Securing a
Future for
our Clients

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Person
  4.  » Gallagher , Michael L.

Michael L. Gallagher

  • Partner


Chicago, IL





Michael Gallagher, who joined Wise Morrissey in September 2015, brings his extensive insight as a Cook County prosecutor and a defense attorney to the clients he represents. His breadth of experience and level of success in the areas of civil, appellate and criminal practice is unparalleled for an attorney his age. In recognition, Law Bulletin Publishing Company named Michael one of its 2016 “Forty Under 40" lawyers in Illinois. Leading Lawyers magazine also included him on its 2016 list of the “Top 10 Illinois Emerging Lawyers” in the State, an honor reserved for attorneys age 40 or younger. More recently, Michael has been named as an Illinois "Super Lawyer", an Illinois "Leading Lawyer" and one of "America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys" for Illinois.


At 32, Michael became the youngest supervisor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, responsible for defending the county and its approximately 22,000 employees in over 650 pending state and federal lawsuits. As supervisor of the Torts and Civil Rights Section, Michael oversaw 19 attorneys and the defense of clients including the nation’s largest single-site jail, second largest sheriff’s department, and second largest public health system. He has successfully prosecuted or defended 28 of 29 jury trials in state and federal court including matters of wrongful death, catastrophic injury, medical malpractice and class-action claims. In his first jury trial as a plaintiff's attorney, Michael helped secure a $14,350,000 verdict against Illinois’ largest medical malpractice insurance carrier. All told, Michael has secured over $100,000,000 in plaintiff and defense verdicts over the past 10 years.

Michael also prides himself on his tireless research and persuasive legal writing skills. He has argued in the state and federal appellate court on four separate occasions while drafting over 70 appellate briefs and motions for summary judgment. Michael provides that rare combination of trial and appellate experience that allows him to effectively advocate for his clients at every stage of litigation. 

Areas Of Practice

  • Personal Injury
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Civil Rights
  • Appellate

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 2003
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit


  • DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois
    • J.D. - 2003
    • Honors: CALI Excellence Awards Trial Advocacy I & II
  • Drake University
    • M.P.A. - 2000
  • Drake University
    • B.A. - 1999

Honors and Awards

  • Forty Under 40, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, 2016
  • Emerging Lawyers, recognized in General Personal Injury Law and Professional Malpractice and as one of the Top 10 Illinois Emerging Lawyers, 2016
  • Illinois Leading Lawyers, 2017-Present
  • Illinois Super Lawyers, 2019-Present

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Federal Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Chair of the CBA Federal Civil Practice Committee

Past Employment Positions

  • Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Office, Supervisor of Torts and Civil Rights Section, 2010-2015
  • Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Office, Torts and Civil Rights Section, 2007-2009
  • Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Office, Criminal Division, 2004-2006
  • Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Office, Appellate Division, 2003-2004