Michael A. Hamilton
- Direct — 267.519.6833
- Fax — 267.519.6801
Michael Hamilton handles sophisticated and high-exposure insurance coverage claims and commercial litigation. He focuses his practice on environmental, professional liability, construction defect, transportation, and business torts/advertising injury claims. Mike has been lead defense counsel in class action litigation, representing insurance companies, self-insurers, and transportation entities. He also has extensive appellate experience, arguing numerous appeals in state and federal courts across the country.
Mike has more than two decades of experience handling insurance coverage claims and litigation on behalf of major insurers throughout the United States. He has an extensive background in environmental claims under commercial general liability policies and specialty environmental policies. He has assisted clients with claims involving the application of the pollution exclusion, surface and groundwater contamination, ground pollution, and hydro-fracking.
Mike also has advised clients on a number of significant claims involving data privacy, intellectual property, false advertising, and business torts. He counsels carriers on policy form wording with respect to data breaches, cyber liability, and intellectual property infringement claims, and he was involved in a case closely watched by the insurance industry that involved insurance coverage for a highly publicized data breach. Mike was also involved in two groundbreaking cases holding that claims for faulty workmanship in construction were not covered under CGL policies. He has represented insurance companies in bankruptcy court and has formulated strategies for carriers to best protect their rights when policyholders are in bankruptcy. He has also represented clients in commercial disputes and litigation, including matters relating to contractual indemnity, transportation accidents, and governmental immunity.
Mike recently served a two-year term as Chair of the Insurance and Reinsurance Committee of the International Association of Defense Counsel, an invitation-only professional association for corporate and defense lawyers around the world. He is also a frequent speaker and author on insurance litigation and emerging issues. Mike was also recently named a Fellow of the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel, an exclusive group of the top insurance attorneys in North America.
Recently, Mike has obtained the following favorable results for his clients:
- Prevailed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Illinois Court of Appeals, obtaining favorable rulings in related matters involving insurance coverage for a class action asserting violations of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
- Secured summary judgment for his client in federal court in a case concerning insurance coverage for environmental liabilities arising from the alleged discharge of pollutants by numerous property owners onto a neighboring property.
- Obtained a victory for a transportation authority before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a far-reaching decision addressing the impact of workers’ compensation liens on personal injury settlements involving state governmental entities.
- Succeeded before the North Carolina Supreme Court in a multimillion-dollar case involving insurance coverage for false advertising and trademark infringement claims; the opinion was recognized by Mealey’s as one of the most significant U.S. insurance decisions in 2010.
- Served as trial and appellate co-counsel for a domestic insurer in the Southern District of New York and the Second Circuit in the World Trade Center Property Insurance Litigation, prevailing in a nationally recognized case involving attempts by the World Trade Center’s leaseholder to recover insurance proceeds after September 11.
- Represented his client before the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, resulting in a ruling of first impression that self-insured commercial entities are not liable under Pennsylvania's bad faith statute.
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2010-2017 (Thomson Reuters)
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2005 (Thomson Reuters)
- Harleysville Mut. Ins. Co. v. Buzz Off Insect Shield, L.L.C. – recognized by Mealey’s as one of the United States’ most significant insurance decisions in 2010
- View peer-review methodologies at superlawyers.com. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
- International Association of Defense Counsel:
- Chair, Eastern Pennsylvania State Committee
- Immediate-Past Chair, Insurance and Reinsurance Committee
- Civil Justice Response Committee
- American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel, Fellow
- American Bar Association, Tort and Insurance Practice Section
- American Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Defense Research Institute: Member, Insurance Law Committee
- Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
Admitted to Practice
- New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, and Western Districts of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits
- Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University, J.D., 1993 (Member, Dickinson Law Review)
- Pennsylvania State University, B.A., 1986
- Presenter, "Money for Nothing: Bad Faith Claims Involving Deductibles, Retentions, Eroding Limits, and Non-Traditional Policies," DRI Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability, Boston, MA, May 31, 2017
