Michael  J. O'Brien philadelphia

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.

Representative Matters

  • 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.

Professional Affiliations

  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Lackawanna Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • 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 and 2024 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

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