Disciplined in Sophisticated Defense and Insurance Litigation

Michael J. McLaughlin is a Partner at Butler who joined the firm in 2012. Working in the Philadelphia office, Michael is focused on areas that involve First-Party Coverage and Casualty Defense Litigation. He also has experience in defending insurers against Extra-Contractual claims including bad faith, representing insurers in state and federal courts, and has defended insured and self-insured clients in personal injury, automobile and premises liability cases. He has successfully represented insurers in complex disputes involving code upgrade and ordinance or law coverage.  Michael is also experienced in representing insurers in cases involving first party medical benefits under motor vehicle insurance policies, including claims for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. 

Michael is skilled in oral argument, alternative dispute resolution, pleading and brief drafting, and taking depositions, and has been successful in obtaining favorable rulings in numerous cases. He has also supervised residential and commercial property inspections throughout the mid-Atlantic. 

His past experience involved working as a law clerk for Judge Susan Peikes Gantman of the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Michael received his Doctor of Jurisprudence, with honors, from Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law in 2008. He is a member of the Brehon Law Society, and enjoys volunteering with local pro bono organizations, including the Legal Clinic for the Disabled and Philadelphia VIP.  He actively participates in local insurance industry groups including the CLM, Philadelphia Loss Conference and The Honorable Order of the Blue Goose, International.


  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania


  • Arcadia University
    Bachelor of Arts
  • Temple University
    Doctor of Jurisprudence


  • Brehon Law Society
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
  • Philadelphia Loss Conference
  • The Honorable Order of the Blue Goose

W.G. Tomko, Inc. v. Affiliated FM Ins. Co., Franklin County, Ohio C.C.P. (Aug. 21, 2014) (dismissing suit against insurer pursuant to suit limitations clause).

Year, Inc. v. Travelers Cas. Ins. Co. of America, Pennsylvania Super. Ct. (April 22, 2014) (affirming summary judgment ruling in favor of insurer per protective safeguard endorsement)

September 22, 2020 PUBLICATIONKnowing the Code: An Overview of Ordinance and Law Coverage

Partner Michael McLaughlin was recently published in the CLM Magazine for his article titled "Knowing the Code: An Overview of Ordinance and Law Coverage"...

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November 30, 2017 PUBLICATIONA Home After the Storm: How does additional living expense coverage respond to insureds impacted by hurricanes?

Hurricane Harvey recently displaced more than 1 million people, and news reports indicate that it left behind wreckage over an approximately 300 mile area. Hurricane Irma caused an estimated 6.5 million people to evacuate the storm in Florida. Victims of both hurricanes could not access their homes and stayed in hotels and other temporary housing as they awaited repairs and return of normal utility services.

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March 04, 2016 PUBLICATIONShelter from the Storm: Potential Disputes in Handling Additional Living Expense Claims

If the insurer and the homeowners cannot come to an agreement on these issues early in the resolution process, disputes are likely to develop that may quickly lead to a contentious claims resolution and, ultimately, to litigation with the potential for extra-contractual damages.

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April 01, 2015 PUBLICATIONNew Jersey Expands Traditional Notions of Physical Loss or Damage

New Jersey courts continue to expand traditional notions of physical loss or damage in recent decision of the New Jersey Federal District Court, Gregory Packaging, Inc. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of America, Civ. No. 2:12-cv-04418 WHW, 2014 WL 6675934 (D.N.J. Nov. 25, 2014) (J. Walls).

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Blog Posts

May 15, 2020 BLOG POSTPennsylvania Supreme Court declines to automatically decide questions of insurance coverage for Covid-19

The Joseph Tambellini Restaurant in Pittsburgh PA recently filed an Emergency Application for Extraordinary Relief to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court pursuant to the Extraordinary jurisdiction statute of 42 Pa.C.S. § 726 and “King’s Bench Power” jurisdiction reserved for issues of immediate public importance asking the Court to rule on the question of insurance “coverage for losses, damages and expenses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the governmental Orders entered in connection therewith"...

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March 07, 2019 BLOG POSTPennsylvania court rules insurer may still be responsible to pay RCV even if repairs never completed.

In situations where a property insurer denies coverage, the insured often complains that it is faced with a difficult dilemma – use its own money to fund repairs or avoid making repairs and risk having its recovery limited to actual cash value (ACV) if the insurer is later found liable for coverage.

