Michael L. Turner

Co-Chair, Asbestos Litigation Practice Group
Senior Counsel

    A senior attorney with 40 years of litigation experience, Mike has tried in excess of 200 jury trials to verdict in the state and federal courts of Pennsylvania, as well as other jurisdictions throughout the United States.

    Mike is a former member of the firm's Board of Directors, and as a highly experienced litigator and trial attorney, he represents and defends clients in mass torts cases and complex general liability matters.

    Mike began his law career in the Philadelphia District Attorney's office where he served as an assistant district attorney for five years. He then joined the civil litigation firm of Krusen, Evans and Byrne in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After trying numerous asbestos-related cases, he co­founded the firm of Kelley, Jasons, McGuire & Spinelli in Philadelphia where he focused on the preparation and trial of complex personal injury, products liability, and criminal cases.

    Significant Representative Matters

    Defended a local corporation in a case where plaintiff, a carpenter, was electrocuted while setting up scaffolding around defendant's electrical generators. Plaintiff, who was 33 at the time of his injury, suffered closed head injuries and was unable to return to work. Plaintiff's medical bills totaled $750,000. His past and future lost wages were in the millions, and his settlement demand was in excess of $3.5 million. After a six-week jury trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, the jury awarded plaintiff $750,000 in damages. 

    Defended a local insurance agency in a case where plaintiff, an automobile repair shop owner, alleged our client negligently failed to provide him with the proper mix of insurance coverages, including underinsurance coverage. Plaintiff was seriously injured in an automobile accident caused by an individual who had minimal insurance coverage. Plaintiff's medical bills exceeded six figures and his alleged economic losses exceeded seven figures. After a six day trial in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, the jury found that the Plaintiff was contributorily negligent.

    Defendant's Motion for Directed Verdict was granted after a three-week jury trial in federal court in Philadelphia. Represented a corporation that at one time manufactured and sold bathtub inserts to hotels throughout the United States. Plaintiff alleged he pulled the grab bar on a bathroom insert which broke, causing him to fall out of the tub, injuring his back, hips, shoulders, and legs and permanently disabling him. Plaintiff's defective design and manufacture claim was dismissed as to the defendant as a result of successor liability arguments. 

    Defended a national fast food retailer in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia. Plaintiff alleged negligent hiring, negligent retention, and failure to properly supervise. The co-defendant employee falsified his employment application and failed to disclose that he had been convicted of armed robbery. He thereafter allegedly told one of his supervisors at the fast food establishment that he had a criminal record. Months later, co­defendant employee brought a gun to work and showed it to several of his co-workers during their shift. At the end of his shift, co-defendant employee shot and wounded two of his co-workers and killed two other co-workers in a field about 300 yards from defendant's retail establishment. This case settled for a confidential amount on the day of jury selection. 

    Tried to verdict a one-week reverse bifurcated jury trial in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, where seven mesothelioma cases were consolidated for trial. Two of the plaintiffs were living and five were deceased. Defendants did not contest the diagnoses of mesothelioma or that exposure to asbestos caused the mesotheliomas. Defendants also did not present any medical evidence in the damage phase of the trial. In five of these cases, the jury returned verdicts in the low five figures. In the other two cases, the jury returned verdicts in the low six figures. Defendant was able to settle all of these cases based on the low Phase I verdicts and avoid a Phase II liability trial. 

    Tried a group of 26 asbestos cases to verdict before a jury in an eight-week trial in state court, Baltimore, Maryland. The plaintiffs' diseases included lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma, colon cancer, and kidney cancer. In all of these cases, plaintiffs presented medical evidence that their injuries were caused by occupational exposure to asbestos. Defendant presented evidence that the plaintiffs' diseases were not caused by asbestos but other causes, including smoking. Defendants received outright defense verdicts in 14 of these cases and minimal verdicts in nearly all of the remaining cases. 

    Represented a contractor that allegedly installed asbestos-containing pipe covering. Plaintiff alleged his mesothelioma was caused by exposure to the asbestos-containing products of various defendants. This was an all issues trial where plaintiff presented state-of-the-art and failure to warn evidence, as well as evidence on causation. On the eve of trial, all co-defendants settled, leaving contractor alone in the courtroom to defend this matter. Although the jury rendered a verdict for Plaintiff, after setoffs and credits, our client paid zero dollars. 

    Tried a consolidated group of three asbestos lung cancers cases to verdict before a jury in state court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These cases were reverse bifurcated with damages being tried first. Plaintiffs alleged their lung cancers were caused solely by occupational exposure to asbestos. Defendants alleged Plaintiffs' lung cancers were caused solely by their smoking histories. Our client received outright defense verdicts in two of the three cases and a verdict of $190,000 in the third case. During the liability phase of this third case, Plaintiff alleged his injuries were caused solely by exposure to our client's asbestos product. The jury disagreed and found that our client was liable for only $20,000 of this verdict and that other Defendants were liable for varying amounts. 

    Classes/Seminars Taught

    Moderator, In-House Perspective 2021: Managing Relationships & New Technology From the Inside, Perrin Conference, February, 2021

    Panelist, Insights on Diversity in the Legal Community, Perrin Conference, November 2016

    Panelist, Legal Issues Arising in Trial Practice, Lawyers Club Philadelphia, May, 2016

    How to Retain and Prepare Expert Witnesses, Philadelaphia Bar Institute CLE, March 2015

    Moderator, Alternatives to Mock Trial: What You Can Learn With Less Cost, Breakout Session, DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar, November, 2013

    Panelist, Today's Jury Pool - The Impact of Generation "Y" and the Social Media  Revolution, American Bar Association Litigation Section's Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar, February, 2013

    How To Conduct Effective Opening And Closing Statements, American Bar Association Section of Litigation, National Conference for the Minority Lawyer, 1999 

    Seminar, Direct and Cross Examination, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 1989 

    Pro Bono Activities

    Director, Univest Bank 

    Past President, Germantown Branch Board of Settlement Music School 

    Past President, Center City Crime Victim Services Board 

    U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit
    University of Virginia School of Law (J.D., 1981)
    Virginia State College (B.A., magna cum laude, 1978)
    Honors & awards
    American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 2019
    The Best Lawyers in America®, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants
    The Best Lawyers in America®, Criminal Defense: White-Collar
    International Academy of Trial Lawyers, 2023
    Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
    Associations & memberships
    American Bar Association
    American College of Trial Lawyers
    National Bar Association
    Pennsylvania Bar Association
    Pennsylvania Defense Institute
    Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel
    Year Joined