Michael L. Detweiler


Michael is a member of the Casualty Department where he has successfully defended matters in jurisdictions throughout Pennsylvania.  Michael's past and present clients include construction companies, tour operators, travel agents, resorts, local municipalities, governmental transportation agencies, medical device manufacturers, and numerous other individuals and entities. He has also successfully defended entities and individuals in commercial and breach of contract disputes.

In his career, Michael has obtained numerous defense verdicts and summary judgments in the state and federal courts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  His extensive experience with both professional liability and casualty matters provide an invaluable advantage in representing clients in those matters which require a firm grasp of both practice backgrounds.

Prior to joining Marshall Dennehey, Michael was Assistant City Solicitor with the City of Philadelphia Law Department for two years. He defended police officers, corrections officers and various City of Philadelphia employees and agencies in civil lawsuits.

Michael graduated magna cum laude from Dickinson College in 1998 and from Boston College Law School in 2002. He is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Significant Representative Matters

Successfully drafted and argued Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on behalf of international tour operator in a federal court case in which plaintiff (a 35 year old man) drowned while on a fishing excursion near the coast of Costa Rica.  (The fishing excursion was booked through the tour operator).  The underlying motion was predicated on applicable tour operator liability law, maritime law, and the Death on the High Seas Act. 

Successfully drafted Motion to Dismiss on jurisdictional grounds on behalf of internationally renowned California golf resort that was sued by plaintiff for severe head and cognitive injuries.

Obtained voluntary dismissal of all claims as to tour operator sued by plaintiff for personal injuries as a result of alleged injuries stemming from an accident in a resort in Jamaica.

Obtained voluntary dismissal of all breach of contract claims as to local non-profit financial institution in a breach of contract civil action involving close to $1 million in disputed monies.

Obtained numerous defense verdicts as lead trial counsel on behalf of clients in federal court in which plaintiff alleged false arrest, excessive force, and other civil rights violations.

Obtained multiple summary judgments on behalf of clients in general casualty and products liability matters.

Classes/Seminars Taught

Defending Planned Community Association Cases: Directors and Officers Liability, Property, and Other Liability Issues, Engle Martin & Associates, March 2016

Legal Issues for Internet Travel Sellers and Travel Insurance for Industry and Consumers, Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) Travel Law Seminar, Philadelphia, May 1, 2014

Insurance Agents and Brokers Best Claims Practices in Claims Administration and Underwriting, Liberty Mutual Insurance, December 2013

Published Works

“Movement No Longer Required: Expansion of the “Operation of Motor Vehicle” Exception in Municipal Cases Since Balentine,” Defense Digest, Vol. 25, No. 2, June 2019

"When Accidents Happen: Legal Defenses for Travel Advisors," Travel Advisor, February 2019

"Top Legal Considerations for Independent Contractors," Travel Agent magazine, September 2014

"The Motor Vehicle Black Box," Dispute Resolution Institute: Annual Personal Injury Potpourri 2007, Co-Authored with Ralph P. Bocchino, Esq. 

New Jersey
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Boston College Law School (J.D., 2002)
Dickinson College (B.A., magna cum laude, 1998)
Honors & awards
Pennsylvania Super Lawyer Rising Star
2007-2008, 2010-2016
Associations & memberships
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Philadelphia Bar Association
Board Member, Saint Mary Interparochial School
Year joined