Pretzel & Stouffer attorneys, Michael Barry, Rich Burgland, Tom Draths, and Matthew Reddy, were named emerging lawyers by Leading Lawyers Magazine. Click here to learn more about their practices that span insurance coverage, professional liability defense, commercial litigation, medical malpractice and general tort defense
Mike Barry has quickly earned a reputation as a formidable opponent at trial. Well prepared, focused and trustworthy are how adversaries, jurors, and trial judges have described Mike as he has advocated for his clients in courtrooms throughout Illinois.
In the last 8 years, Mike has second-chaired 26 medical malpractice trials to a verdict against several of the most distinguished plaintiffs’ firms in Illinois. He has litigated a wide range of other matters through discovery and successful resolution, including legal malpractice, insurance broker liability, 1983 civil rights actions, general negligence claims, product liability, and personal injury matters. He also represents professionals before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
As most cases are resolved outside the courtroom, Mike utilizes his courtroom experiences to gain leverage in discovery and expose an opponent’s weaknesses, often reducing risk exposure and efficiently resolving matters either through early dismissal or settlement, where appropriate.
As Mike’s career has been focused on litigation, he has taken and defended approximately a thousand depositions of professionals, lay witnesses, and experts. He has consulted several hundred expert witnesses over the course of his career to frame the issues and refine the themes of the complex matters he litigates.
At trial, Mike enjoys connecting with jurors during the selection process. He works to build trust and never makes promises he can’t keep. Jurors respond favorably to Mike as he does not hide behind the difficulties in a case but acknowledges the weaknesses and addresses them head-on.
Clients enjoy working with Mike. Mike knows the emotional toll that litigation can take on a client and works from the outset to provide counsel and to build the necessary trust and respect to develop a collaborative relationship that facilitates successful outcomes.
Mike began his career at Pretzel & Stouffer while in law school, was hired on as an associate in 2008, and joined the ranks of partnership in 2016. Mike has been recognized as a Rising Star and as an Emerging Lawyer for the past five years, distinctions reserved for less than 2.5% and 2.0%, respectively, of all lawyers licensed in Illinois under the age of 40.
While in law school, Mike completed two judicial externships, serving under Illinois Appellate Justice Robert E. Gordon of the 1st District and under U.S. District Judge John W. Darrah (deceased) of the Northern District of Illinois. Mike served as an editor for The John Marshall Law Review and was a member of a moot court team.
Mike grew up in a near Southwest suburb of Chicago as the eldest of five siblings. He attended St. Laurence High School. Mike currently resides in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago with his wife Becky, a pediatric physical therapist, and their three children.
- The John Marshall Law School, J.D. 2008, cum laude
- Saint Joseph’s College, B.A. and B.S. 2005, summa cum laude
- United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh District
- Trial Bar of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
Recent Jury Verdicts
- September 2018; Successful defense of an orthopedic surgeon and physician assistant for prescribing an allegedly excessive duration of post-operative antibiotics following an orthopedic hand surgery in which the post-op course was complicated by a Clostridium difficile infection. The jury determined that the duration of the prophylactic antibiotics was appropriate to prevent surgical site infection.
- August 2018; Defense of an orthopedic surgeon for allegedly failing to timely operate on a disc re-herniation at L4-5 and for failing to obtain the patient’s informed consent for the plan of care. The defense successfully convinced the jury that the conservative treatment approach was reasonable and did not cause the plaintiff any further injury.
- November 2017; Defense of a pulmonologist in a wrongful death case of a 65-year-old female who developed metastatic lung cancer. The jury determined that the pulmonologist’s decision to monitor a pulmonary nodule in the upper lung as opposed to recommending surgical resection complied with the standard of care.
- June 2017; Defense of critical care physician in a wrongful death case of a 54-year-old male. The jury found the physician’s decision to continue a blood thinner given the risk factors for DVT/PE was appropriate, despite the presence of rectus sheath hematoma and the risks of additional bleeding.
- May 2017; Defense of an OB/GYN in a shoulder dystocia case resulting in a brachial plexus injury with torn nerve roots. The jury determined that this type of injury could occur without any negligence on the part of the delivery team.
- Mike was a part of the trial team that preserved the right to a 12-person jury in the State of Illinois. http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Opinions/SupremeCourt/2016/120377.pdf
- Mike successfully argued before the Second District Illinois Appellate Court that Section 12 of the Illinois Condominium Act did not impose on an insurance producer a duty giving rise to a statutory cause of action. http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/opinions/appellatecourt/2014/2nddistrict/2131311.pdf
Practicing Medicine: An Introduction to the Law. Mike has lectured on several occasions to resident physicians at a University based hospital on the dynamics of a lawsuit in Illinois.
- Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2014-2019
- Illinois Leading Lawyer Emerging Lawyer, 2014-2019
The following Pretzel & Stouffer lawyers were selected as Rising Stars for 2019
Pretzel & Stouffer is proud to announce the following lawyers from our firm have been selected by the Leading Lawyers Advisory Board as Emerging Lawyers for 2019:
Pretzel & Stouffer partners, Alan Schumacher, Sommer Luzynczyk, and Michael A. Barry, recently spoke at UIC Perinatal Center’s 1st Neonatal Conference – Do We Know What We Don’t Know in Patient Safety. Alan, Sommer, and Michael presented on the topic of the legal implications of open disclosure in the face of poor outcomes.
Pretzel & Stouffer partners, Brian T. Henry and Michael A. Barry, successfully defended a pulmonologist against a wrongful death claim by the family of a woman who alleged that the defendant failed to timely diagnose the decedent’s lung cancer, which later spread to the decedent’s brain and caused her death. At trial, the plaintiff contended that given the ...
Lead counsel Michael Barry assisted by Brian Rocca successfully defended two obstetricians in a 3.5 week jury trial in Cook County. These obstetricians, along with a maternal fetal medicine physician and six labor and delivery nurses, were accused of causing the extreme, premature birth of twins at 24 weeks of pregnancy by ordering/administering an antibiotic ...
John Smith and Michael Barry obtained a not guilty verdict for their orthopedic surgeon client following a 7 day jury trial in Cook County. The case involved an alleged failed hip resurfacing procedure in a young woman, which required conversion to a total hip arthroplasty. The plaintiff claimed that the resurfacing procedure was contraindicated based ...
Timothy Weaver and Michael A. Barry recently obtained a defense jury verdict in a medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff, who was a dentist, claimed that the defendant orthopedic surgeon negligently delayed spine surgery by one day for an acute, repeat low back disc herniation in order to suit the defendant’s surgical schedule. The ...
Timothy Weaver and Michael A. Barry, recently obtained a defense jury verdict in a medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff claimed that the defendant orthopedic surgeon prescribed excessive and unnecessary antibiotics following surgery for a hand fracture in violation of accepted guidelines causing nine months of severe and debilitating diarrhea due to a Clostridium ...
Michael Barry and Timothy Weaver obtained a defense jury verdict in a medical malpractice case in which a lawyer claimed that the defendant orthopedic surgeon prescribed excessive and unnecessary antibiotics following surgery for a hand fracture in violation of widely accepted guidelines and thus caused her 9 months of severe and debilitating diarrhea due to Clostridium difficile infection. ...