Michael practices civil litigation in State and Federal Courts throughout Maryland and select other jurisdictions. He has extensive appellate experience having argued cases in front of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the Maryland Court of Appeals and the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
Michael represents clients in a variety of complex civil matters. He has extensive experience with high-profile matters and dealing with the media in such matters. He became a member of the Million Dollar Advocates forum at the age of 35 and has secured several substantial awards since that achievement. His primary representation is on behalf of persons injured or otherwise affected by medical malpractice, product liability, wrongful death, motor vehicle accidents and police brutality/civil rights matters. He also represents select corporate/institutional clients on matters including telecommunications disputes, class actions, contracts and insurance coverage issues.
Michael derives a majority of his business from other attorneys through either referrals or co-counsel arrangements. He assists fellow members of the bar in maximizing the value of cases for themselves and their clients.
- Date of Birth: September 26, 1969
- Birthplace: Long Beach, New York
- Marital Status: Married with three children
- University of Baltimore School of Law, Baltimore, Maryland Juris Doctor, May 1997.
- University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland. Summer abroad program in comparative law, June – August 1995.
- Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, May 1991.
- Oxford University, Oxford, England. Junior Year Abroad, October 1989 – June 1990
- Court of Appeals of Maryland (1997)
- Superior Court for the District of Columbia (2007)
- United States District Court for the District of Maryland (1998)
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (2003)
- United States District Court for the District of Columbia (2012)
- Supreme Court of the United States of America (2008)
- McCarthy & Winkelman, LLP/McCarthy, Winkelman, Mester & Offutt, L.L.P., Partner, May 2005 – Present
- McCarthy & Costello, LLP, Associate, December 2002 – May 2005
- McCarthy, Bacon & Costello, LLP Associate, August 1998 – December 2002
- Honorable Steven I. Platt, Circuit Court for Prince George’s County – Law Clerk, August 1997 – August 1998
- Forbeslaw LLC, Partner, May 2012 – Present Commercial real estate entity – manage all functions and responsibilities associated with the entity including leases, taxes, insurance, banking and commercial loan
- LegalAdviceLine, 2000 – 2001 Director of Sales and marketing for a national legal advice network
- Legislative aide to: Honorable F. Kirwan Wineland, Prince George’s County Council, 1992-1995 Honorable Leslie Hutchinson, Maryland House of Delegates, 1991-1992 Honorable Michael Weir, Maryland House of Delegates, 1991 (intern)
- American Board of Trial Advocates
- Maryland Association for Justice – Board of Governors
- Maryland Association for Justice Amicus Curiae Committee (Chair)
- Maryland State Bar Association
- Prince George’s County Bar Association
- Judicial Nominations Commission
- Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Lectures and Presentations:
Michael has been invited to speak to various groups on a wide range of topics including Civil Rights Litigation, Handling the Media in Litigation, E-filing and Ethical Considerations for Online Legal Services. His most recent lectures include:
Virtual Office and Virtual Office Staff (Maryland State Bar Association) Practical Tech Advice for the Non-Techy Lawyer (National Business Institute) Pre-trial preparation process (Maryland Association for Justice) Married to the law and a lawyer, a collaborative catharsis (MSBA) Understanding the Police Investigation and Disciplinary Process (NBI)
Michael has tried over one hundred cases to verdict before judges and juries. Following is a representative list of cases he has litigated.
Herron v. City of Annapolis
Represented the City of Annapolis in several filed class action lawsuits alleging improper collection and expenditure of impact fees (school and transportation). The matters were litigated in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, the United States District Court for Maryland and eventually in the Fourth Circuit. We were able to have the matters dismissed on motion and class certification was not granted.
Intercom Systems Corp. v. Bell Atlantic
Intercom was one of the first Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the State of Maryland. The suit was brought by Intercom alleging Bell Atlantic was purposefully interfering with Intercom’s business in an effort to increase their own ISP product. Intercom alleged damages in excess of twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) and was litigated for more than 5 years in front of administrative agencies (PSC), circuit court, the court of special appeals and the circuit court again on remand. The case involved novel and difficult issues due to the “newness” of the internet during the time at issue, valuation and technical issues regarding the delivery of internet services over ISDN and telephone lines. The matter settled before trial for a confidential sum.
Cawood, et al. v. PEPCO, et al.
The Plaintiffs were lifelong employees of PEPCO with a combined 50+ years of service. The Plaintiffs discovered a tracking device on a personal vehicle and noticed their were being followed at their homes and at other locations. Plaintiffs approached PEPCO about the surveillance and PEPCO denied the surveillance and investigation. Plaintiffs became paranoid and required extensive psychological treatment. Suit was filed and it was eventually discovered PEPCO had indeed ordered the surveillance and tracking without justification and based upon fault information. The case involved complex issues of negligence, nuisance, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy. The jury returned a total verdict of $1,382,000 for all Plaintiffs. The court granted judgment JNOV.
Hart, et al. v. Diamond Waste, et al.
Wrongful death action filed after a construction site accident took the life of a 44 year old male with a wife and two children. Case was tried before a Montgomery County Judge who awarded the family $2,884,500 as compensation for their loss. The recovery was structured to provide lifetime benefits to the family.
Chesapeake Landing v. Jerome J. Parks
Represented developer in action filed by condominium council of unit owners seeking to require certain conduct, request certain monies and define property rights. Case primarily involved issues of contract interpretation. Trial was held and a motion for judgment was entered in favor of developer. Case was appealed, remanded, and resolved before second trial.
