The Law Office of Michael S. O’Connell concentrates on general and commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts and in all aspects of pretrial, trial, and appellate proceedings.  Mr. O’Connell provides counsel to clients on employment and discrimination matters, contract disputes, defamation and civil rights matters, real estate litigation, and False Claims Act matters.

In addition to representing automotive dealerships in employment, contractual, and commercial matters, Mr. O’Connell has been primary outside counsel defending a major real estate brokerage and its broker associates in litigation involving allegations of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, consumer fraud and other disclosure-based claims for over 20 years.  He has obtained dismissal or summary judgment in favor of his clients in numerous cases, and has also represented real estate brokers and other professionals in relation to professional licensing matters before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

As part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Interim Legal Representation Program, Mr. O’Connell has also represented FBI agents who, having discharged their weapons resulting in death or physical injuries, require emergency counsel during investigations by local authorities and the Department of Justice.  The investigations closed with no charges against the agents.


  • Law Office of Michael S. O’Connell – 2012-Present
  • O’Connell & Ryan – 1993-2011
  • Rivkin, Radler & Kremer – Partner at national law firm’s office in Chicago from 1990-1992.  Authored client newsletters concerning products liability developments.
  • G.D. Searle & Co. – In-house counsel at Searle from 1986-1990.  Supervised mass tort products liability litigation and assisted outside counsel at trial.  Managed Searle’s Litigation Support Group.
  • U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Chicago – Served as Assistant U.S. Attorney in Chicago for more than six years, prosecuting and defending cases and bringing to trial cases concerning products liability, personal injury, commercial, employment, regulatory, and criminal issues.  Argued numerous times before U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago.  Numerous cases in which he was involved are described in federal trial and appellate reporters.
  • Has spoken at local and national legal seminars for attorneys and corporations on trial practice.
  • Faculty, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Denver, Colorado – August 1991 and 1992.
  • Participant, National Institute of Trial Advocacy Expanded Teacher Training Seminar, Berkeley, California, October 22-25, 1992.


Juris Doctor, with honors, 1979, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
Bachelor of Science, 1975, Colorado State University


1979 – Illinois
Northern District of Illinois, Federal Trial Bar
Central District of Illinois
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Supreme Court


American Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association


IIT Chicago-Kent Law School Solo & Small Practice Incubator Program
In 2012, the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law initiated an attorney mentoring program for new Chicago-Kent attorneys who decided to open their own small or solo practice.  Mr. O’Connell has participated as an alumni-mentor to attorneys during the following years of the program: 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2021-2022.