Michael is an insurance lawyer, primarily a litigator defending insurance companies, reinsurers, and insured parties from a wide range of claims that threaten clients’ businesses. He is also a counselor, law school professor, and litigator in areas beyond insurance.
Michael represents insurers in state and federal courts as well as in arbitrations across the country, litigating insurance disputes concerning business practices, bad faith, insurance coverage, reinsurance, premium calculations, and allocation among policies. As a general litigator, he has tried cases concerning utility and energy infrastructure construction, securities class actions, and merger and acquisition claims. Leading insurance industry trade groups have engaged Michael to represent them on matters of industry-wide importance before trial and appellate courts. He has tried numerous cases through final verdict.
For example, Michael recently defended an insurance company in a nationwide class-action suit targeting its business practices; achieved a seven-figure victory for a defendant in a reinsurance arbitration; and helped create a new insurance company and obtained the required approvals for it to operate.
In his role as counselor, Michael advises insurers on policy construction, coverage, compliance, and regulatory issues and often represents stock, mutual, and captive insurers on their dealings with state regulators, including proceedings concerning rates, applications for acquisition of control, and market conduct exams. He also counsels insurance companies on a variety of data security and privacy issues and defends companies facing potential data breach liability. He has represented clients in connection with internal investigations and responses to government inquiries and subpoenas, including federal and state inquiries into forced placed insurance, contingent commissions/broker compensation, and finite reinsurance transactions.
Michael has also represented defendants in a wide range of class action suits related to insurance, unfair trade practices, securities, federal and state environmental laws, and the Alien Tort Act.
Michael lectures and publishes regularly on insurance and cybersecurity topics and has testified before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee as an invited expert on cybersecurity and insurance. He teaches insurance law at the Quinnipiac University School of Law, is Co-editor of The Handbook on Additional Insureds, and is co-author of The Reference Handbook on the CGL Policy – Coverage A Principal Exclusions. He has been listed in Super Lawyers for Insurance Law. He is active in the American Bar Association as Vice-chair of the TIPS Cybersecurity Committee and in ARIAS-US as Chair of the Technology Committee.
Michael received his J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law and a B.M. from The Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford. He began his legal career in the insurance/reinsurance practice group of a major international law firm. He is admitted to practice in Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts.
Michael is President of the Hartford County Bar Association, the oldest bar association in the country, and a long-time member of its Board of Directors. He was the recipient of the New Leaders of the Law Award from the Connecticut Law Tribune. Before practicing law, Michael was a college music professor and administrator with an active U.S. and international music performance schedule, including as a saxophonist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. He was Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford.
- Quinnipiac University School of Law (J.D.)
- with honors
- University of Hartford (B.M.)
- magna cum laude
- New York
- US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- State of Connecticut
- State of New York
- US District Court (District of Connecticut)
- US District Court (Southern District of New York)
- New Leaders of the Law Award, Connecticut Law Tribune (2005)
Memberships and Affiliations
- ARIAS - U.S.
- Chair, Technology Committee
- Connecticut Bar Foundation
- James T. Cooper Fellow
- Hartford County Bar Association
- International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
- American Bar Association
- Vice Chair, TIPS Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Committee