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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 a very experienced and 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 do 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 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 the chair of the Geneva Human Rights Commission, and has served as chair of the board of directors of the Auburn, NY YMCA, as well as the chair of the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva, New York. 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
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Products Liability
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
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
26 Questions Answered

Q. How do I I know if I have a legal malpractice suite against my attorney. He admitted he “ dropped the ball”
A: If he "dropped the ball" it COULD mean he malpracticed the case. To commit legal malpractice in New York you need to show that (1) the lawyer did or failed to do something which constitutes a "mistake", which is defined as an action or failure to act that falls below the standard of care for lawyers in the legal field in question, and (2) the mistake has to have caused the client harm. Most mistakes don't cause harm. For example, if your lawyer missed a kind of deadline for filing something that can be remedied by asking the Court for permission to late-file it, then there is no harm. Or if he missed a statute of limitations but the lawsuit was a loser anyway, then there is no harm. But if he missed some important deadline and your case, which otherwise would have been a winner, is now lost, well, that's malpractice. You need to think about what "harm" his mistake, i.e., his "dropping the ball", caused you, and then you need to discuss it with a New York State legal malpractice lawyer. A
Q. i was assaulted by a famous photographer, and want to share my story online. i have no solid evidence. can i be sued?
A: Yes, you can be sued. Defamation.
Q. wrongful death auto car accident lawsuit
A: Yes, they can come after him, but whether they can come after his “business” too depends on how it is set up.
Q. Hi I am Sadaat, I have a Auto vehicle case in Onondaga county , I need a trial Attorney, Pls provide contact no
A: Email me at bersani@michaels-smolak.com. Tell me about your case. I’ll see if I can help you.
Q. : hit the button to stop my SUV liftgate (hatch). But it closed and smushed me. I have injuries, concussion, neck & back
A: Product liability cases are extremely expensive. Your lawyer (if you find one willing to take your case) will have to hire an expensive engineer to study the cause of the failure. Your injury is not worth the cost. Generally, products liability cases have to be significant, serious injuries, to be financially viable. If you really want to pursue this matter, be sure to preserve the evidence. Don’t destroy or change anything.
Q. Hi I was in a auto collision I was turning left on a yellow light and so was the car who collided Who’s at fault ?
A: It depends. You may both be at fault. It depends on exactly where the collision happened in the intersection, and who started turning first.
Q. I was hit by a county plow While sitting at a stop sign will they pay for my vehicle to be fixed
A: It depends. If the plow was actually engaged in work on the highway, then you would have to prove they were “reckless” in order to hold them liable. But if it was not engaged in highway work, you will have to show only that they were “negligent” in causing the accident. You should try to resolve this on your own because it won’t be worth the cost of an attorney if it is just a property damage claim (no personal injury).
Q. can the plaintiff in NYS toxic tort case contact the medical examiner that their lawyer uses ?
A: Sure, but you are to ask your lawyer first. There should be no reason for you to contact him directly. You should work through your lawyer.
Q. My son got hit by a car he’s brain-dead what do I do how do
A: So sorry about this awful accident. You need to reach out to a qualified NY State car accident lawyer asap. Your lawyer will investigate (1) liability (who's fault); (2) insurance coverage (there may be some hidden insurance in your own insurance policy besides the insurance provided by the at-fault vehicle). The important thing is to get a lawyer NOW! I'd be happy to give you a free consultation by phone.
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Contact & Map
Michaels & Smolak
Auburn Office
17 E Genesee St
#401
Auburn, NY 13021
USA
Telephone: (315) 253-3293
Fax: (315) 252-6970
Michaels & Smolak
Liverpool Office
245 Commerce Blvd
Liverpool, NY 13088
USA
Telephone: (315) 253-3293
Fax: (315) 252-6970
Michaels & Smolak
Syracuse Office - By appointment only
499 S Warren St
#513
Syracuse, NY 13202
USA
Telephone: (315) 253-3293
Fax: (315) 252-6970
Michaels & Smolak
Geneva Office - By appointment only
20 Maxwell Ave
Geneva, NY 14456
USA
Telephone: (315) 253-3293
Fax: (315) 252-6970