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Michael Bersani

Michael Bersani

Michaels & Smolak
  • Personal Injury, Legal Malpractice, Medical Malpractice ...
  • New York
Review This Lawyer
Legal Knowledge
5.0/5.0
Legal Analysis
5.0/5.0
Communication Skills
4.0/5.0
Ethics and Professionalism
5.0/5.0
James Beldon Reed
Reviewed by James Beldon Reed June 28, 2019
Rating: 10 Justia Lawyer Rating - 10 out of 10
Mike is highly respected as an advocate because he always does his homework, thinks before he speaks and is willing to work harder than his opponent to attain justice for his client. I highly recommend Mike.
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Biography

Mike Bersani is an experienced and highly respected New York State trial lawyer concentrating his practice almost entirely on personal injury claims. He is a widely published author on personal injury law. He has published numerous articles on the subject, and wrote and published the book "Understanding Your New York Personal Injury Claim", which can be ordered on his website.

Mike Bersani graduated Magna Cum Laude (top 5% of his class) from Syracuse University College of Law in 1993. He went on to a two-year clerkship with an appellate court in Rochester, NY. Since then he has devoted his practice to helping injured people recover compensation from those responsible for their injuries.

Mike was recently named "Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year" by the legal directory "Best Lawyers in America" because judges and fellow lawyers rated his performance higher than any other personal lawyer in the Syracuse Metropolitan area. He has the highest lawyer ranking ("AV") in the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell directory. This "AV" rating means that judges and other lawyers have rated him, compared to other lawyers, "very high to preeminent in legal ability, expertise, experience, integrity and overall professional excellence." Mike is also listed in "Best Lawyers in America".

Mike is a community activist. He has served for nearly two decades on the board of directors of the Worker Justice Center of New York (formerly the Farm Workers' Legal Services of New York), which provides free legal service to undeserved agricultural workers. He has served as chair of many not-for-profit boards. He also volunteered for many years for the Boys & Girls Club by taking the Club members for weekly swims at the YMCA in Geneva. Because of his commitment to helping others less fortunate than himself, Mike was named 2009 Citizen of Year by his hometown Geneva, New York Chamber of Commerce.

