Of Note

  • 2016 - Lifetime Achievement, America’s Top 100 Attorneys®.
  • 2016 - Member, Lawyers of Distinction, Recognizes the Top 10% of Lawyers in the USA.
  • 2016 & 2015 - Member, Nation's Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel - see press release
  • 2019, 2017, 2016, 2015 & 2014 Legal Elite Honoree, Buffalo Business First, and Buffalo Law Journal, recognized by peers as one of Western New York's top attorneys
  • 2019 - 2011 - Selected as a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters
  • 2012 - AVVO Rating of Excellent based on experience, industry recognition and professional conduct.
  • 2019 - Listed AV Distinguished Rating by Martindale-Hubbell.  This is the highest peer review rating for both legal ability and ethical standards.
  • 2019 - The National Trial Lawyers Top 100  
  • America's Top 100 Attorneys Lifetime Achievement           logo            

    Super Lawyers
  • AVVO
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

    The National Trial Lawyers

    Distinguished Justice Advocates

    Publications:

    Mr. Ponterio is a contributing author in the New York Handbook entitled "Products Liability in New York Strategy and Practice" published by the New York State Bar Association (1997).

    Interviews:

    Civil Justice Magazine Interview with Michael Ponterio

    Speaking Engagements:

  • New York State Bar Association
  • 2014 - Honing Your Deposition Skills
  • Products Liability;
  • Vital Aspects of Your Care;
  • Civil Litigators Guide to Discovery Under New York Law;
  • 2019 - Ethics & Referrals - Presentation to SUNY Buffalo Law Alumni Gold Group

Biography

Michael A. Ponterio is a founding partner of Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC. Mr. Ponterio represents families who have suffered injuries as a result of exposure to asbestos, childhood lead poisoning, as well as representing families suffering injuries as a result of defective products.

Mr. Ponterio has been representing people suffering from mesothelioma caused by asbestos for over 30 years. He obtained the first personal injury jury verdict in the State of New York for an asbestos victim (Racich v. Celotex Corporation). Mr. Ponterio also obtained the first punitive damage award for an asbestos worker in the State of New York (Racich v. Celotex Corporation). Mr. Ponterio and his partner, John Ned Lipsitz, also received the first personal injury jury verdict in Buffalo, New York, on behalf of an asbestos victim (Wolf v. Celotex Corporation).

In July 2017, Mr. Ponterio together with John Richmond obtained a $1.2 million dollar jury verdict in a medical malpractice lawsuit against two doctors at the University of Rochester Medical Center for failing to timely diagnose a female client's bowel perforation.

In September 2011, Mr. Ponterio, together with Neil McKinnon obtained the first jury verdict in Western New York on behalf of a lead poisoned child.  In November 2013, Mr. Ponterio, together with Lipsitz & Ponterio attorney Zachary J. Woods, obtained a verdict on behalf of a Rochester, New York, child for injuries resulting from exposure to lead based paint.

Since 1988, Mr. Ponterio has obtained over $250 million in settlements on behalf of the firm’s mesothelioma clients. 

In the last four years, Mr. Ponterio has served as trial counsel in asbestos cases involving plaintiffs’ jury verdicts in excess of $25 million:

  • August 2014 - Mr. Ponterio, together with Lipsitz & Ponterio attorney Mathew Morton, obtained a Bench Trial Decision awarding $3 million dollars to a former Durez worker.
  • April 2014 - Mr. Ponterio obtained a Bench Trial Decision in Buffalo awarding $3 million dollars to a former Durez worker  with mesothelioma and his spouse for her loss of services and companionship as a result of his terminal cancer.
  • August 2013 - Mr. Ponterio, together with Lipsitz & Ponterio partner John Comerford, obtained a jury verdict in the amount of $3 million dollars on behalf of a former Ashland Oil employee.
  • October 2012 - Mr. Ponterio, together with Lipsitz & Ponterio attorney Joseph Kremer, obtained a jury verdict in the amount of $3 million dollars on behalf of a former GM worker.
  • March 2012 – Mr. Ponterio together with Lipsitz & Ponterio attorney Mathew Morton, obtained a jury verdict in the amount of $325,000 on behalf of a Former Durez Plant Worker in Lung Cancer Case.
  • December 2011 - Mr. Ponterio obtained a jury verdict in the amount of $2 million dollars on behalf of a former Durez factory worker. The jury in this case assigned 100% of the responsibility for damages to defendant Hedman, and the jury also found that Hedman’s actions were taken with reckless disregard for the safety of others.

Mr. Ponterio was selected as a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters from 2011 to 2019, recognizing his excellence in the practice of law. Only 5% of the attorneys in Upstate New York are named Super Lawyers.

Mr. Ponterio resides in Clarence, New York, with his wife Mary and their four daughters.

News & Insights

Mentions in the Mesothelioma Community

Affiliations

Professional Affiliations


  • American Association for Justice
  • New York State Trial Lawyers' Association
  • Western New York Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Erie County
  • Distinguished Justice Advocates - Top 1% Attorneys in America
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum - The Top Trial Lawyers in America ® - see press release
  • Accredited Attorney of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • National Business Institute  

American Association for Justice

NYS Trial Lawyers Badge 

WNY Trial Lawyers logo

Million Dollar Advocates Forum              Distinguished Justice Advocates           National Business Institute

Education

Education

  • J.D., 1983, New England School of Law
  • B.A., 1978, St. Bonaventure

Admissions

  • 1984 - New York State