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About Michael

Michael L. Gallagher

Michael brings his extensive insight as a prosecutor, defense attorney and plaintiff’s attorney to the clients he represents.  His breadth of experience and level of success is unparalleled for an attorney his age.  In recognition, Law Bulletin Publishing Company named Michael one of its 2016 “Forty Under 40” lawyers in Illinois.  Leading Lawyers magazine also included him on its 2016 list of the “Top 10 Illinois Emerging Lawyers” in the State.  More recently, Michael has been named as an Illinois “Super Lawyer”, and Illinois “Leading Lawyer” and one of “America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys” for Illinois. 

At 32, Michael became the youngest supervisor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, responsible for defending the County and its approximately 22,000 employees in over 650 pending state and federal lawsuits. 

​As supervisor of the Torts and Civil Rights Section, he oversaw 19 attorneys and the defense of clients including the nation’s largest single-site jail, second largest sheriff’s department, and second largest public health system.  He has successfully prosecuted or defended over 30 jury trials in state and federal court including matters of wrongful death, catastrophic injury, medical malpractice and class-action claims.

In his first jury trial as a plaintiff’s attorney, Michael secured a $14,350,000 verdict against Illinois’ largest medical malpractice insurance carried.  All told, Michael has secured over $100,000,000 in plaintiff and defense verdicts over the past 14 years and secured more than $110,000,000 in settlements since becoming a plaintiff’s attorney in 2015.

Michael also prides himself on his tireless research and persuasive legal writing skills.  He has argued in the state and federal appellate court on five separate occasions while drafting over 75 appellate briefs and motions for summary judgment.  Michael provides that rare combination of trial and appellate experience that allows him to effectively advocate for his clients at every stage of litigation.​


  • $14.3 million verdict for “bad faith” against Illinois’ largest medical insurance provider, including a record $13 million in punitive damages.

  • $9.4 million dollar settlement on behalf of a newborn that was not timely delivered despite being in distress.

  • $8.5 million settlement on behalf of a 64-year-old male that was killed in a motor vehicle accident.  The result was a record pre-trial settlement in Cook County for someone 60 years or older.

  • $7.25 million dollar settlement for 75-year-old man whose legs were traumatically amputated as a result of being struck by a motor vehicle.  The result was a record pre-trial settlement in McLean County, Illinois.

  • $5 million recovery on behalf of a middle-aged mother that suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage resulting in a brain injury and ultimately her death.

  • $4.4 million settlement for a 29-year-old single male against a suburban hospital for failing to properly diagnose and treat his cancer.

  • $4 million recovery on behalf of a newborn that experienced complications during delivery.

  • $2.25 million dollar recovery on behalf of a 74-year-old widow that received an excessive amount of sedatives during a medical procedure.

  • $2 million dollar settlement on behalf of a 65-year-old man that was struck by a suspect fleeing the police.  The result was achieved despite the pursuing officer terminating the pursuit more than 1 ½ minutes prior to the accident occurring.

  • $1.95 million dollar recovery for a 55-year-old female that was improperly intubated at a suburban hospital resulting in her sudden death.

  • $1.85 million for a woman that was injured when her vehicle was struck by a semi-truck.  The recovery included “piercing the corporate veil” in order to recover assets from the defendant’s various “shell corporations.”

  • $1.75 million recovery for a 75-year-old widow that had experienced a sudden onset of chest pain that resulted in an aortic dissection.

  • $1.7 million settlement for a 26-year-old male that committed suicide at the Cook County Department of Corrections (“CCDOC”).  Michael was able to achieve the highest recorded settled for a CCDOC suicide despite the Sheriff’s Office claiming “there was no indication prior to the [suicide] that he had any intention” of harming himself.

  • $1.35 million recovery for a 76-year-old man that suffered a spinal infection that was improperly treated and ultimately led to his death.

  • $1.3 million dollar settlement for a woman who fell approximately 5 feet after leaning against a negligently installed railing.  She suffered a traumatic brain injury before ultimately recovering.

Bar Admissions

  • State of Illinois

  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal

  • U.S. District Court Norther District of Illinois


  • DePaul University College of Law.  Chicago, Illinois.  J.D. – 2003 CALI Trial Advocacy I & II

  • Drake University.  Des Moines, Iowa.  B.A. and M.P.A. - 2003 

Honors and Awards

  • Leading Lawyers magazine’s 2016 “Top 10 Illinois Emerging Lawyers”

  • 2016 Law Bulletin Publishing Company’s top “Forty Under 40”

  • Selected by his peers as an Illinois Super Lawyer (less than 5% Attorneys in Illinois) 2020 – present

  • Named a Leading Lawyer by Law Bulletin Publishing Company (less than 5% of Attorneys in Illinois) 2017 – present

  • Named a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers

  • Pioneer League Div.1 FCS Academic All-Conference 1997-1999

Professional Associations

  • American Association for Justice (AAJ)

  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Assocation (ITLA)

  • Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA)

  • American Inns of Court – Chicago Chapter

  • Chicago Bar Association (CBA) – Civil Practice Chair

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