Michael J. Pendell


Michael Pendell is a trial lawyer who represents people affected by corporate wrongdoing, including whistleblowers, people harmed by tobacco, prescription medications, dangerous medical devices, and victims of international terrorism. He also represents pension fund trustees and other institutional investors in securities, consumer fraud, and other complex class actions.

Michael served as trial counsel in a number of prescription opioid lawsuits representing dozens of governmental entities, including states, cities, and counties in litigation against several pharmaceutical drug manufacturers and distributors for the alleged deceptive marketing and distribution of highly addictive prescription opioids.

A former Naval Reservist who served in a security unit, Michael litigates on behalf of victims of foreign terrorism and international human rights abuses. Michael, along with other Motley Rice attorneys, is pursuing a civil action against the financiers and supporters of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Michael represents personal injury clients, including people allegedly harmed by tobacco products and thousands alleging harm by dangerous medical devices. He served as trial counsel in the Engle-progeny litigation in Florida for smokers and families of deceased smokers against tobacco manufacturers. In transvaginal mesh litigation, he represented women implanted with Ethicon Gynecare Prolift transvaginal mesh devices claiming serious injuries and complications from the devices. 

Michael  represents institutional and individual investors in claims involving securities fraud. He played a central role on the litigation team that obtained a seven-figure arbitration award in a case involving secondary liability for an investment advisor’s conduct under the Uniform Securities Act. Michael also represents clients in complex commercial cases regarding claims of fraud, breach of contract, and tortuous interference, as well as representing whistleblowers in multiple cases involving the False Claims Act, including litigation filed against  Afognak Native Corp., alleging Small Business Administration regulatory violations.

Prior to joining Motley Rice. Michael was an associate with a Connecticut-based law firm, where he litigated in both federal and state courts in commercial and construction law, media and administrative law, personal injury defense and labor and employment matters. He previously taught business law to B.A. and MBA candidates as an adjunct professor at Albertus Magnus College.

Michael served as a legal intern for the Honorable Randolph F. Treece of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York and as a law clerk for the Major Felony Unit of the Albany County District Attorney’s Office. He served as the executive editor for the New York State Bar Association Government Law & Policy Journal and senior editor for the Albany Law Review, which published his 2008 article entitled, “How Far is Too Far? The Spending Clause, the Tenth Amendment, and the Education State’s Battle Against Unfunded Mandates.”

As of January 2023, Michael serves on the Board of Directors for the Special Olympics of Connecticut.

* Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.


J.D., summa cum laude, Albany Law School, 2007

B.A., cum laude, Emerson College, 2000

Licensed In

  • Connecticut
  • New York

Admitted to Practice Before

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York


American Association for Justice

Connecticut Bar Association

New York State Bar Association

Awards and Accolades

2024 Lawdragon 500 Global Plaintiff Lawyers list: Anti-Terrorism, Product Liability, Whistleblower
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2019–2024 Lawdragon 500 Plaintiff Financial Lawyers
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Rising Stars list
2013–2018 Securities litigation; Business litigation; Personal injury – products: plaintiff
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