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About me

Michael and his wife, Laura, met at Ohio Wesleyan University, and have been married since 1987.  They have three children, and their eldest son graduated from Ohio Wesleyan.

Mr. Phelan volunteers countless hours with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), United Parents Against Lead to reduce the hazards of lead to children, and Northstar Academy, a Richmond non-profit shool for children with learning disabilities. Mr. Phelan is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Northstar. The Board presented in January, 2010 the first annual Special Needs Forum for educators, health care providers, and parents of special needs children. Mr. Phelan is also on the board of the Commonwealth Community Trust, a nonprofit trust for people with disabilities.

Mr. Phelan has extensive trial experience in state and federal courts, and has gained a national reputation for handling complex brain injury, lead poisoning, pharmaceutical, product liability, trucking accident, complex commercial litigation, medical device and toxic substance cases. He achieved one of the largest recoveries in the country in a benzene exposure case involving an oral dental adhesive. Mr. Phelan is the past Chair of the Product Liability Section of the Virginia Trial Lawyer’s Association and has lectured at the Section’s annual retreats, at the 2006 ATLA Pharmaceutical/Medical Device seminar, and at many other seminars on numerous litigation topics.

Since 1996, Mr. Phelan has maintained an AV rating from the Martindale-Hubbell National Law Directory. This rating is based upon an extensive and confidential peer review by members of the bar, and is the highest rating available for legal ability and ethical standards. He also serves as an elected board member on the Virginia Trial Lawyer’s Association’s Board of Governors.

 Mr. Phelan was selected to the American Trial Lawyers Association 2007 Top 100 Trial Lawyers.  Since 2008, He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Personal Injury Litigation, Mass Tort Litigation and Product Liability Litigation (Copyright Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC) and for includion in Virginia Super Lawyers.  He has been recognized as on of the Top 25 lawyers in Richmond and Top Lawyers in Virginia.  In 2010, he achieved two of the top 34 settlements in the state.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Brain Injury: 30%
    26 years
  2. Car Accident: 30%
    1 year
  3. Defective Products: 20%
    1 year
  4. Spinal Cord Injury: 10%
  5. Motorcycle Accident: 10%

Attorney endorsements

10 total 

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  • Lauren Brady Carroll

    I endorse this lawyer.


    Lauren Carroll Workers compensation Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • John M O'Brien

    I endorse this lawyer. An extremely talented and well respected attorney in the legal community.


    John O'Brien Personal injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Phelan |Petty, PLC

Reynolds Crossing
6641 West Broad Street, Suite 406
Richmond, VA, 23230-1728


VAAuthorized to practice law198903/31/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Top 100 Lawyers in VirginiaSuper Lawyers2012
Top 25 Lawyers in RichmondSuper Lawyers2012
Best Lawyers in AmericaThe Best Lawyers in America2010
Super LawyerVirginia Super Lawyers2010
Best Lawyers in AmericaThe Best Lawyers in America2009
Super LawyerVirginia Super Lawyers2009
Top 100 Trial LawyersThe American Trial Lawyers Association2009
AV ratingMartindale-Hubbell1996
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
OwnerPhelan | Petty, PLC2013 - Present
OwnerLaw office of Michael G. Phelan, P.C.2010 - Present
PartnerButler Williams & Skilling, P.C.2008 - 2010
PartnerCantor Arkema, P.C.1991 - 2008
Associate AttorneyBrowder Russell1989 - 1991
Associate AttorneyBowditch & Dewey1987 - 1989
Association namePosition nameDuration
Southern Trial Lawyers AssociationMember2008 - Present
Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Amicus Curiae CommitteeBoard of Governors1991 - Present
American Association for Justice (District of Columbia chapter)Member1991 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Confidential$3,500,000.00 settlement
Confidential$3,250,000,00 settlement
Confidential$1,250,000.00 settlement
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
LexisNexisChapter Virginia Products Liability TreatiseN/A
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Richmond, The T. C. Williams School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1987
Ohio Wesleyan UniversityEconomicsBA - Bachelor of Arts1984
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
IARP Virginia ConferenceLife Care Plans2014
Advanced Auto RetreatTraumatic Brain Injury2013