Clients value Michael’s wide and varied experience, his responsiveness, and his ability to quickly perceive the key issues in a particular matter and provide a successful, cost-effective resolution that focuses both on the case at hand and on the client’s broader strategic interests.
For over 25 years, Michael has represented primary and excess liability insurance carriers in insurance and reinsurance coverage proceedings in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware. Although Michael’s practice has developed a particular focus in the areas of environmental contamination, mass toxic tort, and pharmaceutical product liability claims involving hundreds of millions of dollars, he also has extensive experience litigating a wide variety of other matters. These matters range from coverage disputes involving construction accidents, motor vehicle-train collisions, and securities law violations, to non-insurance related contract disputes and other commercial litigation.
Michael is also frequently called upon to provide coverage advice with respect to an infinite variety of claims under primary, excess, umbrella and specialty lines insurance policies. Excess insurer clients also seek Michael’s assistance in evaluating and monitoring high-exposure claims, ranging from single incident, multiple fatality claims to mass tort claims.
In addition to his insurance coverage and commercial litigation practice, Michael often defends insurance brokerage firms against professional liability claims.
Michael is rated “AV Preeminent” by the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings.™ Martindale-Hubbell is published by Internet Brands, Inc. A description of their selection methodology can be found here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Along with Thomas R. Newman, Michael co-authored “Triggering Coverage Under An ‘Awareness Clause’ of a Claims-Made Liability Policy,” Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 2, Winter 1999.
Long Island Lighting Co., et al. v. Allianz Underwriters Ins. Co., et al., No. 604715/97 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co., 2012) (summary judgment granted based on late notice to insurance company client with respect to a significant manufactured gas plant environmental waste site on Long Island)
Consolidated Rail Corp. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., C.A. No. 97C-10-001 (Del. Super. Ct., New Castle Co., 2011) (based on the "other insurance" clauses in the respective policies, client railroad force account insurer awarded more than $1.2 million in defense costs and pre-judgment interest against liability insurer of contractor working adjacent to railroad crossing)
Appalachian Ins. Co. v. Riunione Adriatic Di Sicurata, 60 A.D.3d 495 (App. Div. 1st Dep't 2009) (affirmed trial court decision that New York law governed New York-domiciled insured’s insurance coverage claim with respect to environmental sites located in multiple states)
Pacific Ins. Co. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 956 A.2d 1246 (Del. Supr. Ct. 2008) (reversed trial court decision, and held that claims against railroad arising from fatal crossing accidents alleged a “meaningful linkage” between a contractor’s operations adjacent to the crossing and the railroad’s alleged liability sufficient to require the contractor’s insurer to defend the railroad under a blanket additional insured endorsement)
Appalachian Ins. Co. v. Gen. Elec. Co., 8 N.Y.3d 162 (2007) (holding, under New York’s “unfortunate event” standard, that multiple asbestos-related claims against a manufacturer of asbestos-insulated steam turbines could not be aggregated into a “single occurrence” in light of the lack of a relationship among each individual claimant’s exposure to asbestos)
U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court Western District of New York
Associations and Professional Activities
The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
New York State Bar Association
American Bar Association
Honors and Awards
J.D., Cum Laude, Fordham University School of Law, New York, New York, 1985
Fordham Law Review, 1982 - 1984
Andrew Mark Stillman Memorial Prize
Senior Prize, Prize of the West Publishing Company
American Jurisprudence Prizes for Corporations, Evidence, Labor Law, Remedies
B.A., Cum Laude, Queens College of the City University of New York, 1981