Michael L. Phifer graduated from Vanderbilt Law School in 1983 after receiving his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in 1979. He began his career practicing civil trial law in Houston, Texas with Vinson & Elkins, where he primarily represented corporate defendants and Fortune 500 companies in commercial, oil and gas, aviation, products liability, and other personal injury cases.
In 1992, Mike made a significant change. Because he sympathized with those who had been injured, he stopped representing corporate defendants. For the past 15 years, he has exclusively represented the victims of negligence and defective products.
In his first medical malpractice case as a plaintiff's attorney, the jury awarded more than one million dollars against the defendant surgeon; this case was later profiled in a New York Times article discussing problem physicians.
In 2001, Mike spearheaded the efforts of Texas lawyers to bring Ford and Firestone to justice for the tragic deaths and injuries caused by the Ford Explorer and Firestone tires.
Heading the Plaintiff's Steering Committee for the Texas Consolidated Cases, he led discovery efforts against Ford and Firestone on behalf of several hundred Texas cases, argued before the Texas Supreme Court on corporate trade secrets, and traveled throughout the United States to question corporate and engineering witnesses.
The deposition testimony he elicited from Ford and Firestone has been successfully used by Plaintiff's lawyers throughout the United States in support of their cases. For his efforts, Mike Phifer was one of a group of lawyers from across the United States honored by the American Association for Justice with the Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award. In 2002, having built an established practice, he opened the offices of Michael L. Phifer, P.C. In one of his first cases, he reached a multi-million dollar settlement with a Fortune 500 company and its franchisees for the young victim of a sexual assault.
He has obtained multi-million dollar recoveries for his clients in the areas of medical negligence, products liability, automobile and tire defects, sexual assault, brain injury, electrocution, toxic exposure and industrial death.
His current practice is concentrated in the areas of defective automobiles and tires, medical negligence, wrongful death, drug and products liability, brain injury and rollover/stability litigation. He has successfully represented Plaintiffs throughout Texas, including the cities of Abilene, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Dallas, Fort Worth, Galveston and San Antonio. Although he is not licensed in Massachusetts or Florida, he has been retained by attorneys in Boston and Miami to assist them with wrongful death cases arising from defective automobiles and tires.
Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Mike has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Vanderbilt School of Law and has lectured on litigation matters at various CLE programs sponsored by the University of Houston School of Law, the State Bar of Texas and South Texas College of Law. He has also served as a member of the Vanderbilt Law School Alumni Board, and he has been elected to membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Mike Phifer has performed volunteer legal work with the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, representing indigent clients in family law cases, and has also done volunteer work with the Houston Bar Association and the Houston Trial Lawyers Foundation. Continuing his commitment to legal education, he has endowed the Phifer Scholarship at Vanderbilt Law School in honor of his parents.
Bad Faith Insurance
Business & Commercial Law
Personal Injury -- Plaintiff
Motor Vehicle Accidents -- Plaintiff
Products Liability Law
Personal Injury Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Vanderbilt University School of Law, Nashville, Tennessee, 1983
Honors: Member, Vanderbilt Law School Alumni Board
Honors: Phifer Scholarship, Vanderbilt Law School
Vanderbilt University, 1979
Adjunct Professor, Vanderbilt School of Law
Lecturer, Litigation Matters, CLE programs, University of Houston School of Law
Lecturer, Litigation Matters, CLE programs, State Bar of Texas and South Texas College of Law
Jury Awarded, In his first Medical Malpractice Case as a Attorney, New York Times Article Discussing Problem Physicians
One of a Group of Lawyers From Across the United States Honored, American Association for Justice with the Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award, 2002
American Board of Trial Advocates
Houston Bar Association
Houston Trial Lawyers Foundation
Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program