Michael Ward devotes his practice to civil litigation including commercial litigation, products liability defense, tort defense, professional liability defense, representation of local governments and constitutional officers, appeals, employment law, representation of financial institutions, and the defense of consumer credit matters. He practices throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia in both state and federal courts. He has an active trial practice and regularly tries cases to juries and arbitrators. Mr. Ward was selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers in 2010 - 2013 for civil litigation defense and The Best Lawyers in America in 2011 - 2014 for personal injury litigation-defendants and in 2013-2014 for product liability litigation-defendants.
Mr. Ward has represented clients in tort actions of all kinds, including vehicle accidents, defamation claims, premises liability matters, and commercial accidents. He has taken or defended hundreds of depositions of fact and expert witnesses, and has extensive trial experience. His personal injury practice includes the defense of brain injury cases, and he has successfully tried four of these to verdict.
Mr. Ward has experience defending products liability actions including those involving personal injuries, fires, and property damage. He has defended products including, among others, tree felling machines, leashes, busses, tractors, chemicals, cans, conveyor belts, hydraulic components, industrial forges, saws, machinery, and power tools. He has defended all phases of such cases, including investigation, discovery, and trial.
Mr. Ward has a broad commercial litigation practice that includes general commercial disputes, contract claims, construction litigation, and the representation of financial institutions. Mr. Ward has represented insurers against first party claims and third party claims on auto, home, life, and business policies. He has experience in administrative matters before governmental agencies, and successfully sued the Department of Social Services on behalf of several martial arts facilities.
Mr. Ward has represented local governments and their employees/officers, including police officers and sheriffs, in civil rights litigation, contract disputes, employment disputes, litigation with developers, and prisoner claims. Mr. Ward defends professional liability matters including the representation of attorneys accused of malpractice and ethical violations. He has also defended corporate officers accused of wrongdoing.
Mr. Ward also has an appellate practice, and he has handled and argued matters before the Supreme Court of Virginia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the Supreme Court of Louisiana.
Mr. Ward was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He earned an undergraduate degree in history from Vanderbilt University in 1990. He earned his law degree from Tulane Law School in 1995, graduating Magna Cum Laude and Order of the Coif. While in law school, he was a Justice of the Moot Court Board, and was awarded the American Jurisprudence Award and Corpus Juris Secundum Award. He is a member of Phi Delta Phi.
Mr. Ward and his wife, Virginia, have three sons. He enjoys activities with his sons, reading, and running in his spare time.
Lectures and Publications
- Michael R. Ward, Course Book Editor, ALFA International 2010 International Client Seminar, Pioneering Through the New Economic Frontier: Product Liability in a Changed World (2010)
- Michael R. Ward, Appellate Review of Adverse Privilege Determinations, Business Litigation Update by ALFA International, Vol. 2008 Issue 1 (2008)
- Michael R. Ward, Course Book Editor, ALFA International 2008 Product Liability Practice Group Seminar, Beyond the Horizon....A New Dawn for Global Product Liability Claims (2008)
- Michael R. Ward, Course Book Editor, ALFA International 2007 International Client Seminar, Shifting Sands of Global Product Liability Issues (2007)
- Michael R. Ward, Successor Liability in Virginia, Journal of Civil Litigation Vol. X, No. 4 (1998)
Morris & Morris
- Tulane Law School, J.D., Magna Cum Laude, 1995
- Vanderbilt University, B.A., 1990
- North Carolina
- U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia
- U.S. Bankruptcy Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- United States Supreme Court
- Richmond Bar Association
- Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys
- Defense Research Institute
- PBM Nutritionals, LLC v. Lexington Ins. Co., ___Va. ___, 724 S.E.2d 707 (2012)
- McGowan v. ABM Janitorial Servs., Northeast, Inc., 2011 WL 2604107 (E.D. Va. June 29, 2011), aff’d, No. 11-1840 (4th Cir. Feb. 6, 2012)
- McLauglin v. Safway Servs., LLC, 2011 WL 1930633 (4th Cir. May 20, 2011)
- Weintraub v. Quicken Loans, Inc., 2009 WL 302165 (E.D. Va. Feb. 5, 2009), aff’d, 594 F.3d 270 (4th Cir. 2010)
- Koger v. Woody, 2010 WL 331759 (E.D. Va. Jan. 26, 2010), aff’d, No. 10-1238 (4th Cir. Sept. 28, 2010)
- Conyers v. Martial Arts World of Richmond, Inc., 273 Va. 96, 639 S.E.2d 174 (2007)
- Schrager v. Isquith, 2006 WL 2022185 (Rich. Cir. Ct. July 18, 2006)
- Atlantic Mach. & Equip., Inc. v. Tigercat Indus., Inc., 427 F.Supp.2d 657 (E.D. Va. 2006)
- Atlantic Mach. & Equip., Inc. v. Tigercat Indus., Inc., 419 F.Supp.2d 856 (E.D. Va. 2006)
- Schrager v. Isquith, 2005 WL 2546648 (Rich. Cir. Ct. Aug. 19, 2005)
- Carytown Jewelers, Inc. v. ADT Security Servs., Inc., 2005 WL 1147800 (E.D. Va. May 16, 2005)
- Schrager v. Isquith, 69 Va. Cir. 31 (Rich. Cir. Ct. May 3, 2005)
- School Board of Norfolk v. Int’l Truck & Engine Corp., 62 Va. Cir. 466 (Norfolk Cir. Ct. Sept. 3, 2003)
- Tibbetts v. Yale Corp., 47 Fed.App’x. 648 (4th Cir. Sept. 26, 2002)
- Arnlund v. Smith, 210 F.Supp.2d 755 (E.D. Va. 2002)
- Lynch v. Droddy, 30 Fed.App’x 177 (4th Cir. Mar. 4, 2002)
- Choice v. Kruse, 57 Va. Cir. 13 (Chesterfield Cir. Ct. April 26, 2001)
- Dickson v. Virginia, 28 F.3d 208 (Table), 2000 WL 232055 (4th Cir. Mar. 1, 2000)
- State v. Marshall, 660 So.2d 819 (La. 1995)