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Michael Bersani

Michael Bersani

Michaels & Smolak
  • Personal Injury, Legal Malpractice, Medical Malpractice ...
  • New York
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Summary

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
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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
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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
Legal Answers
31 Questions Answered

Q. I stood in a psychiatric facility and was assaulted by another patient twice due to the negligence of staff members.
A: Yes you can sue, but whether you would win the case depends on the facts: How much security did they provide, how much COULD they provide, etc. Also unless you are seriously injured, unlikely any lawyer will want to get involved. Finally, if this case is against a municipal or state run facility, there are very short time limits for preserving the claim in New York State, so be mindful of that.
Q. Is my personal injury settlement money exempt from bank garnish or money judgment?
A: No, not at all.
Q. I was involved in an accident where the other driver was clearly at fault. My car is totaled.
A: The case is too small to get a lawyer involved. Sue the driver/owner of the at-fault vehicle in SMALL CLAIMS court. It's just about free and you don't need a lawyer. The insurance carrier will be required to "defendant and indemnify" its insured in Small Claims. Show your proof to the Small Claims judge. Let's see what happens!
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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