- Co-Presenter, "What Has Eight Corners But Isn't a Cube? Issues Arising From the Duty to Defend," IADC Mid-Year Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ, February 21, 2017
- Co-Author, “Accessory Overload: Wearable Technology’s Impact on the Insurance Industry,” IN Magazine, Summer 2016
- Presenter, "The Evolution of Bad Faith in Professional Liability Claims," International Association of Defense Counsel's Professional Liability Roundtable, Chicago, May 12, 2016
- Co-Author, “Accessory Overload: Wearable Technology’s Impact on the Insurance Industry,” ICMIF Voice, September 2015
- Presenter, “Construction and Specialty Risk Policies,” DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute, Chicago, March 27, 2015
- Author, “Insurance Bad Faith Law: A 2014 Retrospective and a Look Ahead to 2015,” Claims Management, December 21, 2014
- Quoted in “California Undercuts Policyholders in Implied Disparagement Rows,” Law360, June 24, 2014
- Co-Author, “Advertisement-Specific Exclusions,” Defense Research Institute’s Coverage B: Personal and Advertising Injury Compendium, May 20, 2014
- Co-Author, “2013 Review Of 3rd-Party Pollution Exclusion Decisions,” Law360, December 16, 2013
- Author, “Prevention is Better Than Cure in Property Insurance Disputes,” Insurance Journal, September 11, 2013
- Author, “SIRS and Deductibles – Evolving Policies and Their Impact on Carrier Duties,” IADC Committee Professional Liability Newsletter, August 31, 2013
- Quoted in “Solar Construction: Too Hot to Handle?” Insurance Journal, June 17, 2013
- Panelist, “Construction Defect Coverage Redux: Additional Insureds, Trigger of Coverage and Other Emerging Issues,” IADC Mid-Year Meeting, February 13, 2013
- Speaker, “Superstorm Sandy – Insurance Coverage A-Z,” IADC Webinar, December 20, 2012
- Speaker, “Hot Topics and Issues on the Horizon in the Bad Faith Context: Emerging Claims, New Risks, Recent Trends and What to Expect in 2013,” American Conference Institute 23rd Annual Bad Faith Litigation Conference, November 18, 2012
- Co-Author, “Raising The Roof: What’s Hot In Construction Defect Litigation,” Defense Counsel Journal, October, 2012
- Presenter, “The Over-Zealous Advocate,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s 16th Annual Insurance Institute, May 19, 2012
- Speaker, “Raising the Roof: What’s Hot in Construction Defect Coverage Litigation,” International Association of Defense Counsel Midyear Meeting, February 13, 2012
- Speaker, “Proven Strategies for Bad Faith Claims Where Multiple Layers of Insurance Are Involved,” American Conference Institute 22nd National Advanced Forum on Bad Faith Litigation, November 30, 2011
- Co-Author, “New Liability Risks Connected to Social Media Revolution,” PropertyCasualty360, October 6, 2011
- Speaker, “Pros and Cons of Alternate Mechanism in WTC and BP Cases,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute 15th Annual Insurance Institute, April 7, 2011
- Speaker, “Social Media Liability & Coverage,” Property Loss Research Bureau 2011 Claims Conference, April 4, 2011
- Speaker, “The New Tripartite Relationship Involving Policyholders,” Primary Insurers and Excess Insurers, Canadian Defense Lawyer’s Insurance Symposium, March 2011
- Quoted in “Drywall Cases Hinge on Exclusions,” Business Insurance, February 2, 2011
- Co-Author, “Damage Control: The Carmack Amendment Dictates How Transportation Insurance Claims are Settled,” Best’s Review, December 2010
- Quoted in “Endurance Coverage: Top 10 Insurance Cases of the Year,” Insurance Journal, December 21, 2010
- Speaker, “Post-Conference Concurrent Workshops on Bad Faith Hotbeds: Pennsylvania,” American Conference Institute’s 21st National Advanced Forum on Bad Faith Litigation, December 1, 2010
- Co-Author, “The Evolving Impact of Self-Insured Retentions and Deductibles,” Risk Management, October 1, 2010
- Speaker, Cadmium & Asphalt Dust (PAH) Litigation and Insurance Coverage Issues, HB Litigation Conferences Webinar, March 9, 2010
- Speaker, “I Can See Clearly Now – My Money’s Gone: Coverage Issues Arising From the Current Financial Crisis,” 2010 American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Practice Section, February 26, 2010
- Co-Author, “Insurance Law 2010: Top Lawyers on Trends and Key Strategies for the Upcoming Year,” Aspatore Books, 2010
- Speaker, “SIRs and Deductibles: Evolving Policies and Their Impact on Carrier Duties,” Defense Research Institute’s Coverage and Practice Symposium, December 3, 2009
- Author, “Do You Smell Something? Chinese Drywall is Raising a Stink,” Claims Management, October 19, 2009
- Speaker, “Bankruptcy 201: Claims Handling and Litigation Under the Bankruptcy Cloud,” Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals 22nd Annual Conference, October 6, 2009
- Speaker, “Bankruptcy 101: Your Insured Has Filed Bankruptcy. Now What?” Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals 22nd Annual Conference, October 5, 2009
- Quoted in “Drywall is Not Asbestos Redux,” PropertyCasualty360, May 18, 2009
- Co-Author, “A Bad Omen: Erosion of Privilege in Bad Faith Litigation,” For The Defense, May, 2009
- Speaker, “Property Insurance Potpourri: Important Issues for Current Policies,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute 13th Annual Insurance Institute, April 30, 2009
- Co-Author, “Strategies for Structuring Insurance Disaster Coverage, Reducing Liability for Insurers in Disaster Coverage Events,” Aspatore Books, 2009