michael-kaplan-denver-disabilityMichael received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and his Juris Doctorate from the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University. Michael is licensed to practice law in both Colorado and Michigan. Michael is the former President of the Workers’ Compensation Education Association (WCEA), which is the leading attorney advocate group for injured workers in Colorado. Since 2002, Michael has been a WCEA board member actively involved with authoring new legislation and rules to better the Colorado Workers’ Compensation system.

Professional Players Unions have sought Michael’s assistance representing their injured players. He is one of only two NFL Players Association appointed Colorado panel counsel. He also assists the NHLPA, MLSPA, MLBPA and the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA).

Michael is a Fellow of the Colorado Bar Association Foundation (less than one percent of all active Colorado attorneys are honored by being made a Fellow).

In 2016, Michael received the Lansford F. Butler Award for his outstanding service, dedication and commitment in the field of Colorado WC; This is the most prestigious award given to a WC practitioner in Colorado.

Michael was honored by the Professionals in Workers’ Compensation Organization with the 2007, 2009 & 2015 WC Outstanding Claimants Attorney award and the 2008 PWC President’s Award.

The National Institute has recognized Michael for Trial Advocacy. The Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation has recognized Michael for his service on the 2006 & 2008 Medical Treatment Guidelines Task Force.  Michael has also assisted the Division of Workers’ Compensation with developing and revising the Workers’ Compensation Rules of Procedure on several occasions.

Michael has given numerous presentations to help educate the Workers’ Compensation community on behalf of the Nation Business Institute, Colorado Bar Association, Workers’ Compensation Education Association, the Professionals in Workers’ Compensation Association and Sterling Educational Services.

Awards & Honors

Recognized by Super Lawyers in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Recognized by the Division of Workers’ Compensation for his contributions on the 2006 & 2008 Medical Treatment Guidelines Task Forces

Appointed by Colorado’s Governor to the 2012 Pinnacol Task Force

Recipient of the 2016 Lansford F. Butler Award for his outstanding service, dedication and commitment in the field of Colorado Workers’ Compensation.

Recipient of the Professionals In Workers’ Compensation “2007, 2009 & 2015 Outstanding Claimant’s Attorney Award”

Recipient of the Professionals In Workers’ Compensation “2008 President’s Award”

Recognized by National Institute for Trial Advocacy

Professional Activity

2011-12 Workers’ Compensation Education Association (WCEA) President

2008-2010 WCEA Vice-President

Professionals in Workers’ Compensation Association 2009 & 2010 Vice President

Colorado Bar Association’s, Workers’ Compensation Section Board Member since 2005 & Former CBA WC Sec. Chairperson

Former CBA WC Sec. Board of Governor.

Community Service

Michael is the President of the Workers’ Compensation Education Association, which is the leading attorney advocate group for injured workers in Colorado. Since 2002, Michael has been actively involved with authoring new legislation and rules to better the Colorado Workers’ Compensation system.

He has also been appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to the Pinnacol Stakeholder’s Task Force. The role of the Stakeholder’s Task Force is to review Pinnacol’s proposal to privatize.  One of the primary responsibilities Michael has as a Task Force member is to solicit the particular issues and concerns of my group or interest that they may have, and make sure those are communicated to the Governor so that they can be addressed in his analysis.

Scholarly Lectures

Colorado Bar Association Continuing Legal Education: 10/14/05

Fall Workers Compensation Update – Faculty 05/18/06

Workers’ Compensation Update – Faculty/Presenter 10/06/07

Fall Workers’ Compensation Update – Faculty/Presenter 11/14/07

Workers’ Compensation: Rules and Procedures for Legal Support Staff – Faculty/Presenter 10/12/2007

Fall Workers Compensation Update – Planning Committee/Presenter 03/14/08

Spring Workers Compensation Update – Planning Committee 10/17/08

Fall Workers Compensation Update – Planning Committee/Presenter

Kiva Workers’ Compensation Seminars 2008 presenter

National Business Institute Presenter on Workers’ Compensation 2006 & 2007

Workers’ Compensation Basics 2/3/12 faculty/Presenter

NFL Players Association

Michael Kaplan is only one of two National Football League Players Association Panel Counsel in Colorado. As Panel Counsel, Michael’s role is to represent and assist NFL players with workers’ compensation matters and support the NFL PA in Colorado.

The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected.

The NFL Players Association:

  • Represents all players in matters concerning wages, hours and working conditions and protects their rights as professional football players
  • Assures that the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement are met
  • Negotiates and monitors retirement and insurance benefits
  • Provides other member services and activities
  • Provides assistance to charitable and community organizations
  • Enhances and defends the image of players and their profession on and off the field