Michael J. O'Brien
Michael O’Brien focuses his practice on commercial litigation, business, nonprofit, and administrative law. Michael represents publicly traded companies, privately held corporations, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, municipalities, and individuals in complex litigation matters before Pennsylvania state and federal courts. His practice includes a broad assortment of civil litigation matters, including breaches of contract, non-compete agreements, civil fraud cases, real estate, construction and environmental actions, and other civil disputes.
Michael currently works with the defense team in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey that represents churches, schools, and youth organizations in the defense of lawsuits alleging institutional liability for acts of childhood sexual abuse.
In addition to his litigation practice, Michael has extensive experience in representing and advising nonprofits in governance matters, and counsels for-profit and nonprofit organizations addressing corporate responsibility for alleged wrongdoing by employees and agents.
From 2016-2020, Michael was an adjunct professor in the School of Business and Global Innovation at Marywood University, where he taught Legal Environment of Business. In addition to his civilian practice, Michael served as an officer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 2007-2017.
Michael has been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyers – Rising Star and was included in the 2023 edition of Best Lawyers in America.
- Successfully defended on appeal an antitrust suit filed by two cable installation contractors against a national cable communications company and another contractor.
- Completed the successful defense of two professional defendants who were sued for violation of covenants not to compete contained in written agreements with prior employers.
- Successfully represented a municipal political candidate relative to a ballot challenge filed in relation to the 2019 election.
- Successfully represented a Roman Catholic Diocese in the administration of a voluntary compensation program that resolved more than 230 claims of abuse and provided more than $25 million in compensation to victims.
- Completed the successful defense of a Catholic religious organization in a lawsuit alleging institutional liability for alleged acts of child sex abuse.
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Philadelphia Bar Association
- Lackawanna Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
- Board Member, Homeless Advocacy Project
- American Legion
- U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps 2007-2017
- Georgetown University Alumni Admissions Program
Awards and Recognition:
- Selected for inclusion as The Best Lawyers in America 2023 for Commercial Litigation
- Selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers – Rising Stars
- Named a Fellow of The National Association of Distinguished Counsel, an honor awarded the Nation’s top practicing attorneys
- Two Time Recipient of U. S. Army Achievement Medal
- Two Time Recipient of U.S. Army Commendation Medal
News and Insights
- “FTC Proposed Rule Banning Noncompete Clauses,” Eckert Seamans’ Legal Update, February 6, 2023.
- “Dual-Purpose Communications and the Scope of Attorney-Client Privilege,” Eckert Seamans’ Legal Update, January 30, 2023.
- “Russian Sanctions and Responsible Client Strategies,” Eckert Seamans’ Legal Update, April 1, 2022.
- “Time-Barred Claims of Sex Abuse in Pa.—Litigation and Legislative Developments,” The Legal Intelligencer, March 12, 2021.
- “New Statute of Limitations Provisions,” Eckert Seamans’ Legal Update February 5, 2021.
- “Corporate Governance and Effective Internal Investigations,” Eckert Seamans’ Legal Update December 8, 2020.
- “Commercial Lease Restructuring in the Age of COVID-19,” August 20, 2020.
- “COVID-19 Impacts on Contractual Rights and Responsibilities,” Eckert Seamans’ Construction Law Update, Summer 2020.
- “Philadelphia Courts Develop “Temporary Financial Monitor” Program to Help Local Businesses Hard Hit by the Pandemic,” Eckert Seamans’ Legal Update June 24, 2020.
- “Tuition Reimbursement Lawsuits Threaten University Financial Stability,” Eckert Seamans’ Legal Update May 28, 2020.
- “Business Interruption Insurance: Litigation and Legislative Update,” Eckert Seamans’ Legal Update April 22, 2020.
- “COVID-19 Update: Business Interruption Insurance Litigation and Related Legislation,” Eckert Seamans’ Legal Update, March 23, 2020.
- “Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Force Majeure Clauses,” Legal Update March 4, 2020.
- “‘Unprecedented Pressure’ to Manage Russian Sanction Risks,” National Law Journal, May 4, 2022.