Locally Developed Legal Excellence

Michelle M. Watson

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Michelle has a practice focusing on litigation defense, health care law, and business law.

She has extensive experience in medical malpractice defense for hospitals, hospices, clinics, physicians, dentists, and nurses. Michelle has also served a wide variety of clients in general insurance defense.

In Health Care Law, Michelle advises hospitals and physician clinics on issues such as HIPAA, HITECH, Stark, fraud and abuse and anti-kickback compliance. She also assists in patient security and care issues, policy and form compilation and review, and interacting with governmental agencies, as well as training and advice to healthcare ethics committees.

Michelle works with healthcare providers and business associates to conduct HIPAA and HITECH compliance audits and internal investigations. She has created a "HIPAA/HITECH Policy Manual" for Kansas providers and assists in implementation and training when the practice implements these new policies. She has assisted in several data breach responses, internal investigations and Office of Civil Rights compliance and investigation responses.

Michelle also represents business clients, including healthcare providers in contract reviews and disputes, assists in government investigations, and commercial litigation.

Born in Anchorage (AK) to a military family, Michelle has lived in six other states and in England before coming to Kansas and graduating cum laude from Washburn University School of Law in 1997. She received her undergraduate degree in Criminology from Florida State University.

Michelle is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Kansas, the United States District Court for Kansas, and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. She practiced in the appeals division of the Sedgwick County District Attorney's office before joining the former Boyer, Donaldson & Stewart firm which merged with Gilliland & Hayes, LLC in 2002. Michelle is a founding member of Gibson Watson Marino LLC.

She serves on the Wichita Bar Association's Civil Practice Committee and the Medical-Legal Committee, which she chaired 2003-2005. Ms. Watson was on the board, and vice president of legal affairs, for Kansas Health Ethics. She recently authored the Kansas chapter for the American Health Lawyers Association State Healthcare Privacy Laws Survey.


  • Washburn University School of Law, Topeka, Kansas
    • 1997
    • Honors: cum laude
  • Florida State University
    • Bachelor of Science - 1994
    • Major: Criminology

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Kansas Association of Hospital Attorneys
  • Kansas Health Ethics, Board and Vice President of legal affairs

Past Positions

  • Boyer, Donaldson & Stewart
  • Sedgwick County District Attorney’s office

Published Works

  • Author, Kansas chapter for the American Health Lawyers Association State Healthcare Privacy Laws Survey

Professional Associations

  • Wichita Bar Association, Civil Practice Committee
  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Kansas Association of Defense Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Wichita Bar Association, Medical-Legal Committee, Chair, 2003 to 2005

Current Employment Position

  • Founding Member

Practice Areas

  • Administrative Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Estate Planning
  • Health Care Law
  • Insurance Defense
  • Mediation
  • Medical Malpractice Defense
  • Personal Injury Defense
  • Probate

Bar Admissions

  • Kansas
  • U.S. District Court District of Kansas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit
  • Supreme Court of Kansas