Michael Harris has more than two decades of experience representing clients in general and commercial litigation. His broad-based experience, coupled with his years spent as a leading in-house attorney at two major insurance carriers, gives him a unique perspective and extraordinary ability to provide counsel and defense for high-exposure personal injury and contract claims.

Over the past 10 years, Michael has developed a niche practice focused on the defense of auto rental claims. He regularly handles a wide range of matters for one of the largest car rental companies in the United States, including defending the company aggressively to dismiss liability claims against the corporate entity on the basis of the Graves Amendment. He has successfully leveraged this knowledge and ability for car rental clients in all aspects of litigation, including depositions and motion practice. He is well-versed in the rental agreement provision and how it protects the corporate entity, along with strategies involving the insured driver’s exposure and the need to address potential additional coverage for the insured.

Michael brings to each matter exceptional insight from the insurance carrier viewpoint, drawing from his experience as a trial/supervising attorney with Kemper Insurance Companies and as the managing attorney and attorney of record for Royal & SunAlliance Insurance Companies.

Michael has represented a number of major contractors and other entities, including Watts Restoration, Inc., G.M. Crisalli & Associates, John Picone, Inc., and the City of New York. He has litigated cases in all of the downstate New York courts and throughout the Hudson Valley, and he has written and argued appeals in the First and Second Departments of the Appellate Division and the New York State Court of Appeals.

Michael actively litigates matters from pre-suit investigation up through and including all aspects of pleadings and discovery. In addition, he is versed in workers’ compensation and no-fault litigation. Michael often utilizes alternative dispute resolution and mediations to coordinate effective and cost-efficient defenses of his clients.

Professional Affiliations and Training
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Department of Labor OSHA-10 Construction Training
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • Connecticut, 1988 
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York
Prior Experience
  • Attorney of Record, Royal & SunAlliance Insurance Companies
  • Supervising Trial Attorney, Kemper National Insurance Companies
Education
  • Albany Law School of Union University, J.D., 1988
  • University of Rochester, B.A., 1985