When clients are faced with challenging and critical legal issues, they turn to Michael for his deep experience in both the trial and appellate courts. He joined the firm in 1999 after practicing for several years in the City of Chicago’s Department of Law and in the private sector. Michael applies a hands-on and strategic approach to all of his cases—always asking: what is our objective and how can we work to effectively and efficiently accomplish our goals? His chessboard-style approach builds upon thoughtful and collaborative dialogue with his peers and clients, which has led to many favorable results for his clients over the years.
Michael’s practice focuses on complex civil litigation, with a particular emphasis on the areas of civil rights, commercial, eminent domain, employment, and class action law. Over the course of his career, he has developed an extensive knowledge and understanding of the courts that allows him to successfully navigate client matters through state and federal courts. As a member of the Federal Trial Bar, Michael has tried numerous cases to judgment in federal and state courts. He also has experience prosecuting and defending appeals in the appellate courts.
Representing a wide range of clients, including large and small corporate entities, large municipal corporations, and individuals, clients rely on Michael at critical times of need. For instance, he defended the City of Chicago in several high-profile lawsuits, such as the widely publicized Ryan Harris civil rights trial and the City’s “stop and frisk” class action lawsuit. Regardless of the client, Michael’s approach remains constant—a tireless and dedicated pursuit of success on behalf of his clients.
Michael is recognized by his peers for his quality legal work and successes in the courtroom. He is named a Top Litigator in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Civil Appellate Law, and Condemnation by the Leading Lawyers Network, which consists of the top 5% of Illinois Lawyers. In 2018, he was honored to be named to the Irish Legal 100, which was founded by the New York Irish Voice newspaper as an annual compilation of the most distinguished Irish legal professionals in the United States. Michael was also included in Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars from 2008 to 2010, recognizing the state’s top young lawyers.
Honoree, Leading Lawyers (2017 - Present)
Honoree, Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars (2008 - 2010)
Honoree, Irish Legal 100 (2018)
All Service Areas
- DePaul University College of Law (1996)
- University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (1993)
- Federal - Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
- Federal - Central District of Illinois
- Federal - U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
- State - Illinois
Recent Litigation Representations
- Represents the City of Chicago in a significant class action lawsuit brought on behalf of a class of two million putative members challenging the police department’s alleged investigatory stop policies and practices.
- Represents a leading Chicago-area media company in a variety of commercial litigation and business matters.
- Represents the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago in a construction personal injury matter.
- Represented a healthcare industry firm defending a federal qui tam lawsuit stemming from alleged violations of federal False Claims Act and state Whistleblower Reward and Protection Act. Later represented same client in successfully defending a state qui tam lawsuit stemming from alleged violations of state False Claims Act.
- Represented the City of Chicago at trial in the widely publicized multimillion-dollar tort action involving the defense of the City, Superintendent of Police, and several detectives in connection with the arrests of two minors for the murder of Ryan Harris.
- Represented an individual fiduciary in defense of a multi-million dollar federal lawsuit alleging breaches of fiduciary duty, breaches of contract, and unjust enrichment arising from various natural gas and real estate investments.
- Represents the City of Chicago, and has represented the Village of Bellwood, the Chicago Park District, and Public Building Commission, in various eminent domain matters, including the City’s recent Union Station Transportation Center project.
- Represented a national portable storage company in lawsuit stemming from alleged violations of Illinois Self-Service Storage Facility Act and Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
- Represented an employee-owned corporation in federal ERISA lawsuit stemming from ESOP transaction involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and prohibited transactions.
- Represented a Fortune 500 electronics company in professional negligence and malpractice action, premises liability action, and other matters.
Recent Appellate Representations
- Represented a health care industry firm in successfully upholding dismissal of a state qui tam lawsuit stemming from alleged violations of state False Claims Act (State ex rel. Helfer v. Associated Anesthesiologists of Springfield, Ltd., et al.).
- Represented the City of Chicago in Rule 23(f) petition stemming from denial of Rule 23(b)(3) class certification (Smith, et al., v. City of Chicago, et al.).
- Represented a global medical device provider in a matter stemming from allegations of retaliatory discharge and defamation (Estrada v. Hospira, Inc.).
- Successfully obtained vacation of breach of fiduciary duty judgment against attorney in order from Illinois Supreme Court.
Speeches and Publications
- Speaker, “Eminent Domain and Condemnation” - The Chicago Farmer’s Farmland Investment Fair
- Speaker, “Taking and Defending Depositions” - Chicago Bar Association program “Basic Skills”
- Retaliatory Discharge of In-House Counsel: A Cause of Action–Ethical Obligations v. Fiduciary Duties,” 45 DePaul Law Review 859 (1996)
- Federal Bar Association
Member, Chicago Chapter
- Chicago Bar Association
- St. Ignatius Law Society
- Celtic Legal Society of Chicago
Member, Board of Governors
- City Club of Chicago