Michael L. Hecht

Partner
Hecht Michael

Michael Hecht is a skilled litigator, representing clients at the state and federal levels in national and international product liability and mass tort litigation, where his focus on complex medical, scientific, and regulatory issues is a critical asset. In addition to pharmaceutical litigation, Michael’s practice also includes other product litigation, complex commercial and construction litigation, premises liability, negligence actions, and business torts. He also assists clients with risk management issues outside the context of litigation, and with domestic, criminal, and civil rights matters.

Michael has participated in and managed every aspect of trial preparation. He is often asked to manage and lead expert development and company case analysis. In this capacity, Michael routinely works with external experts and in-house scientific and medical departments to understand the critical issues in the litigation and craft winning strategies for his clients.

Michael is a key part of one of the most active and respected product liability practices in the United States, a group that has been the recent recipient of the coveted Chambers USA Client Service Award. Michael has represented clients at hearings, taken and defended numerous fact and expert depositions, and prepared witnesses for testimony.  He has developed considerable knowledge in the areas of pharmaceutical manufacturing, endocrinology, bone biology and metabolism, metabolic bone disease and related conditions, oral surgery and dentistry, and orthopedic surgery and biomechanics.

Michael has served on Venable’s Hiring Committee and as a mentor in the firm’s summer associate program on multiple occasions.

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Served as a member of the science and expert team for an international pharmaceutical defendant in product liability litigation involving allegations of birth defects
  • Served as a member of all trial teams for an international pharmaceutical defendant in multiple jurisdictions (Multi-District Litigation [MDL], NJ Mass Tort Litigation, and California Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding) in lawsuits involving a prescription osteoporosis medication and allegations of atypical femur fracture, resulting in two defense verdicts, one mistrial, and the subsequent grant of preemption in the MDL cases
  • Conducted Science Day for an international pharmaceutical defendant in a California Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding of more than 650 individual lawsuits involving prescription osteoporosis medication and allegations of atypical femur fracture
  • Served as the leader and as a member of the science and expert team for an international pharmaceutical defendant in product liability litigation involving allegations of atypical femur fracture, including responsibility for expert development and preparation, taking and defending of expert depositions, attending scientific conferences, and analyzing developing scientific issues
  • Served as a member of eight trial teams for an international pharmaceutical defendant in multiple jurisdictions (MDL in the Southern District of New York and mass tort litigation in Atlantic County, NJ), in lawsuits involving prescription osteoporosis medication and allegations of osteonecrosis of the jaw, resulting in six defense verdicts and one hung jury
  • Served as a member of the science and expert team for an international pharmaceutical defendant in product liability litigation involving allegations of osteonecrosis of the jaw, including expert witness development and preparation, taking and defending expert depositions, attending scientific conferences, and analyzing developing scientific issues
  • Serves as national coordinating counsel for an international pharmaceutical defendant in multiple jurisdictions in lawsuits involving prescription osteoporosis medication and multiple allegations of injury, including developing global litigation and regulatory strategy, company defense development, expert development, coordination with plaintiffs’ counsel, taking and defending of fact and expert depositions, trial examination and graphics preparation, and coordination with co-defense counsel in the U.S., Canada, and Europe for all aspects of case preparation and trial
  • Served as second chair in a wrongful death trial in Prince George’s County, Maryland, involving a negligence action for a commercial carrier, resulting in a defense jury verdict
  • Safeguarded a pharmaceutical client’s trade secrets in submissions to the Food and Drug Administration for Vaccine Court proceedings
  • Served as a member of the science team for an international pharmaceutical defendant in product liability litigation involving allegations of autism, including responsibility for preparation of manufacturing witnesses for deposition
  • Conducted a factual investigation and analysis of a complex $161 million construction contract and fraud dispute with associated bankruptcy issues

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. with honors University of Maryland School of Law 1999
  • Maryland National Trial Team

    Maryland Moot Court Board

  • B.A. magna cum laude Mount Saint Mary's College 1996

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Member, Maryland Defense Counsel

Recognition
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  • Recipient, Benjamin R. Civiletti Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award, 2004
  • Recipient, Maryland Pro Bono Service Award, 2004

Community
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Pro Bono

  • Actively involved in a variety of pro bono matters, primarily in the areas of contract, civil rights, domestic, and criminal law
  • Working with Disability Rights of Maryland to investigate the state of Maryland’s use of solitary confinement conditions on inmates with serious mental illness
  • Worked with Disability Rights of Maryland on behalf of a pro bono client, helping to reach a settlement with the state of Maryland to overhaul sexual abuse protections in all state-run hospitals and treatment facilities
  • Achieved a favorable bench verdict in a 10-count civil contempt lawsuit in Baltimore City Circuit Court following a two-day evidentiary hearing
  • Achieved victories in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the Board of Veterans Appeals, and the Veterans Administration Regional Office for a disabled veteran, concerning his disability benefit entitlement
  • Achieved favorable results for a federal pre-sentencing detainee receiving inadequate medical care, including primary medical expert development and examination, in motions practice in federal court

Volunteerism

  • Coach, boys and girls soccer teams, two to three seasons per year
  • Former teacher, Summer Bible School, St. Joseph’s Church
 

Personal Activities

  • Michael spends most of his free time with his wife and three children. He also enjoys exercise, sports, ropes courses, rock climbing, movies, and games