Michele Hangley handles high-stakes commercial and legal malpractice cases across the country, appearing most frequently in Pennsylvania state and federal courts. Her clients include international corporations, small businesses, entrepreneurs, lawyers and law firms, and government officials.
Michele’s commercial litigation practice covers a broad range of areas, including business tort and breach of contract claims and intellectual property disputes. She also defends attorneys and law firms in legal malpractice cases arising out of complex lawsuits and transactions. Michele is a creative, but practical, litigator, who works closely with her clients to understand their goals and pursues those goals relentlessly.
Michele has been appointed as a discovery master and as a judge pro tempore for the Commerce Program of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and serves as a Hearing Committee Member for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s Disciplinary Board. She is frequently called upon to lecture on matters involving civil procedure and attorney ethics. Michele has been recognized as one of the country’s Top 250 Women in Litigation and as a Local Litigation Star by Benchmark: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, as one of Pennsylvania’s “Most Powerful and Influential Women” by the Pennsylvania Diversity Council, and as a top attorney by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine.
- Successfully represented Pennsylvania’s Governor and members of his administration in the Pennsylvania Congressional Redistricting Litigation, in which several groups of plaintiffs challenged Pennsylvania’s congressional district map as an illegal partisan gerrymander. This fast-paced litigation played out in four separate lawsuits in two federal district courts, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth and Supreme Courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court, and resulted in a new, court-drawn map being put in place in time for the 2018 congressional elections. League of Women Voters v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 178 A.3d 737 (Pa. 2018); Corman v. Torres, __ F. Supp. 3d __, 2018 WL 1374028 (M.D. Pa. March 19, 2018).
- Represented a national cable and entertainment company in patent litigation involving claimed damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Successfully defended several prominent law firms and attorneys against legal malpractice suits in Pennsylvania state courts, including winning defense jury verdict in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas after lengthy trial.
- Won dismissal on jurisdictional grounds of technology company’s claims against West Coast investor. Return on Intelligence, Ltd., v. Shenkman, 2017 WL 3310684 (E.D. Pa. August 3, 2017).
- Represented specialty pharmaceutical company in $200+ million contract dispute with large international pharmaceutical company in Philadelphia’s Commerce Court; case ended with successful mediation and settlement.
- On behalf of newspaper and journalist defendants in libel case, defeated effort of plaintiff, a powerful Philadelphia union leader, to have U.S. District Court override state court’s treatment of document from federal case file. U.S. v. Dougherty, 2014 WL 3676002 (E.D. Pa. June 23, 2014), aff’d, 627 Fed. Appx. 97 (3d Cir.).
- Obtained reversal of holding of the Environmental Hearing Board that municipality was not entitled to attorneys’ fees under the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law. Chalfont-New Britain Joint Sewage Authority v. Department of Environmental Protection, 24 A.3d 470, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, August 8, 2011.
- Represented owner of office building that had been condemned and demolished to make way for the expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center. After ten-day hearing before the Philadelphia Board of View, won award in the tens of millions of dollars that more than doubled the amount that the Commonwealth had offered the property owner to compensate for the condemnation.