Custer v. Naini, M.D., et al.
Medical Malpractice action involving unnecessary and improper gynecologic surgery. The Plaintiff suffered a perforated colon as a result of the surgery and required numerous corrective procedures. The jury returned a verdict of $3,497,270, which is believed to be the largest ever medical malpractice verdict in Calvert County.
Dotson, et al. v. Bell Atlantic, et al.
Class action against Verizon (formerly known as Bell Atlantic) for excessive late fees. A settlement of over $26,000,000 was achieved. Assisted as co-class counsel both in the settlement as well as the subsequent division of fees.
Fazenbaker v. Peirce, M.D., et al.
Mrs. Fazenbaker suffered neath death complications secondary to improper management and administration of medications. A Cumberland jury awarded Mrs. Fazenbaker $908,750 for the pain, suffering and permanent scarring which resulted from the improper treatment.
Authsec v. LS3
Represented corporation in lawsuit against competing company and former employees for alleged improper conduct in “stealing” a government contract. Matter was tried for two weeks, involved over 150 exhibits and involved complex issues related to computer forensics, government set aside contracts, business valuations and non-compete agreements.
Houser v. State Farm
Underinsured motorist trial representing woman with permanent back injury sustained as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Jury awarded injured party $1,058,746.16.
Edgren v. Greenwood, M.D.
This case dealt with a medical malpractice action for failure to diagnose a ruptured appendix. The case was tried before a Worcester County Judge for three days before a verdict was rendered in excess of $125,000.
Appellate litigation: Following is a list of representative appellate cases.
United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
Pecar v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, (2003) No. 02-1866
Declaratory Judgment action filed in federal court. We obtained a judgment of $1,265,308 in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County for an individual who discovered he was sterile after he was married and attempted to start a family. It was determined the cause of his sterility was a surgery performed on him when he was an infant. The physician responsible for the injury died in 1969.
We were unable to locate the specific insurance policy of the at fault physician but through Court and industry documents were able to demonstrate at the time of the procedure the physician was insured with St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company. The Court denied coverage holding without the specific policy at issue, so we could not establish specific coverage.
Maryland Court of Appeals
Landon v. Zorn, 389 Md. 206, 884 A.2d 142 (2005)
Novel case in Maryland challenging a refusal to give tort reform voir dire question to a jury panel. Trial court refused to give the requested voir dire and the Court of Appeals affirmed.
GEICO v. Comer, 404 Md. 658, 948 A.2d 70 (2008)
Insurance coverage dispute regarding permissible exclusions for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Mr. Comer was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and the at-fault driver only had insurance policy limits of $100,000. Mr. Comer’s motorcycle had uninsured motorist limits of $50,000, thus providing him no additional coverage. He sought to obtain coverage under his parent’s insurance policy which carried UM limits of $300,000. Although he prevailed at the trial level the Maryland Court of Appeals reversed.
Prince George’s County Board of Education v. Marks-Sloan, 428 Md. 1, 50 A.3d 1137 (2012)
Issue of statutory interpretation regarding tort immunity, co-employee liability and workers compensation exclusivity. Mrs. Marks-Sloan was successful at the trial court level, the Court of Special Appeals and the Court of Appeals.
Williams v. Peninsula Regional Medical Center, et al., 436 Md. 327, 81 A.3d 457 (2013)
Case of first impression in Maryland holding health care providers immune from liability both when they evaluate and involuntarily admit and individual and when they evaluate and decide not to involuntarily admit an individual.
Maryland Court of Special Appeals
Jack Johnson v. Clark, et al. – We sought to obtain the deposition of a County Executive in relation to the hiring of an employee who shot two men, killing one. The Circuit Court allowed the deposition and Mr. Johnson took an interlocutory appeal. The Court of Special Appeals reversed citing executive privilege.
Chesapeake Landing v. Parks – The issue on appeal was equitable claims secondary to a breach of contract action and contract interpretation.
Hyde, et ux. v. The Richards Group of Washington, et al. – Represented insurance company in action filed by injured party after a deck collapse. Issues involved corporate successor liability and shareholder liability.
McCoy v. Hatmaker, et a., 134 Md. App. 693, cert. denied, 364 Md. 141 (2000) – Wrongful death action involving public official immunity, the good Samaritan rule and required foundation of expert opinions.
Ousley v. Safeway – Notice and expert testimony requirements in premises liability.
Steffan v. Johnson and Johnson – Issues of service of process on corporate entity, implied authority and Maryland Rule 2-124(d).
Clark v. Prince George’s County – Civil rights appeal involving governmental immunity, scope of employment, prior bad acts and negligent hiring-related claims.
401 N. Washington v. Montgomery County – Represented landowner seeking substantial damages against the county for breach of a lease. Issues of contract interpretation, government procurement and budgetary requirements.
Espina v. Jackson – Constitutionality of application of LGTCA cap to civil rights claims Exxon Mobil v. Ford, et al. – Jury trial rights and admissions of counsel during trial
Powell v. Breslin I – Application of certificate requirements in malpractice action
Powell v. Breslin II – Preclusive effect of “improper” prior court ruling
Rodriguez et al. v. State of Maryland – Gross negligence and cap application to death action filed under Maryland Constitution and MTCA