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Michael H. Cantieri

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Shareholder | Chicago, IL
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Mr. Cantieri is an experienced litigator with a record of success. Mr. Cantieri has dedicated his legal career to defending companies in litigation with a focus on personal injury matters including toxic tort, product, construction, pharmaceutical, premises, asbestos and transportation-related claims. Mr. Cantieri has first-chaired and successfully defended clients in multiple personal injury-related cases. He has trial experience in the states of California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He has developed extensive experience in medical causation, industrial hygiene, epidemiology and occupational health. 

Mr. Cantieri has served as national coordinating counsel and trial counsel for numerous companies. He has been involved with and litigated cases throughout the country. Mr. Cantieri is also Illinois counsel for numerous corporations in toxic tort claims pending throughout the state. Mr. Cantieri also has a proven record of success arbitrating and mediating cases for numerous companies across the country.


  • Recognized as an Illinois Leading Lawyer (a designation limited to less than 5% of all lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois), nominated and selected by peers in the legal community, 2018-2021
  • Named an Emerging Lawyer by Leading Lawyers (The distinction of being named an “Emerging Lawyer” is reserved for the top 2% of Illinois lawyers who are 40 years old or younger and have been identified by their peers as proving themselves to be professional, ethical and experienced at an early point in their legal career.) 2015-2017
  • Law school class rank: top 6% of class
  • Dean's List every semester (Fall 2000, Spring 2001, Fall 2001, Spring 2002, Fall 2002, Spring 2003)
  • Scholarship recipient: Justinian Society (2000), Dean's Scholarship, 2001, 2002
  • The John Marshall Law School Law Review, 2002-2003
  • The John Marshall Moot Court Team, 2003
  • Selected for inclusion in the Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars list (no more than 2.5% of lawyers in the state under the age of 40 are selected), nominated and selected by peers in the legal community, 2014-2017

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
  • The Justinian Society
  • Defense Research Institute

representative matters

  • Appointed local trial counsel in state of Illinois for numerous companies.
  • First chaired and successfully defended a commercial trucking company at trial in which the insured driver struck the rear of vehicle on a highway resulting in damages. Jury returned a verdict of not guilty against the trucking company and driver.
  • Represented not-for-profit client in pro bono matter involving incorporation of entity, registering with state and federal authorities and obtaining licenses for company activities.
  • First chaired and successfully defended a property damage claim in which plaintiff sought monetary damages against premises owner for damages incurred to the plaintiff's automobile on the premises owners' property.
  • Obtained favorable decisions in over 20 arbitrations in personal injury and property damages cases for clients involved in premises and automobile related claims.
  • Coordinated appeal of trial court's denial of a forum non conveniens motion that resulted in dismissal of underlying claim.
  • Selected for Chicago Tribune's "Moving on Up" feature on July 2, 2012.
  • In January 2016, Mr. Cantieri second chaired and participated on the trial team in an asbestos related personal injury claim tried to verdict in St. Louis, Missouri, which resulted in the jury allocating 95% of the fault for the plaintiff's injuries to non-parties and a substantial savings to the defendant in comparison to the pre-trial demand and amount of damages requested at trial.


The John Marshall Law School, J.D., cum laude (2003)

Illinois State University, B.S., Applied Science and Technology (2000)


  • Illinois, 2003
  • New York, 2019
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2003
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, 2009