA International, Inc., 2002

Publications

Mr. Klutho has published many scholarly articles, columns, and other materials on topics relating to the areas of consumer law defense, legal ethics, trial and litigation strategies, and more throughout his career.

  • TCPA 'Clarifications' Likely Lead to Flood of Lawsuits, co-author, Minnesota Lawyer, Nov. 24, 2015
  • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: A Discussion of Compliance Issues, Legal education Material for the Debtor and Creditor Conference, author, Minnesota CLE, Oct. 15, 2012, and Oct. 11, 2011
  • Potential Liabilities and Risk Management for Home Inspectors, author, Heartland Chapter, American Society of Home Inspectors, Jan. 18, 2011

Seminars

During the course of his career, Mr. Klutho has given hundreds of presentations nationally on topics relating to the areas of consumer law defense, legal ethics, trial and litigation strategies, and more.

  • Lessons Learned in the Trenches – How to Avoid Risks & Win Battles, presenter, Northeast Debt Collection Conference, Atlantic City, New Jersey, September 18, 2018
  • Lessons Learned in the Trenches – How to Avoid Risks and Win Battles, presenter, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, Minneapolis, Minn., September 5, 2018
  • Lessons Learned in the Trenches – How to Avoid Risks & Win Battles, presenter, ACA International Annual Convention & Expo, Nashville, Tenn., July 25, 2018
  • Ethical Issues for In-House Counsel and The Lawyers They Hire (Including Ethical Conflicts), panel moderator, Bassford Remele 2018 Spring Seminar, Minneapolis, Minn., June 20, 2018
  • Attorney Panel, panelist, Great Lakes Credit and Collectors Association Annual Meeting, Delavan, Wis., May 23, 2018
  • The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Recent Compliance Audits, presenter, Midwest Collection Conference, Excelsior Springs, Mo., April 26, 2018
  • Compliance, Compliance, Compliance: Collection Processes and Collectors  and Risk Management Strategies for Agency Owners/Managers, presenter, Hawaiian Collectors Association, Honolulu, Haw., March 10, 2018
  • Strategies for Attacking Serial Litigators and Baseless Class Actions, presenter, ACA International, Inc. Fall Forum & Expo, Chicago, Ill., November 2, 2017
  • Considerations for Interstate Collections, presenter, ACA International Annual Convention & Expo, Seattle, Wash., July 18, 2017
  • Attorney Panel - Litigation and Risk Management, panelist, Great Lakes Credit and Collectors Association Annual Meeting, Delavan, Wis., May 24, 2017
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Panel Discussion, panelist, Hennepin County Bar Association Continuing Legal Education, Minneapolis, Minn., May 17, 2017
  • The Aftermath of Spokeo - Where Do We Stand Now?, presenter, ACA International, Inc. Fall Forum & Expo, Chicago, Ill, November 10, 2016
  • ACA Training: Duties of Data Furnishers under the FCRA, presenter, California Association of Collectors Annual Conference and Expo, Carlsbad, Cal., October 18, 2016
  • Recent Developments and Hot Tips in Collection Law, presenter, Bar Wars: Ethics and Debt Collection Seminar, Maryland State Bar Association, August 9, 2016
  • What Have those State Regulators been Doing this Past Year?, presenter, ACA International, Inc. Annual Convention, Denver, Colo., June 18, 2016
  • Recent Consumer Claims Analysis, Current Hot Claims and What is Next on the Litigation Horizon, presenter, ACA International, Inc. Annual Convention, Denver, Colo., June 17, 2016
  • Controlling Costs in High Exposure Cases, presenter, International Association of Defense Counsel Roundtable, Chicago, Ill., May 12, 2016
  • Bias: A Look at the Everyday Impacts, presenter, Bassford Remele 2016 Spring Seminar, Minneapolis, Minn., May 5, 2016
  • Flying Under the Radar: Complying with UDAAP Under a Time of Heightened Scrutiny, presenter, ACA International, Inc. Spring Forum & Expo, Las Vegas, Nev., March 10, 2016
  • Where is the Class Action?, presenter, ACA International, Inc. Fall Forum & Expo, Chicago, Ill., November 6, 2015
  • Hot Topics in Consumer Litigation: What’s Happening Now and What’s on the Horizon, presenter, ACA International, Inc. Annual Convention, Boston, Mass., July 21, 2015
  • Bankruptcy/Debtor-Creditor: FDCPA, presenter, Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, Minn., January 22, 2015
  • Ethical Debt Collection, presenter, ACA International, Inc. Fall Forum & Expo, San Francisco, Cal., November 6, 2014
  • Attorney Debt Collection:  Hazards and Pitfalls, presenter, Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, Minn., October 30, 2014
  • Attorney Panel, Minnesota Association of Collectors Annual Fall Conference, presenter, Oakdale, Minn. September 30, 2014
  • FDCPA and Consequences of Non-Compliance, presenter, Maryland State Bar Association, Columbia, Md., August 14, 2014
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act: The Latest Trends and Developments, presenter, Minnesota State Bar Association, Minneapolis, Minn., May 30, 2014
  • Attorney Panel, panelist, Illinois Collectors Association, Wisconsin Collectors Association and Minnesota Association of Collectors Joint Chapter Conference, Delavan, Wis., May 14, 2014
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) - A Primer, presenter, National Healthcare Collectors Association Spring Conference, Miami, Fla., April 29, 2014
  • Common Ethical Pitfalls Facing New Lawyers, presenter, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, Minneapolis, Minn., April 3, 2014
  • UDAAP and the CFPB: What It Is and How It Applies, presenter, ACA International, Inc. Webinar, February 18, 2014
  • Attorney Panel, presenter, Minnesota Association of Collectors Annual Fall Conference, Oakdale, Minn., September 17, 2013
  • Attorney Panel, Bankruptcy, Chicago Licensing, Garnishments, and Other Hot Topics, presenter, Minnesota Association of Collectors, Wisconsin Collectors Association, Illinois Collectors Association and Iowa Collectors Association, Spring Conference, Wisconsin Dells, Wis., May 8, 2013
  • Defense Litigation Strategies for the Collection Industry, presenter, ACA International, Inc., Gulf States Unit, Biloxi, Miss. April 9, 2013
  • Defense Litigation Strategies for the Collection Industry, presenter, ACA International, Inc., Honolulu, Haw., February 23, 2013
  • Essential Collection Skills and Techniques, presenter, ACA International, Honolulu, Haw., February 23, 2013
  • Attorney Debt Collection:  Hazards and Pitfalls, presenter, Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, Minn., January 31, 2013