Practice Areas
    Personal Injury
    Animal & Dog Bites, Brain Injury, Car Accidents, Construction Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Premises Liability, Truck Accidents, Wrongful Death
    Legal Malpractice
    Medical Malpractice
    Birth Injury, Medical Misdiagnosis, Pharmacy Errors, Surgical Errors
    Products Liability
    Drugs & Medical Devices, Motor Vehicle Defects, Toxic Torts
Additional Practice Areas
  • Car Accidents
  • General Negligence
  • Premises Liability
  • Wrongful Death
Fees
  • Free Consultation
  • Contingent Fees
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    generally 1/3 contingency fee
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
New York
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2nd Circuit
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Federal Circuit
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Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
  • French: Spoken, Written
  • Spanish: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Michaels & Smolak
Current
Law Clerk
New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division Fourth Department
-
Researched and wrote reports, with recommendations, for the appellate justices regarding the appeals to be decided
Education
Middlebury College
M.A. | Spanish
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Syracuse University College of Law
J.D. (1993)
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Graduated in top 5% of class.
Honors: Magna Cum Laude, Order of the Coif, Justinian Society, Scribes Award for outstanding legal writing, Law Review
Activities: Associate Editor for Law Review.
Syracuse University College of Law Logo
Awards
Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year for the Syracuse Metropolitan area
Best Lawyers in America
Received higher peer-review ratings (positive reviews from other lawyers and judges who are familiar with his work) than any other personal injury lawyer in the Syracuse, New York area.
Citizen of the Year
Geneva Area Chambre of Commerce
Was honored as Citizen of the Year in the City of Geneva, New York (place of residence) for years of service on several not-for-profit boards and for providing regular free legal assistance in Spanish to Hispanic farm workers and for volunteer work with the children of the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva.
Received an “AV” rating
Martindale–Hubbell Law Directory
Super Lawyer
Law & Politics Magazine
The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
Professional Associations
Elite personal injury Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Member
Current
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Boys & Girls Club of Geneva, NY
President
- Current
Activities: Has served on this Board since 2006, has served as vice-president and president, and as a regular volunteer to take the children skating, swimming, and to other after school activities.
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New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers
Member
- Current
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YMCA of Auburn, NY
President
- Current
Activities: Has served on this Board since 1998, and is currently its president.
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Farmworkers' Legal Services of NY
Board Member and Secretary
- Current
Activities: Has served on the board of this not-for-profit since 1998 -- provides free legal services to disadvantaged farm workers, who are mostly Hispanic immigrants.
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Ontario County Bar Association
Member
- Current
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Onondaga County Bar Association
Member
- Current
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Cayuga County Bar Association
Member
- Current
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American Institute for Justice
Member
- Current
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New York State Trial Lawyers Association
Member
- Current
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New York State Bar  # 2578953
Member
- Current
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Human Rights Commission of Geneva, NY
Chair
-
Activities: Served on this Commission for 3 years and as its Chair for 2 years - the Commission provides free legal help to victims of discrimination, and provides education about discrimination, in Geneva, New York.
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Speaking Engagements
New York Municipal Liability Annual Update, precedents & Statutes, Syracuse, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo, NY
New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers
I write and then deliver this annual update on New York municipal liability cases across New York State every Fall.
New York Municipal Liability Annual Update, precedents & Statutes, Syracuse, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo, NY
New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers
I write and then deliver this annual update on New York municipal liability cases across New York State every Fall.
New York Municipal Liability Annual Update, precedents & Statutes, Syracuse, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo, NY
New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers
I write and then deliver this annual update on New York municipal liability cases across New York State every Fall.
New York Municipal Liability Annual Update, precedents & Statutes, Syracuse, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo, NY
New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers
I write and then deliver this annual update on New York municipal liability cases across New York State every Fall.
Certifications
Multi-Million Dollar Advocate
The Top Trial Lawyers in America
Best Lawyers in America Certification
Best Lawyers in America
Websites & Blogs
Website
Michael Bersani's Website Profile
Website
Michaels & Smolak Website
Blog
Central New York Injury Lawyer Blog
Legal Answers
43 Questions Answered
Q. How is the settlement in a personal injury case calculated? Should my lawyer review this information with me?
A: The answer to all your questions is “yes”. Your lawyer should consult with you on all of these things. And most important, in New York, you must approve any settlement. Your lawyer cannot settle without your consent. You’re a lawyer, however, is in a better position to advise you as to as to what a fair settlement is. That’s why you have a lawyer! If you have chosen a good, experienced, and well reputed Lawyer, you should be getting good advice. if you have any doubts, call a second lawyer for a second opinion.
Q. How much pain and suffering is fair for a minor slip and fall ?
A: You’re a pain and suffering compensation depends on the venue of the case. If it is brought in a county such as the Bronx or Erie County, it is worth more because juries are more generous there. If you bring it in and upstate rural county, it is worth less because juries are stingier there. But from the description of your injuries, it is not worth much anywhere. You would probably have a hard time finding a lawyer or to take this case on a contingency fee basis because the injury would not pay for the litigation.
Q. Being sued along with tenant for a dog attack. Am I responsible?
A: You’re in luck. Under current New York State case law, a dog bite victim can only hold someone liable who either owned or harbored the dog. In your fact scenario, the landlord did neither. He simply owned the building where a tenant resided who owned and harbored the dog. it is very unlikely that a court would hold the landlord liable under this fact pattern.
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Contact & Map
Michaels & Smolak
Auburn Office
17 E Genesee St
#401
Auburn, NY 13021
Telephone: (315) 253-3293
Fax: (315) 252-6970
Michaels & Smolak
Syracuse Office
499 S Warren St
#513
Syracuse, NY 13202
Telephone: (315) 253-3293
Fax: (315) 252-6970
Michaels & Smolak
Geneva Office
20 Maxwell Ave
Geneva, NY 14456
Telephone: (315) 253-3293
Fax: (315) 252-6970
Michaels & Smolak
Liverpool Office
245 Commerce Blvd
Liverpool, NY 13088
Telephone: (315) 253-3293
Fax: (315) 252-6970
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