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Overview

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, their two children and their dog and bunny.

Education

  • The John Marshall Law School, J.D. 2008, cum laude
  • Saint Joseph’s College, B.A. and B.S. 2005, summa cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • 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

Related Practices

Professional Experience

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.

Published Decisions

Lectures

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.

Awards

  • Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2014-2019
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer Emerging Lawyer, 2014-2019

News

Trial Victory for Pulmonologist

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 ...

January 2018 | Firm News

Trial Victory for Surgeon

Pretzel & Stouffer Partner Brian C. Rocca and Michael A. Barry successfully defended a surgeon against a wrongful death claim by the family of a woman who was admitted to the hospital for respiratory distress, diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, and placed on blood thinners. She developed a rectus sheath hematoma, and Plaintiff alleged that she bled to death because ...

May 2016 | Firm News

Results

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Not Guilty for Orthopedic Surgeon

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 ...

July 2019

Defense Verdict against Plaintiff Patient/Lawyer

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. ...

March 2019 | Firm News

Defense Verdict against Plaintiff Patient/Dentist

Timothy Weaver and Michael Barry recently obtained a defense jury verdict in a medical malpractice case in which a dentist claimed that defendant orthopedic surgeon negligently delayed spine surgery by one day for an acute, repeated low back disc herniation in order to suit his surgical schedule, thereby causing multi-million dollar damages including permanent foot paralysis (drop foot), ...

March 2019 | Firm News