Michael Cantieri is an experienced litigator with a record of success. He has dedicated his legal career to defending companies in litigation with a focus on personal injury matters including toxic tort, product, construction, pharmaceutical, premises, asbestos and transportation-related claims. He has trial experience in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Michael has served as national coordinating counsel and trial counsel for numerous companies. He litigates cases throughout the country from pleadings, motion practice, depositions, discovery, experts, trial and appeals. He is Illinois counsel for numerous corporations in toxic tort claims pending throughout the state. He has a proven record of success arbitrating and mediating cases for numerous companies across the country.

Michael also has experience in due diligence projects related to mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. He has successfully obtained trademark registration for companies with the United States Patent & Trademark Office.

Michael has received numerous firm-appointed positions and served on firm committees including the Hiring Committee, Associate Development Committee, the Benefits Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee.

Outside of his time dedicated to the legal profession, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He also enjoys cooking, biking, running, home improvement projects and following his favorite Chicago sports’ teams.


  • Illinois Leading Lawyer, 2018 – present
  • Emerging Lawyer by Leading Lawyers, 2015 – 2017
  • Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2014 – 2017

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) Alliance
  • The Justinian Society
  • DRI
  • American Bar Association

Practice Highlights

Representative Matters

  • First-chaired and successfully defended a commercial trucking company at arbitration and trial in which the insured driver struck the rear of a vehicle on a highway, resulting in damages.
  • Represented a nonprofit client in a pro bono matter involving incorporation of an entity, registering with state and federal authorities and obtaining licenses for company activities.
  • First-chaired and successfully defended a property damage claim in which the plaintiff sought monetary damages against a premises owner for damages incurred to personal property while on the premises.
  • Obtained favorable decisions in more than 20 arbitrations in personal injury and property damages cases for clients involved in premises and automobile-related claims.
  • Coordinated appeal of a trial court’s denial of forum non conveniens motions that resulted in dismissals of the underlying claims.
  • Selected for the Chicago Tribune‘s “Moving on Up” feature on July 2, 2012.
  • Second-chaired and participated on the trial team in an asbestos-related personal injury claim tried to verdict in St. Louis that resulted in the jury allocating 95 percent of the fault for the plaintiff’s injuries to non-parties and a substantial savings to the defendant in comparison to the pre-trial demand and amount of damages requested at trial.
  • Coordinated discovery efforts, defense strategy and argued a contested motion for summary judgment in a toxic tort matter that resulted in granting of the motion and a judgment entered in favor of the client on the eve of trial.
  • Obtained a dismissal for a client in a toxic-tort case after producing 30(b)(6) witnesses and coordinating the defense with various dispositive motions and motion in limine prior to the start of trial.
  • Appointed as client lead attorney for all phases of producing 30(b)(6) witnesses for deposition including all issues from discovery, motion practice, document production, witness preparation, defending deposition and trial preparation.


Speaking Engagements

  • “New Frontiers in Product Identification,” Perrin Conferences’ National Asbestos Litigation Conference, 2015
  • “The Ethical Implications of COVID and Asbestos Litigation,” Perrin Conferences’ National Asbestos Litigation Conference, 2021