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Michael Gallagher

Michael Gallagher

Houston, Texas

Michael Gallagher represents plaintiffs in pharmaceutical, product liability, and personal injury lawsuits. He has experience in multi-district litigation, class actions, and complex litigation. He joined the firm in February 2012. For the past three years, Michael has worked on the litigation side of Clark, Love & Hutson's pharmaceutical cases, working up and trying failure to warn cases involving the following drugs: Topamax, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, and Invokana.

Michael received a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Georgetown University. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, where he was a recipient of the Dean's Scholarship and was elected to the Order of the Barristers. During law school, Michael interned for Judge Jerry E. Smith on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Following graduation, Michael served as a law clerk to the Honorable Richard A. Schell, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas.

Following his clerkship, Michael worked as an associate and shareholder at a litigation boutique in Houston, Texas, where he focused his practice on legal malpractice defense, commercial litigation, and real estate litigation. He gained extensive trial experience and handled lawsuits in Texas, Nevada, Colorado, and California. In his third year with the firm, Michael served as second-chair trial counsel representing a plaintiff in a fraud lawsuit brought against the plaintiff's business partner concerning the lease and operation of oil rigs in South America alleging that profits from oil ventures were illicitly wire-transferred to the personal account of the defendant and the defendant's wife without the plaintiff's knowledge. The jury returned a unanimous $13,150,310 verdict. Zhang v. Rothrock, Civil Action No.: 6:06-cv-48, In the United States District Court, Eastern Dist. of Texas, Tyler Div. (Leonard Davis, J.).

In recognition of his efforts, Michael was named as a Texas Rising Star in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 (A Thomson Reuters service). This honor is given to the top attorneys in Texas who are 40 or under or who have been practicing for ten years or less. No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are named to the list. Also, Michael was named as a Top Lawyer by Houstonia Magazine in December 2013 and in December 2014. In February 2014, Michael was named one of the Top 10 Personal Injury Attorneys in Texas under the Age of 40 by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys. In September 2014 and February 2015, Michael was named one of the 10 Best Attorneys Under 40 (South Texas) by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys. In May 2015, Michael was named one of Houston's Top Lawyers by H Texas Magazine.

Michael has published articles in the Gonzaga Law Review, the South Texas Law Review, The Review of Litigation, the St. Mary's Law Journal, and the Cleveland State Law Review.

For three years, Michael actively worked on the firm's Topamax® docket. Michael reviewed hundreds of thousands of internal documents and deposed numerous executives of the manufacturer of Topamax®, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Topamax® is an antiepileptic drug used to treat migraine headaches and epileptic seizures. It has long been recognized by Janssen that Topamax® could cause a wide variety of birth defects. Even though the company knew about these risks, Janssen failed to warn prescribing physicians and patients until the FDA required Janssen to change its label in 2011.

On October 30, 2013, with Scott Love and Tommy Fibich, Michael obtained a $4,002,184.68 verdict in the first Topamax® birth defect case tried in the country. (Czimmer v. Janssen, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, May Term 2011, No. 03459). After hearing the evidence in the Czimmer case, the jury deliberated for less than 40 minutes before returning their verdict.

On November 18, 2013, with Shelley Hutson and Blake Deady, Michael obtained a $10,955,000 jury verdict in the second Topamax® birth defect case to be tried (Haley Powell, et al., Plaintiffs v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Defendant, Philadelphia County, Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, May Term 2011, No. 02251). This case was designated by Janssen as the first defense bellwether selection.

He is admitted to practice in Texas and Pennsylvania, in all federal district courts in Texas, in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, and in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Year Joined Firm

  • 2012

Areas of Practice

  • Pharmaceutical
  • Medical Device
  • Personal Injury

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 2003
  • Pennsylvania, 2012
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas, 2004
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas, 2005
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas, 2005
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Texas, 2010
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado, 2011
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 2005


  • University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas
    • J.D. - 2003
  • Georgetown University
    • B.A. cum laude - 2000
    • Major: Government

Published Works

  • Clear Evidence of Impossibility Preemption After Wyeth v. Levine, 51 Gonzaga L. Rev. 439 (2016)
  • Legal Malpractice Lawsuits in Texas and the Forgotten Rule of Collectability, 53 S. Tex. L. Rev. 101 (2011)
  • Vetoing Class Actions, 24. Rev. Litig. 527 (2005)
  • Abolishing the Texas Jury Shuffle, 35 St. Mary’s L.J. 303 (2004)
  • Disarming the Confirmation Process, 50 Clev. St. L. Rev. 513 (2003)

Honors and Awards

  • Texas Rising Star (A Thomson Reuters Service) 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Top Lawyer, Houstonia Magazine, December 2013, December 2014
  • Top 10 Personal Injury Attorneys in Texas Under the Age of 40, National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys, February 2014
  • 10 Best Attorneys Under 40 (South Texas), American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, September 2014, February 2015
  • Houston’s Top Lawyers, H Texas Magazine, May 2015

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Houston Bar Association
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association