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The legislatures are directing the public adjuster to focus on negotiating the insurance claim as opposed to profiting from remediation or remediation efforts and to ensure that all relationships are properly disclosed to the insured. This is certainly a move in the right direction.

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For the first time, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the highest court in the state, enunciated the elements of a bad faith insurance claim brought pursuant to Pennsylvania’s bad faith statute, 42 Pa.C.S. § 8371.  The decision can be found at Rancosky v. Washington Nat’l Ins. Co., No. 28 WAP 2016 (Pa. Sep. 28, 2017).  Since the 1994 decision from the intermediate appellate court in Terletsky v. Prudential Property & Cas. Ins. Co., 649 A.2d 680 (Pa. Super. 1994), courts in Pennsylvania had followed a two-part test which provides that, in order to recover in a bad faith action, the insured must present clear and convincing evidence (1) that the insurer did not have a reasonable basis for denying benefits under the policy and (2) that the insurer knew of or recklessly disregarded its lack of a reasonable basis.  For years, Pennsylvania state and federal courts had debated whether the Supreme Court would impose a third requirement that looked to the subjective intent of whether the insurance company acted with a motive of self-interest and ill-will towards its insured.  In Rancoskythe Supreme Court adopted the two-part Terletsky  test, and specifically held that proof of malice is not a prerequisite to prevailing in a bad faith claim under Section 8371. Instead, the Court held that proof of an insurance company’s motive of self-interest or ill-will is merely probative of the second Terletsky prong.  

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The Third Circuit Court of Appeals sitting in Pennsylvania recently issued a precedential decision that interpreted the definition of a “named insured” under a tax delinquency statute to encompass tenants of a property even though the property owner, not the tenant, owed the delinquent taxes.

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August 27, 2015 BLOG POSTLa. Federal District Court Greatly Expands the Duty to Preserve in Response to a Litigation Hold Notice

Takeda appealed the ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, but it reached a settlement in the MDL litigation in May of 2015 before appellate briefing commenced.  The Actos ruling is isolated to date; no other court has applied this holding or followed its interpretation.

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June 10, 2015 BLOG POSTPost-Complaint Communications by Insurer's Employees Protected from Discovery in Bad Faith Litigation

The insured failed to articulate any type of argument that he could not obtain the substantial equivalent by other means without undue hardship.  The court recognized that the insured has the opportunity to conduct bad faith discovery, which may include deposing State Farm adjusters, to obtain the substantial equivalent...

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March 05, 2015 BLOG POST"Physical" Damage Without Any Tangible Change - New Jersey Federal Court Continues the Expansion of "Physical" Loss or Damage

New Jersey courts continue to expand traditional notions of physical loss or damage in a recent decision of the New Jersey Federal District Court, Gregory Packaging, Inc. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of America, Civ. No. 2:12–cv–04418 WHW, 2014 WL 6675934 (D.N.J. Nov. 25, 2014) (J. Walls). The Court held that a building suffered physical loss or damage after an ammonia release, even though there was no structural change or alteration to the property that required some degree of repair or replacement...

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June 17, 2019 COMMUNITYCTRL Your Future 2019

Congratulations to our 2019 CTRL Your Future Winners! Read below for more information on the deserving Seniors who were awarded laptops.

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January 15, 2019 EVENTAdvice for Dealing with Public Adjusters

Michael addressed strategies for working with public adjusters and challenging claimants. Topics included negotiating claims, getting the most out of property inspections, and ensuring effective communication with the insured in challenging claims. He will also addressed recent developments in the law on these topics.

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October 30, 2018 EVENTWorking with Public Adjusters and Difficult Insureds

Join Michael McLaughlin as he presents on the topic "Working with Public Adjusters and Difficult Insureds" at the PLRB Eastern Regional Conference.

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January 19, 2016 EVENTPhiladelphia Loss Conference January 2016 Dinner

Legal Update on PA Insurance Related Case Law

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June 11, 2020 NEWSRising Star Michael McLaughlin

Congratulations to Michael McLaughlin for being a Rising Star in the 2020 Super Lawyers list...

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June 02, 2020 NEWSMichael McLaughlin: 40 Under 40!

Join us in congratulating Michael McLaughlin for being listed as a "40 Under 40" winner for Arcadia University!

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May 31, 2018 NEWSSuper Lawyers 2018

The 2018 Super Lawyer's List is here, and we're excited to show you our latest Super Lawyers and Rising Stars!

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