Ranking among the best

Michele has regularly been listed as one of Benchmark Litigation’s Top 250 Women in Litigation.

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Recognized as a leader

In 2015, Michele was named one of Pennsylvania’s Most Powerful and Influential Women by the National Diversity Council.

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An adventurous traveler

Before entering law school, Michele worked in New York City and London, freelanced as a travel magazine copy editor, and backpacked around the world for a year.

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.

Representative Matters

  • 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.

Honors & Awards

Named one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation by Benchmark: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, 2014 – 2018

Named a Local Litigation Star by Benchmark: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, 2011 – 2018

Named by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine as one of the state’s top attorneys (2011 – 2018) as the result of a statewide survey of lawyers

National Diversity Council Award, “Most Powerful and Influential Women of Pennsylvania,” 2015

Academy of Advocacy at Temple University School of Law, Fellow

University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Associate Editor and Articles Editor

Award Methodologies

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Teaching & Lecturing

Moderator, “Growth Matters: Strategic Opportunities in Manufacturing,” Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, May 16, 2017

Panelist and Regional Co-Chair, “Precision Advocacy: Reinventing Motion Practice to Win,” American Bar Association Section of Litigation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 24, 2017

Panelist, “2015 FRCP Amendments – Moving Forward,” Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel 13th Annual Corporate Counsel Symposium, September 2016

Panelist, “Taking Rule 30(b)(6) Corporate Depositions,” American Bar Association Section of Litigation Webinar, May 2016

Panelist, “Taking Rule 30(b)(6) Corporate Depositions: Should the 45-Year-Old Rule Be Changed?” American Bar Association Section of Litigation Section Annual Conference, April 2016

Panelist, “Ethics and Professional Responsibility,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Fourth Annual Best Practices in Pretrial Litigation in the Federal Courts, March 2016

“The Ethics Quiz Show,” American Bar Association National Conference for the Minority Lawyer, 2009

“When Trouble Walks In the Door: Ethical Dilemmas in Accepting an Engagement and Working Up a Case,” Annual Conference of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, 2009

“When Limited Liability Fails: Piercing the Corporate Veil,” Philadelphia Bar Association’s Business Litigation and Business Organizations Committees, 2007

“Piercing the Corporate Veil,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 2006

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Memberships & Community

Judge Pro Tempore, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Commerce Program, 2017 – Present

Hearing Committee Member, Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 2012 – Present

American Bar Association Section of Litigation
National Co-Chair, Federal Rules Amendments Roadshow, 2015 – 2016
Member, Federal Practice Task Force, 2012 – Present
Co-Chair, Communications Committee, 2016 – Present
Regional Co-Chair, Judicial Intern Opportunity Program, 2011 – 2014
Co-Chair, Ethics and Professionalism Committee, 2008 – 2011
Section Liaison to ABA Task Force on Legal Process Outsourcing, 2009 – 2011

American Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2014 – Present

University of Pennsylvania Law School American Inn of Court, Barrister, 2012 – 2014

Philadelphia Bar Association

Third Circuit Bar Association

The Legal Intelligencer, Editorial Board, 2003 – 2012

Nationalities Service Center
Board Member, 2012 – Present
First Vice Chair, 2012 – 2016
Chair, Development Committee, 2013 – 2015

University of Pennsylvania Law School, Class of 1998 Class Agent, 2014 – Present

LEADERSHIP Philadelphia, Class of 2014

Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, Member, 2004 – 2009

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