A Personality and Background for Litigation
Day Pitney Partner Michael Fitzpatrick admits he is tenacious and competitive and hates to lose arguments. He knew early in life that these qualities would serve him well as a litigator, so he set his sights on a career as a trial attorney and never looked back.
Meanwhile, Michael's clients describe him as dedicated, knowledgeable, smart and committed.
"He gets the fact that it's not always about who wins and who loses, but it's also about the bigger picture for the company," says MJH Life Sciences Chief Financial Officer Neil Glasser, who worked with Michael on a litigation that lasted several years. "Michael was always very poised. He knew what questions to ask to get to the larger issues of the case."
Amy Ooi, a vice president and associate general counsel at Caliber Home Loans, Inc., agrees that Michael is accessible and easy to talk to and puts her company's business goals first. Located in Texas, she greatly appreciates Michael's guidance on New Jersey and New York law. "He's always able to help us find a way to avoid issues—sometimes even before we knew those issues existed," she adds.
"My goal is to be a trusted advisor, confidant and problem-solver for clients. If I can fill that role, I would know I've done my job," Michael says. "I want clients to know that their best interests are my priority."
Michael is a New Jersey native and the youngest of three brothers born to a homemaker mother and an attorney father, who started his career at Day Pitney's predecessor firm, Pitney Hardin. When Michael and his brothers fought as children, his father would preside over "Family Court." Each child would make their case to their father, who served as the de facto judge and would decide how to resolve each brotherly dispute. "I was a notorious loser in the Fitzpatrick family court only because my brothers were much more comfortable lying," Michael says with a laugh.
After working as a summer associate at Day Pitney, Michael returned after graduating from Seton Hall University School of Law and has stayed with the firm ever since. "The firm gives me the opportunity to work on various types of cases and disputes and with the most incredible clients. My matters are always challenging and engaging, which keeps me sharp," Michael says.
Michael credits his mentors at Day Pitney for teaching him what it means to be a Day Pitney attorney. From former Partner Joy Sperling, he learned the value of building relationships with clients to be an effective counselor; Partner Mark Morgan gave Michael early opportunities, including his first deposition; and Partner Ben Haglund gives Michael guidance on growing his business and practice.
Michael is a commercial litigator who focuses on torts and products liability, and he also represents lenders and mortgage services in all types of debtor/creditor disputes. He considers himself a trial attorney who can represent his clients in connection with a wide array of commercial disputes.
Michael is a firm believer in pro bono work, which provided him with his first hands-on experience as a litigator. Michael's first court appearance was in a pro bono matter where he partnered with the JBWS (Jersey Battered Women's Service) to represent women in need of legal counsel in obtaining restraining orders against their abusers. Michael also volunteers his time to an organization known as SCARC, which assists underprivileged families with guardianship petitions for their children with disabilities.
Outside work, Michael enjoys spending time with his family and golfing with his wife, Marissa, whom he married in March 2022; she is a partner at Lyons & Associates P.C. He is still close to his brothers and loves spending time with his six nieces and nephews. Michael also supports two charitable organizations that hold special meaning to his family: the Forget Me Not Foundation and March of Dimes.
COMPLEX COMMERCIAL LITIGATION
Seton Hall University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
Boston College, B.A.
Admissions: New Jersey, New York