Michael Phelan


About Michael Phelan

Michael Phelan is a Virginia trial attorney who practices with a special focus on traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases, pharmaceutical and medical device claimes, product liability cases, and tractor-trailer crashes. Michael’s peers have consistently recognized him for his excellence as a trial lawyer, and his clients have praised him for his commitment to deep research, his outstanding communication skills, and his sincerity and dedication. As one of his valued clients said, “Mike puts his heart into it.”

Michael’s tenacity on behalf of his clients resulted in one of the largest settlements in the country in a benzene exposure case, and he has been twice recognized for achieving some of the highest settlements in Virginia in traumatic brain injury cases.

Michael and his wife Laura have been married since 1987, and they have three grown children. His daughter has intellectual disabilities due to a birth-related traumatic brain injury, and Michael credits her for inspiring him to work tirelessly and fight for the victims of brain injuries.


  • J.D., University of Richmond Law School, 1987
    • Law Review, Moot Court Board
  • B.A., Economics, Ohio Wesleyan University, cum laude, 1984
    • Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Honor Society

Awards and Recognition

  • AV (highest possible) rating from the Martindale-Hubbell National Law Directory since 1996
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) – 2019
    • Invitation-only organization of trial attorneys and judges
    • Members must exhibit virtues of civility, integrity, and professionalism
  • American Association for Justice, Weidermann Wysocki Award recipient — 2016 and 2019
  • American Trial Lawyers Association, Top 100 Trial Lawyers — 2007
  • United States Supreme Court, Outstanding Pro-Bono Service award for representing victims in the September 11th Compensation Fund — 2003
  • The Best Lawyers in America - 2020
    • Personal Injury Litigation
    • Mass Tort Litigation
    • Product Liability Litigation
  • Virginia Super Lawyers Personal Injury General, Plaintiff, 2019
  • Top 100: 2019 Virginia Super Lawyers

Professional Memberships

  • Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys (ATAA)
  • American Association for Justice (AAJ)
    • Board of Governors
    • Leaders Forum
    • Truck Litigation Group
  • Virginia Bar Association, 1987 to present
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
    • Board of Governors
    • Product Liability Section, former chairperson
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)

Community Involvement and Leadership

  • Former chairperson, Northstar Academy
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
  • United Parents Against Lead
  • Commonwealth Community Trust

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