Michael J. Drahos

Michael J. Drahos

Partner

Office

Practice Groups

Michael J. Drahos focuses his practice defending maritime medical malpractice claims, including cases of catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death. He possesses unusually deep experience relating to claims asserted against the passenger vessel and cruise industry, having defended shipboard doctors and nurses for over 15 years. While his clients include two of the world's most recognizable passenger cruise and leisure travel companies, he regularly represents shipboard doctors and nurses located throughout every region of the globe, and has been instrumental in shaping and developing jurisdictional defenses for foreign defendants facing claims in the United States. Michael also frequently lectures on numerous topics relating to maritime medical malpractice litigation at various cruise line industry seminars and conventions. 

Michael practices in state and federal courts throughout Florida and brings valuable insight to the defense of litigation relating to medical devices from his experience handling medical negligence claims on behalf of health care providers. He has defended a diverse array of product liability claims ranging from tractors, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and amusement park rides to household appliances, automobile component parts, scaffolding equipment, and heating and cooling systems. He has also defended claims asserted against manufacturers of dietary and herbal supplements and currently serves as regional counsel to one of the world's largest sports equipment and apparel companies.

Michael is a graduate of the prestigious International Association of Defense Counsel's (IADC) Trial Academy hosted by Stanford Law School. In 2013 he was invited to join the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), a highly selective group of attorneys whose peers have judged them to have achieved extraordinary professional distinction. He also maintains an AV Preeminent peer review rating with Martindale-Hubbell. 

Active in the Wellington community, Michael was recently appointed vice mayor after having been elected to serve a four-year term on the Village Council in 2016. He previously spent six years on the Wellington Planning, Zoning & Adjustment Board and two years on the Wellington Education Committee. He is also the founder of the Young Professionals of Wellington, a community advocacy group dedicated to increasing community awareness and promoting the social and economic interests of the town. 

Honors
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Florida Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2012–17
  • South Florida Business & Wealth Magazine, Up and Comers Finalist, 2016
  • Lifestyle Magazine, “Leaders in the Law” Finalist, 2015
  • Florida Trend, Up & Coming Legal Elite, 2007
  • Pro Bono Gold Honors, Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, 2002
Professional Affiliations
  • The Florida Bar
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), 2013 to present
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLMA), Product Liability Committee
Community Involvement
  • Vice Mayor, City of Wellington, 2018 to present
  • Councilman, City of Wellington, 2016–20
  • Wellington Planning, Zoning, and Adjustment Board, 2010–16
  • Wellington Education Committee, 2008–10
  • Young Professionals of Wellington
Admitted to Practice
  • Florida
  • U.S. District Courts for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
Education
  • Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, J.D., with honors, 2002 (Nova Law Review )
  • Florida State University, B.A., 1999
Publications/ Presentations
  • Co-Presenter, “The Opioid Crisis and the Blame Game,” FDCC Annual Meeting, Maui, Hawaii, July 29 to August 4, 2018
  • Co-Presenter, "Admiralty and Maritime Law," Berkley One, Wilmington, DE, May 16, 2018
  • Co-Author, “Danger Ahead: The Changing Face of Failure to Warn Claims,” Trial Advocate Quarterly, Florida Defense Lawyers Association, Winter 2014
  • Co-Presenter, "Jurisdictional Issues Associated with Shipboard Doctors and Nurses," Cruise Lines International Association, 2013 
  • Author, Compendium of Product Liability Law Issues (Florida Section), ALFA International Product Liability Practice Group, 2011
  • Co-Author, “Applying Punitive Damages under Federal Common Law,” Punitive Damages: A 50 State Compendium, Defense Research Institute, 2009
  • Author, “The Adequacy of Product Warnings Written Only in English,” Strictly Speaking, Defense Research Institute, November 2009
  • Co-Author, Compendium of Product Liability Law Issues (Florida Section), ALFA International Product Liability Practice Group, 2009
  • Co-Author, “The Viability of the Critical Self Analysis Privilege,” Product Liability Perspectives, ALFA International, Fall 2008
  • Author, “Florida Compendium on Product Liability Failure to Warn Issues,” Product Liability Cases and the Duty to Warn: A 50 State Compendium, Defense Research Institute, 2007