I became a lawyer because my father and several of my uncles were lawyers. Debating issues was always a big part of our family. My brother, for example, is a career diplomat and probably was inspired by the same background. My sister is an attorney as well. What I like most about the law is helping injured people and their families. I especially like the fact that most cases we work on are on a contingent fee basis where our own compensation is tied to what we are able to do to help the client. I think that helps build a better relationship between the attorney and client.
My most rewarding case so far, I would have to point to three. One was a medical malpractice case involving a substantial jury verdict on behalf of the wife and three small children of a young father who went to a local hospital with chest pain and died the next morning, after being sent home from the hospital completely misdiagnosed. I still see the family on occasion and it is very rewarding to know that we were able to help the family go on without their husband and father. The children will be able to attend college and the mother at least does not have to worry about whether she can pay the bills.
Other Information about Mike:
Honors and Awards
Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2014; Best Lawyers in America, 2014
University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Juris Doctor, 1989, magna cum laude; University of Pittsburgh, Law Review, Order of the Coif; George I. Bloom Scholarship, 1987 (1st Year Award); Benjamin H. Teplitz Award, 1989 (Highest GPA, 3rd Year) Duquesne University, B.A., 1981; North Allegheny High School, 1977
Membership & Associations
Academy of Trial Lawyers, Allegheny County; Allegheny County Bar Association, Member; Pennsylvania Bar Association, Member; Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, Member
United States Marine Corps, Captain, 1982 – 1988
Some of my most rewarding cases:
- One was a medical malpractice case involving a substantial jury verdict on behalf of the wife and three small children of a young father who went to a local hospital with chest pain and died the next morning, after being sent home from the hospital completely misdiagnosed. I still see the family on occasion and it is very rewarding to know that we were able to help the family go on without their husband and father. The children will be able to attend college and the mother at least does not have to worry about whether she can pay the bills.
- Another was a workers’ compensation case involving a worker diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after having been involved in the cleanup of the US Air Flight 427 crash scene in 1994. In addition to simply helping this individual by winning the case it was gratifying to me that while we were litigating the case the client had some testing done, which even the defense doctor had to admit provided objective evidence that the individual clearly had suffered a mental injury. Often these cases are not given credence by insurance companies, judges, employers, and even the public, so we were fortunate in this case that sophisticated testing demonstrate the veracity of my client’s problems.
- More recently, we were involved in a case which I believe shows the extraordinary lengths that this firm will go to represent a client. We were selecting a jury in Beaver County. Our client was the widow whose husband we believed was a victim of medical malpractice in connection with a misdiagnosis of the precursors of a stroke. The husband eventually suffered a fatal stroke. We objected to two jurors who had family members being treated by the defendant doctor, and one who was an employee of Heritage Valley Health System, which owned the physician’s practice. The Beaver County trial judge refused to strike these jurors. Not surprisingly, we suffered an adverse jury verdict. We filed post trial motions with the trial judge, pointing out case law which we thought showed that his decision not to exclude the jurors was in error. The trial judge denied the motions. Then, we appealed to the Superior Court. After extensive legal briefings and oral argument, we lost a two- to-one decision in front of that Superior Court three judge panel. Because we felt strongly that we were correct, rather than give up, we petitioned for the full Superior Court to hear the case (known as “en banc”). Such petitions are rarely granted. Our’s was, and we moved on to a new round of the appeal process. After another round of extensive briefings and another oral argument, we finally prevailed by a six to two decision, winning a new trial for the client and establishing an important precedent for all victims of medical malpractice. (Video of this en banc argument is on our website).
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At the law office of Ogg, Murphy, & Perkosky, we understand how difficult it can be on a person or on a family when they are fighting the fight of their life and do not know who to turn to or even how to get the help they need. We are sensitive to their needs. Since 1981, we have been representing the rights of the injured by using legal means to help them obtain the financial compensation they need to recover as much of their life and health as is possible after a serious accident.
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