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Michael J. Ross

Fax +1.412.355.6501
Mr. Ross is a partner in our Pittsburgh office who focuses on appellate practice and product liability and toxic tort litigation. He has also done substantial work in the areas of oil and gas litigation, general commercial litigation, Uniform Commercial Code contract disputes, labor and employment litigation, and local land use and zoning litigation.
Mr. Ross has been substantially involved in briefing over two dozen appeals in, among other courts, intermediate appellate courts in Pennsylvania, New York, California, Illinois, and Florida, the California Supreme Court, the New York Court of Appeals, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth, Second, and Fourth Circuits. 

He has personally argued 11 appeals in civil matters and dozens of motions at the state trial court and federal district court levels. In the course of this work, he has also successfully opposed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court seeking to obtain review of, and ultimately overturn, a significant decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in favor of a firm client.

Mr. Ross has appeared as trial counsel for firm clients in multiple jurisdictions and has co-chaired several product liability trials resulting in defense verdicts and several more resulting in awards of nominal damages. He has assisted clients to maintain a consistent multi-claim defense in the context of “mass” or “recurring” torts involving a substantial number of significant claims growing out of the same underlying conduct and/or product sales.

He has also assisted clients to leverage favorable resolutions following successful legal challenges, through early case motions practice, in a number of cases involving commercial sale and labor and employment disputes.

Representative Reported Decisions:

Product Liability/Toxic Tort Litigation
One of the primary authors of the briefs and arguing attorney in appeal in Leite v. Crane Co., 749 F.3d 1117 (9th Cir. 2014) (upholding defendant’s right to remove state-court toxic tort claim to federal court on “federal officer” grounds)

One of the primary authors of the briefs and arguing attorney in appeal in Cuomo v. Crane Co., 771 F.3d 113 (2d Cir. 2014) (the Second Circuit reaching the same holding as the Ninth Circuit in Leite, above)

Arguing attorney in Whiting v. CBS Corp., 982 N.E.2d 1224 (Mass. Ct. App. 2013) (upholding award of summary judgment to defendant sued on theory that it could bear legal liability for a defective product it neither made nor sold if that product was “foreseeably” used with its own by the buyer).

Oil & Gas Litigation
Was one of the primary authors of the briefs submitted to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Range Resources-Appalachia, LLC v. Salem Township, 964 A.2d 869 (Pa. 2009) (holding local land-use regulations of oil and gas industry preempted and invalidated by state oil and gas statute) and T.W. Phillips Gas and Oil Co. v. Jedlicka, 42 A.3d 261 (2012) (upholding continuing validity of 80-plus-year-old oil and gas leasehold and broadly construing “paying quantities” termination clause).