Michele R. Punturi

Director, Workers' Compensation Department
Shareholder

    As director of the Workers' Compensation Department, Michele oversees more than 35 attorneys throughout 10 of the firm's offices. She is also a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. Michele has been with the firm for more than 30 years, and has been a shareholder in the Worker’s Compensation Department since 1998. Michele represents third party administrators, insurance carriers and self-insureds, handling matters for construction companies, steel product and technology companies, hospitals, retailers, supermarkets, hotels, personnel corporations, landscaping contractors, assisted living facilities, townships, and manufacturers. In addition to her managerial and litigation responsibilities, Michele supervises client development efforts for the Workers’ Compensation Department.

    During her career, Michele has successfully defeated numerous claim petitions by presenting medical and factual evidence showing that the claimants did not sustain work-related injuries and/or corresponding disabilities. Her innovative legal strategies have included requesting the judge's presence at the employer's premises. In addition, Michele has argued numerous cases in front of the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board and has taken multiple cases to the Commonwealth Court.

    In March 2022, Michele was inducted into the College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers, joining a select group of attorneys from across the country who have distinguished themselves in the practice of workers' compensation law.

    Michele has lectured for various organizations, including the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance and Philadelphia Bar Association. She has published many articles and educational/training materials and has authored a chapter on workers' compensation in the prestigious West Pennsylvania Forms and Commentary Employment Law treatise.

    Michele graduated cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh and the Widener University School of Law. Michele's success is due in large part to the care and dedication she exhibits to each client and the attention to detail shown in her work. It is these characteristics that have led many of her clients to look to her as a sounding board for business and legal advice.

    Michele is active in the community, donating her time to a host of charitable organizations including Northern Children's Services and the American Cancer Society.

    Significant Representative Matters

    Nathan Armstrong v. W.C.A.B (Haines & Kibblehouse) – the court held that the filing of a Temporary Notice of Compensation Payable and Notice of Compensation Denial acknowledging an injury and no disability was sufficient acknowledgement of an injury for purposes of seeking a utilization review treatment.

    Lane Enterprises, Inc. v. W.C.A.B. (Patton) – prepared an amicus curiae "friend of the court" brief

    Classes/Seminars Taught

    The Dawning of the Age of Remote Work, CLM Workers' Compensation and Retail, Restaurant and Hospitality Conference, Chicago, IL, May 19, 2022 

    The Right Way to Avoid a Wrongful Termination Claim When the Employee Is Also a Workers’ Compensation Claimant, Marshall Dennehey webinar, March 3, 2022

    Workers' Compensation Winter Roundup, Graham Company webinar, December 15, 2020

    Survivor: Workers' Compensation Edition, CLM Workers Compensation and Retail, Restaurant & Hospitality Conference webinar, June 16, 2020

    Workman's Compensation & Third Party Liability, National Association of Women in Construction Philadelphia Chapter, February 26, 2020 

    Determining the Value of Your Case, Marshall Dennehey Workers' Compensation Seminar, October 24, 2019

    Maximizing the Productivity of an Aging Workforce, CLM Workers' Compensation Conference, Chicago, IL, May 22, 2019

    Driven to Distraction – Mitigating Distracted Driving Claims, CLM Annual Conference, Orlando, FL, March 14, 2019

    Return to Work: Perfecting Job Offers and the Revival of the Labor Market Survey, Marshall Dennehey Workers' Compensation Seminar, October 25, 2018

    Private Eyes: They're Watching You!," Philadelphia Bar Association Workers' Compensation Section Meeting, September 14, 2018

    Workers' Compensation Settlement Evaluation Analysis and Mediations, guest lecturer, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, April 11, 2018

    The Rise in Workplace Violence: Practical Tips and Guidance to Avoid Devastating Consequences and Reduce Liability, CLM Annual Conference, March 15, 2018

    Don't Get Burned: How to Keep a Medical Only Claim From Becoming an Indemnity Claim, Marshall Dennehey Workers' Compensation Seminar, October 19, 2017

    Today's "Medical Only" Claim is Tomorrow's "Indemnity Claim," CLM & Business Insurance Workers' Compensation Conference, Chicago, Illinois, May 24, 2017

    Do's and Don'ts of Fact Witnesses, Marshall Dennehey Workers' Compensation Seminar, October 27, 2016

    Developing a Robust Return to Work Program, CLM Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia, May 2016

    Put Me In Coach: Top 10 Opportunities in Claims and Litigation Management, Marshall Dennehey Workers' Compensation Seminar, October 22, 2015

    The Dream Team Approach to Workers' Compensation Case and Litigation Management, 2015 CLM Annual Conference, Palm Desert, California, March 25, 2015

    Checks and Balances: A Dream Team Approach, Marshall Dennehey Workers' Compensation Seminar, October 30, 2014

    A New Era of Workers' Compensation Claims? The Potential Impact of Social Trends, claims workshop presented by The Graham Company, Philadelphia, PA, April 18, 2013

    You Can't Handle the Truth: A Mock Trial, Marshall Dennehey Workers' Compensation Seminar, Philadelphia, PA, November 30, 2012  

    Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Forms and Defenses, MAC Risk Management, June 15, 2012

    Defense Consideration and Limiting Exposure in Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation, Connor Strong & Buckelew, February 2, 2012

    Judicial Panel, Annual Florida Workers' Compensation Institute Conference, August 2011

    The New Uniform-Based Task Management System (UBTMS) Workers' Compensation Code Set, Annual Florida Workers' Compensation Institute Conference, August 2010

    Understanding the WC Claims Process, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry Workers' Compensation Roundtable, June 3, 2010

    The Litigation Process, Pennsylvania Self-Insured - A to Z Training Course, March 11-12, 2010

    The Litigation Process, Pennsylvania Self-Insured - A to Z Training Course, March 27-28, 2008

    Defense Considerations in Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation, The Graham Company Employer's Training Course, November 29, 2007

    Successfully Navigating Workers' Compensation Law - Hot Topics in Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation - Case Law and Legislative Update, Insurance Society of Philadelphia, October 12, 2006

    The Litigation Process, Pennsylvania Self-Insured - A to Z Training Course, March 23-24, 2006

    Workers' Compensation Mock Trial, The Addis Group's 2006 Risk Management Forum, March 23, 2006

    Workers' Compensation Mock Trial, Churchill Dallas Risk Control Workshop, March 16-17, 2006

    Workers' Compensation Mock Trial, Raffles Risk Control Workshop, Captive Resource, April 2005

    Tough Problems in Workers' Compensation 2003, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, March 27, 2003

    Workers' Compensation 2003 Fall Section Meeting, Pennsylvania Bar Association, September 2003

    The Litigation Process, Pennsylvania Self-Insured - A to Z Training Course, April 11-12, 2002

    The Impact, Aftermath and Reality of Act 57, Annual Conference, Pennsylvania Self-Insured, June 25, 1998

    Impairment Ratings from the Doctor's and the Attorney's Perspectives, Philadelphia Bar Association/Workers' Compensation Section, June 17, 1998

    Legal Update, Annual Conference, Pennsylvania Self-Insurers Association, June 27, 1997

    Impairment Rating Under Act 57, REM, August 23, 1996

    Published Works

    "Keep Your Eyes on the Road -- Distracted Driving and Workers' Comp Claims," The Legal Intelligencer's Workers' Compensation Supplement, October 13, 2020

    "Reflections on a Pandemic," Philadelphia Bar Reporter, August 2020

    "Tempering the Tempest of Workplace Violence," The Legal Intelligencer, Workers' Compensation Supplement, October 15, 2019

    "Eliminating Risk With Robust Return to Work Programs," PRIMA Press, June 2017

    "Getting Healthy With Return-to-Work Programs," Risk Management, November 2016

    "The Dream Team Approach to Workers' Compensation Case Management," Workers' Compensation magazine, August/September 2015

    "Beware: If We Snooze We May Lose. A Closer Look at LIBC-756 as Interpreted in Muir v. WCAB (Visteon Systems, LLC)," Workers' Compensation (PSIA Newsletter), October 2012

    "Medical Suspension Has Life," PSIA Newsletter, May 2011

    "A Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation 4-Phase Checklist," PSIA Newsletter, September 2009

    "IRE's At Issue Again," PSIA Newsletter, May 2009

    "IRE's At Issue Again," Defense Digest, March 2009

    "Notice of Ability To Return To Work - LIBC 757 - An Analysis of Allegis Group v. WCAB," PSIA Newsletter, July 2006; and Defense Digest, June 2006

    "Recent Developments," Pennsylvania Bar Association's Workers' Compensation Section, 2003 Fall Section Meeting, September 2003

    "Case Law Update-Tough Problems in Workers' Compensation 2003," Pennsylvania Bar Association, March 2003

    "Employer Liability for Employee Violation of Company Policy," PSIA Newsletter, November 2000

    "Recourse for Judge's Monetary Settlement Recommendation," PSIA Newsletter, January 2000

    Contributor to the PSIA Newsletter, 1996-2012

    Media Commentary

    "Survivor: Workers' Compensation Edition," Safety National Conference Chronicles, June 16, 2020

    Admissions
    Pennsylvania
    1990
    U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    1991
    U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit
    1991
    Education
    Widener University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1990)
    University of Pittsburgh (B.A., cum laude, 1987)
    Honors & awards
    Pennsylvania Self-Insured Association, Award of Excellence, 2008
    Pennsylvania Super Lawyer
    2007-2008, 2021
    Pennsylvania Super Lawyer Rising Star, 2005
    Pennsylvania Super Lawyer Corporate Counsel Edition, 2008-2009
    Associations & memberships
    Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
    College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers
    Defense Research Institute
    Judge Alexander F. Barbieri Workers’ Compensation Inn of Court
    Pennsylvania Bar Association
    Pennsylvania Defense Institute
    Philadelphia Bar Association, Women in the Profession Committee co-chair (2021, 2022); Judicial Commission (2022)
    Year joined
    1988