Michael E. Elsner
Michael Elsner manages complex, cross-border litigation and intricate investigations of infringement and abuse of human rights, multi-layered financial transactions and due diligence. He litigates complex civil matters on behalf of individuals and businesses victimized by commercial malfeasance, violations of human rights, inadequate security measures and state-sponsored terrorism. As a key member of Motley Rice's Anti-Terrorism and Human Rights practice group, Michael is using the U.S. civil justice system to seek social change and improved protection of Americans at home and abroad.
Michael's understanding of the complex legal challenges of international matters is critical to litigating cases involving human rights and financial dealings. He is highly proficient in the use of legal mechanisms to track illicit finances, and his investigations through the maze of international banking and financial regulations continue to uncover violations that have allowed money laundering and terrorist financing. Michael is building upon legal theories and case precedents to represent plaintiffs harmed by financial crimes and actions and hold the global institutions and organizations accountable.
Michael is a lead plaintiffs' counsel in Almog v. Arab Bank, a suit brought on behalf of American and Israeli victims of terrorist's attacks trying to prevent the financing of more terrorists and help bring peace to the Middle East region. In addition, he currently leads the worldwide investigation for liability evidence in the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism civil action against al Qaeda's alleged financiers and supporters. In this capacity, Michael meets with U.S. and foreign intelligence officers, witnesses, and informants, who have already helped him gather more than two million pages of documents in numerous languages identifying the activities of al Qaeda and its financiers. He is a member of the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee for this multidistrict litigation filed on behalf of more than 6,500 families and survivors of the September 11, 2001 attacks. He also served as a member of the Plaintiffs' Committee in In re September 11th Litigation, a suit brought against the airline industry for alleging it failed to detect and prevent the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Michael's work with financial transaction litigation includes commercial, securities fraud and shareholder derivative cases such as his extensive work on behalf of domestic and foreign investors In re Vivendi Universal, S.A. Securities Litigation. Michael began his career with the Manville Personal Injury Trust and then practiced complex civil litigation in New York in the areas of toxic torts, security, personal injury, bankruptcy, and whistleblower protections prior to joining Motley Rice attorneys in 2002.
Sharing his experience and insight as a lecturer and consultant, Michael has discussed anti-terrorism and human rights litigation on several national and international news outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, NPR and the BBC, as well as international anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism industry conferences. In 2010, Michael was named to the 2010 edition of the Lawdragon™ 3,000. He is a member of the American Association for Justice, American Bar Association, New York Bar Association, South Carolina Bar Association, Virginia Bar Association, National Crime Victims Bar Association, and Public Justice.
* Please remember that every case is different. Any result we achieve for one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.