Michael Maher


Michael Maher formerly served as President of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the world's largest association of trial lawyers with over 64,000 member, and has been in practice since 1965.

During his highly successful career as a lawyer, Mr. Maher has received numerous prestigious awards. He has been recognized from 1987 through the present in a Harvard study published as The Best Lawyers in America and in the Town and Country Magazine study, "The Best Lawyers in the U.S.," 1985 edition, Florida Trial Lawyer of the Year, 1999 by the American Board of Trial Advocates and Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2000-2001 by the Melvin Belli Society.

He devotes his effectiveness as an attorney both to the representation of clients and to the leadership of lawyers across the nation who dedicate their professional lives to defending and protecting their clients. His representation of clients in cases involving all forms of transportation, medical negligence, and products and premises liability have resulted in precedent setting settlements and verdicts. He has tried personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout the State of Florida.

In 1995 Mr. Maher was appointed as a member of the Peoples’ Trial Advocates (PTA) by Governor Lawton Chiles and Attorney General Robert Butterworth. The Peoples’ Trial Advocates was comprised of II firms that contracted with the State of Florida to maintain an action on behalf of the State of Florida against the tobacco industry for the return of Medicaid benefits which were paid on tobacco related illnesses. Mr. Maher served as chairman of the group, dubbed the “dream team” by the media. In this role, he coordinated the work of 11 firms as they battled to recover in excess of $11 billion dollars.

He was among the lawyers representing the State of Florida in this historic lawsuit against the cigarette industry on behalf of Florida’s taxpayers and children resulting over $11 billion settlement, and among other terms, removal of all billboard advertising and the retirement of Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man in Florida. The settlement agreement not only helps the children of today, but it will go on to prevent addiction and disease for decades to come. It also led to the national tobacco settlement and set the stage for significant changes in Florida’s tobacco control laws.

The knowledge and expertise that Mr. Maher has developed as a trial lawyer are evident in regular lectures and publications. He has written articles on the preparation for trial, voir dire, closing argument, medical witnesses management, evidence, the use of technology in trial, uninsured motorist claims, arbitration, obstetric malpractice, using economic research in damage claims, and the insurance crisis.

As a leader in his profession, he has also written and spoken frequently on the challenges and future trends affecting individual rights and free access to our court system. His professional activities, memberships, and associations are extensive.

He is a graduate of Rollins College (B.A. 1963) and Stetson University College of Law (J.D. 1965). He has over 43 years experience as a trial lawyer specializing in personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout the nation.

He is admitted before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Middle and Southern Districts of Federal Court, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal, The District of Columbia Bar, the State Bar of New York and all State courts in Florida.

The Florida Bar

  • Lecturer in Continuing Legal Education Program
  • Lecturer in Ethics Program
  • Florida Bar Trial Advocacy Program
  • Member o/Steering Committee on Damages
  • No-Fault Committee
  • Automobile Insurance Committee
  • Grievance Committee
  • Special Bar Counsel

Orange County Bar Association

  • Chairman, Medical-Legal Committee, 1969-1970
  • No-Fault Committee, 1971-1972
  • Special Appointee to Grievance Committee, /1975-1 976
  • Judicial Relations Committee, 1986-present

Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers

  • Diplomate and Sustaining Member
  • Director, 1971
  • Seminar Committee /1973-1976
  • Seminar Committee Chairman, 1973-1974, 1975-1976
  • Membership Chairman, 1974-1975
  • Publications Committee, 1975
  • Treasurer, 1976-1977
  • Secretary, 1977-1978
  • President-Elect, 1978-1979
  • President, 1979-1980
  • Budget Committee, 1977-1979
  • Long Range Chairman, 1975-1976, 1982-1983
  • Perry Nichols Award Committee, 1978-1980
  • Medical Malpractice Committee, 1982-1983
  • Chairman, Lobbying Committee, 1982-1983
  • Office Reorganization Committee, 1982
  • Presidential Award, 1982
  • EAGLE/founder
  • American Eagle Award, 1989
  • EAGLE Hall of Fame, 1990
  • AI J. Cone Lifetime Achievement Award, 1996
  • B.J. Masterson Award, 2007

