Mike Kessler is of counsel to the Albany and Troy, New York law firm of E. Stewart Jones, Hacker, Murphy, LLP.
Mr. Kessler was a member of the Law Review and graduated from Albany Law School. He is one of only five attorneys in New York State and approximately 150 in the United States who is Board Certified in Medical Malpractice Law by the prestigious American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. For many years Mike has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® and New York Superlawyers, including in 2018 Upstate New York Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year. He has also been listed as one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America” by the National Trial Lawyers Association.
Mr. Kessler, who limits his practice to representing individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries, has recovered in excess of $2 million in more than 30 cases, 19 in which the recovery was over $5 million, in 12 of which the amount was greater than $8.5 million, and five where his clients received more than $14 million.
In Auer v. State of New York, Mike won a $19.1 million verdict which The New York Law Journal stated was “at least $7 million” larger than any verdict ever rendered in the Court of Claims. On appeal, not only did the Appellate Division uphold the verdict, but it increased that judgment to $19.85 million. Auer was by far the largest personal injury judgment ever upheld by the Third Judicial Department, one of the largest ever upheld in New York, and one of the very few cases of this magnitude where a Court increased the amount of damages on appeal.
The Albany Times Union described Holt v. AMCH as “the largest award…in a medical malpractice suit in [Albany] county’s history…” The New York Law Journal called Cole v. State of New York “the largest malpractice judgment ever awarded against the State in the Court of Claims.” Mr. Kessler tried a medical case in Pennsylvania for a month before it was settled for an amount reported to be the largest malpractice settlement ever paid in that state to that time.
Mike has been invited to lecture to legal, judicial, and medical audiences in 13 different states, 3 foreign countries, and five international cities. He has given Grand Rounds for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Albany Medical Center Hospital, He has been invited to lecture at the Albany Law School, and for American Association for Justice (AAJ), North American Brain Injury Society (NABIS), New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYTSLA), Brain Injury Association (BIA), Brain Injury Society of New York State (BIANYS) and a number of state and local trial lawyer associations.
Mr. Kessler has also appeared nationally as a guest commentator on personal injury law on Court TV, and his articles have been published, among other places in Trial Magazine, Trial Lawyers Quarterly and most recently in Forum, the publication of the Consumer Attorneys of California. He is a recognized authority and consults regularly on Article 50-A and 50-B of the New York CPLR. His early monograph on this subject correctly predicted the eventual Court of Appeals decisions on the effect of inflation on the plaintiff’s recoveries. His post-graduate article on the use of scientific literature at trial, “Appropriate Use of Scientific Literature at Trial in New York and Other Jurisdictions: Is ‘Authoritative’ a Magic Word?” was published in the Albany Law Review.
Mike has made presentations on the life expectancy of catastrophically injured children both at NYU and at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He has spoken on the life expectancy in catastrophic injury cases all over the United States, as well as before the Australian Lawyers Alliance, the Queensland, Australia Law Society, The Pan European Organization of European Lawyers (PEOPLE) Joint Conference, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, BIA, AAJ, NABIS, and BIANYS, and the Birth Trauma Litigation Group and Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Groups of AAJ, as well as to numerous state and local trial lawyers associations. His chapter on this subject appears in the textbook “Pediatric Life Care Planning and Case Management.”
Mike also has presented to a national conference of emergency medicine physicians and was the primary author of the first comprehensive law review analysis of the New York State Medical Indemnity Fund, “The New York State Medical Indemnity Fund: Rewarding Tortfeasors Who Cause Birth Injuries, by Rationing Care to Their Victims,” published in the Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology. As a result of this work, in 2020 he was asked to testify before the Maryland Legislature which was considering a similar Fund.
Mike is also a recognized authority on structured settlements and has been invited to speak on this topic to the New York State Office of Court Administration and the Association of Supreme Court Justices of New York State. His book, Protecting the Catastrophically Injured Personal Injury Plaintiff’s Recovery: The Benefits and Risks of Structured Settlements and Their Alternatives in a Changing Economy, was published by the New York State Bar Association.
Mr. Kessler is admitted to practice in New York and Pennsylvania, as well as the United States Supreme Court. He is a Diplomate of the National College of Advocacy. Mike is a member of AAJ and served as Chairman of their Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group as well as on the Executive Board of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group. He is a Charter Member of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers and served on its Board of Directors. He was previously elected to the House of Delegates of NYBSA and was a Director of the Capital Region Affiliate of NYTSLA. He is a member of BIA, NABIS, and served on the Board of Directors of BIANYS.
Mike is also a proud member of the Association of Surfing Lawyers.