Biographical Information

Michael A. Ponterio is a founding partner of Lipsitz & Ponterio, LLC. Mr. Ponterio represents families who have suffered injuries as a result of exposure to asbestos, childhood lead poisoning, as well as representing families suffering injuries as a result of defective products.


Admission Dates & Jurisdictions

  • 1984 – New York State


  • J.D., 1983, New England School of Law
  • B.A., 1978, St. Bonaventure

Professional Experience

Mr. Ponterio has been representing people suffering from mesothelioma caused by asbestos for over 28 years. He obtained the first personal injury jury verdict in the State of New York for an asbestos victim (Racich v. Celotex Corporation). Mr. Ponterio also obtained the first punitive damage award for an asbestos worker in the State of New York (Racich v. Celotex Corporation). Mr. Ponterio and his partner, John Ned Lipsitz, also received the first personal injury jury verdict in Buffalo, New York, on behalf of an asbestos victim (Wolf v. Celotex Corporation).

In July 2017, Mr. Ponterio obtained a $1.2 million dollar jury verdict in a medical malpractice lawsuit against two doctors at the University of Rochester Medical Center for failing to timely diagnose a female client’s bowel perforation.

In September 2011, Mr. Ponterio, together with Lipsitz & Ponterio attorney Neil McKinnon obtained the first jury verdict in Western New York on behalf of a lead poisoned child. In November 2013, Mr. Ponterio, together with Lipsitz & Ponterio attorney Zachary J. Woods, obtained a verdict on behalf of a Rochester, New York, child for injuries resulting from exposure to lead based paint.

Since 1988, Mr. Ponterio has obtained over $250 million in settlements on behalf of the firm’s mesothelioma clients.

Honors & Awards

  • 2019 –  Listed AV Distinguished Rating by Martindale-Hubbell.  This is the highest peer review rating for both legal ability and ethical standards.
  • 2019 – Listed in the National Trial Lawyers Top 100
  • 2019 – 2011 – Selected as a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters
  • 2019, 2017 – 2014 Legal Elite Honoree, Business First of Buffalo, recognized by peers as one of Western New York’s top attorneys
  • 2016 – Lifetime Achievement, America’s Top 100 Attorneys®
  • 2016 – Lawyers of Distinction, Recognizes the Top 10% of Lawyers in the USA.
  • 2016-2015  Member, Nation’s  Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • 2012 – AVVO Rating of Excellent based on experience, industry recognition and professional conduct.

Professional Associations

  • American Association of Trial Lawyers
  • New York State Trial Lawyers’ Association
  • Western New York Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Erie County
  • Distinguished Justice Advocates – Top 1% Attorneys in America
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum – The Top Trial Lawyers in America®

Verdicts & Settlements

Speaking Engagements

  • New York State Bar Association
    • 2014 – Honing Your Deposition Skills
    • Products Liability;
    • Vital Aspects of Your Care;
    • Civil Litigators Guide to Discovery Under New York Law