Florida Lawyers Action Group

  • Treasurer, 1982-1988

The Association of Trial Lawyers of America

  • Life Member, 1989
  • Sustaining Member, 1978
  • State Committeeman, 1976-1980
  • Board of Governors, 1980-present
  • Treasurer, 1988-89
  • President-Elect, 1989-90
  • President, 1990-91
  • “M” Club, 1981-present
  • New Lawyers Division, Joe Tonahill Award, 1998
  • Task Force for Membership Drive, 1980-1990
  • Task Force for Attorneys Congressional Campaign Trust Drive, 1981-1990
  • Task Forcing, 1987-1989, numerous states
  • Lecturer, Member, Executive Committee, 1983-1984, 1985-1986, 1987-1988
  • Amicus Curiae Committee, 1983-1984
  • Convention Committee, 1985-1986
  • Membership Chairman, 1985-1987
  • State Development Fund Board Committee, 1985-1986
  • Key Person Committee, 1986-present
  • Steering Committee, 1986-present
  • Regional Chair, 1987-1988
  • Public Affairs Committee, 1992-93
  • Home Office Services Committee, 1992-93
  • Co-Chair, Ambassadors Committee, 1989-90
  • Co-Chair ATLAI NATLE Relations Committee, 1989-90
  • Stalwarts Committee, 1995-96; 1997-98
  • Trustee, Roscoe Pound Foundation; Treasurer, 1992-95, Vice President, 1995-98
  • Trustee, Civil Justice Foundation
  • ATLA PAC Trustee, 1985—-; Chairman, 1986-1988; 1992-1994
  • Trustee, Thomas F. Lambert, Jr. Endowed Chair Trust
  • The ATLA Endowment, Treasurer, 1999-2002

Fellow, International Academy Of Trial Lawyers

Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers

Fellow, Southern Trial Lawyers Association

Advocate, American Board of Trial Advocates

Diplomate, American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys

Founding Member, Institute for Injury Reduction

Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission, 2009

Other National, Regional And State Organizations

  • California Trial Lawyers Association
  • New York Trial Lawyers Association
  • Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association
  • Public Citizen Coalition for Consumer Justice
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, 1982, Board of Directors, 1993-94

Stetson University College of Law

  • Adjunct Professor
  • Outstanding Trial Advocate Award, Society of Trial Advocacy, 1980
  • Board of Overseers, 1989-02
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, 1995

Rollins College

  • Pi Gamma Mu, National Social Science Honor Society
  • Alumni Achievement Award, 1990
  • Board of Trustees 2006-2013

Professional Recognition

  • Who’s Who in American Law, 1982
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Naifeh and Smith, Seaview, Putnam New York, 1983
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Naifeh and Smith, Woodward, White, Inc., New York, 1987 to present
  • “The Best Lawyers in the U.S.” Town and Country Magazine, Hearst Corporation, New York, 1985
  • “Florida Legal Elite.” Florida Trend Magazine, 2005, 2006, 2007
  • “Lawyers of Distinction.” Orlando Magazine, Orlando, 2006, 2007, 2008
  • “Florida Super Lawyer,” Florida Super Lawyers Magazine, 2006,2007,2008

Legal Publications

  • “Preparation for Trial and Preparation of Witnesses,” Florida Bar Trial Advocacy Seminar, Continuing Legal Education Program, September, 1977
  • “Order of Proof,” Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, 1977 Annual Convention
  • “How to Handle Defense Doctor,” Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers 1978 Annual Convention
  • “Uninsured Motorist Claims, Arbitration in Florida,” Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education, 1979, by the Florida Bar, co-authored with Herbert H. Hall, Jr.
  • “Obstetric Malpractice,” Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, 1982 Spring Seminar
  • “Use of the Economist,” The Florida Bar, 1982, Continuing Legal Education Damages Seminar
  • “Dealing with Damages in Voir Dire in Lesser Value Cases and Catastrophic Injury Cases,” Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers 1986 Annual Convention
  • “Anatomy of Voir Dire during the ‘ Insurance Crisis,'” Georgia Trial Lawyers Association 1986 Seminar
  • “The Psychologist and Psychiatrist: The Best Use,” Mississippi Trial Lawyers 1987 Annual Convention
  • “Multiple Uses of Video,” The Association of Trial Lawyers of America 1988 Midwinter Convention, co-authored with Patricia M. Gibson
  • “New Frontiers in Litigation,” Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers 1988 Spring Seminar
  • “Closing Argument, When Does It Begin? Starring the Injured Victim,” The Association of Trial Lawyers of America 1989 Advanced Seminars, co-authored with Kevin S. Cannon
  • “Negotiating A Settlement,” Association of Trial Lawyers of America, National College of Advocacy, 1992 Annual Convention
  • “The Need for a Case Theme from Voir Dire to Closing,” Association of Trial Lawyers of America, National College of Advocacy, 1995 Annual Convention
  • “Telling It Like It Is – The Persuasive Opening Statement,” Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1996 Winter Convention
  • “Mediation .. .The Plaintiff’s Perspective,” Kentucky Trial Lawyers, 1997 Mediation Seminar