Michael W. Gallagher, Of Counsel

Michael W. Gallagher
Gallagher & Cavanaugh LLP
The Gaslight Building
22 Shattuck Street
Lowell, MA  01852
Tel  978.452.0522, ext. 108
Fax 978.452.0482

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Areas of Practice

Michael Gallagher is a founding partner of Gallagher & Cavanaugh LLP. He is an experienced trial attorney with an AV® Peer Review Rating and has tried numerous cases in federal and state courts. Since 2007, he has been named a New England Super Lawyer as published in Boston Magazine, after having been named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer in 2006. He has also presented arguments before federal and state appellate courts. He has had a national litigation and counseling practice in the areas of products and professional liability, construction, employment, motor vehicle, premises, environmental, liquor liability, and commercial cases. He has represented insureds through many insurers and, in multiple instances, has been retained by insureds who later became self-insureds. As Central and Regional Counsel for a number of companies, Mr. Gallagher has consolidated and coordinated legal support and litigation services to provide more uniform and cost-effective legal services to ensure optimal results.

Personal/Professional Experience

Mr. Gallagher was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. He began practicing law in New York where he tried multiple criminal matters for the District Court and then Felony Bureaus of the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County, New York. In 1981, he returned to Massachusetts and practiced with the law firm of Donahue & Donahue Attorneys, P.C. for over eighteen years prior to establishing Gallagher & Cavanaugh LLP. Mr. Gallagher also provides mediation and conciliation services.

Honors and Awards

  • AV® Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell.
  • 2007 to present, New England Super Lawyers.
  • 2006 to present, Massachusetts Super Lawyers.


Co‑authorFast-Track Assessment of Products Claims, DRI, 1984; “Cross-Examination of the Plaintiff,” Personal Injury Cases Involving Tools & Industrial Machinery, 1985; “Taking Expert Depositions,” Massachusetts Deposition Practice Manual, 1992; “How To Try A Personal Injury Case in Massachusetts District Court,” Massachusetts Basic Practice Manual, 1993; “Opposing Expert Testimony at Trial,” Chapter in MCLE books, Massachusetts Expert Witnesses (2002, 2004) and Massachusetts Courtroom Advocacy (2005).

Lecturer/Panel Member/Chair:  Products Liability Seminar, Suffolk University Law School, 1991; Trial Advocacy Institute, MCLE, 1991; Civil Depositions Seminar, MCLE, 1991; Soft Tissue Injuries Seminar, Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, 1991; Trial Advocacy Institute, MCLE, 1992; Civil Deposition Practice:  Winning Before Trial, MCLE, 1992; Taking Depositions Workshop, MCLE, 1992; Civil Deposition Practice, MCLE, 1992; Trial Advocacy Institute, MCLE, 1993; Deposition Seminar, Greater Lowell Bar Association, 1993; 29th Annual Practical Skills Program (Trial of a Personal Injury Case speaker), MCLE, 1993; Taking Depositions Workshop, MCLE, February, 1993; Taking Depositions Workshop, MCLE, June, 1993; Liquor Liability Seminar, 1993 (Chair); 30th Annual Practical Skills Program (Trial of a Personal Injury Case speaker), MCLE, l994; The Art of Public Speaking for Lawyers, January, l994 (Chair); MCLE Advanced Trial Advocacy Workshop, August, l994; Introducing Evidence at Trial, MCLE, Spring, l994 (Chair) and Fall, l994 (Chair); 31st Annual Practical Skills Program (Trial of a Personal Injury Case speaker), MCLE, l995; Introducing Evidence at Trial, MCLE, Spring, l995 (Chair) and Fall, l995 (Chair); Soft Tissue, Back & Whiplash Injuries, MCLE, l995 (Chair); Annual Auto Accident Seminar, MATA, May, l995; Boston College Law School Mock Trial (Coach), 1996; 32nd Annual Practical Skills Program (Successful Trial of a Personal Injury Case in the District Courts), MCLE, l996; Introducing Evidence at Trial, MCLE, Spring, l996 (Chair) and Fall, l996 (Chair); Emerging Issues in Law & Litigation Symposium, Suffolk University Law School, 1997 (presenter); Emerging Issues in Law & Litigation Symposium, Suffolk University Law School, 1998 (presenter); Introducing Evidence at Trial, MCLE, Spring, 1999 (presenter); Introducing Evidence at Trial, MCLE, 2001 (presenter); Direct and Cross Examination of Lay Witnesses: Winning Strategies.

Bar and Court Admissions

Mr. Gallagher was admitted to practice in New York in 1979 and in Massachusetts in 1980.  He was admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and in the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts.  He has been admitted pro hac vice in numerous states, having litigated in the courts of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, California, Florida, Maryland, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, among others.


J.D., Boston College, Boston, MA, 1978 (cum laude)
B.A., College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, 1975 (cum laude)
Phi Beta Kappa

Community Activities

Mr. Gallagher's community activism has centered on access and opportunity — in public education, the arts, human services, and health care.

As to public education, Mr. Gallagher developed and implemented perhaps the first public elementary school School/Business Partnership in the Commonwealth involving more than just financial support. That Partnership, between his then law firm and Lowell's Reilly Elementary School, had four components — a critical thinking project, public speaking instruction, a Read-Aloud program (which continued for many years and was later replicated elsewhere in the system), and a Visiting Speaker's Bureau. As Chair of the Lowell Citywide Parent Council, he spearheaded a grass roots campaign to lobby for funding for what became 14 new elementary and middle schools in Lowell, at the time the most ambitious school building project in the nation for similarly-sized cities. He also co-founded the Community Alliance for School Excellence which supported school committee candidates open to increased community involvement in Lowell's schools; served on the Northeast Regional Education Council and the Massachusetts Commission on the Common Core of Learning (this Commission developed the "Common Core" which became the basis for Massachusetts' Curriculum Frameworks); and was elected, as the top vote-getter, to the Lowell School Committee (his School Committee salary was used to fund a school/business collaborative). After leaving the School Committee, he served as a Charter Member of the Mary Bacigalupo Educational Forum Committee and on the Boards of the Lowell High School ("LHS") Latin Lyceum and Project LEARN; led an extensive Superintendent Search Process; helped raise funds to buy books for pre-school students, to retain a search firm to locate candidates for LHS Headmaster, and to hire an independent Grant Writer for the public schools; and for many years was the Pronouncer for the Regional Lowell Sun Spelling Bee. He later received the Distinguished Service Award from the faculty of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell College of Education at graduation and gave the Commencement Address at that time.

As to the arts, Mr. Gallagher founded the ArtUp Program at the Lowell Community Health Center where over 200 works of art by Lowell artists now grace its walls. Through Project LEARN, he helped expand the Health Center's ArtUp program to ArtUp Lowell which has resulted in, among other things, the creation of numerous full-size murals throughout the city. He also served as a Member and then President of the Merrimack Repertory Theatre's Board of Trustees, helping to bring hundreds of LHS students to MRT productions gratis. He later co-chaired the MRT's Keep Live Theatre Alive Campaign which stabilized its finances at a critical time. In addition, he chaired the Revolving Museum Board; served on the Advisory Boards of the Angkor Dance Troupe (ADT) and Lowell Makes; helped provide pro bono legal work necessary for the transport, cleaning, and display of the Whistler House's Gorky exhibit; held "Visioning Sessions" for the New England Quilt Museum and the ADT; hosted Cultural Economy gatherings at the firm's offices for artists and businesses to discuss ways to support the arts; and purchased about 70 pieces of Lowell-connected art for the firm's downtown law office.

As to human services, Mr. Gallagher founded and chaired the Lowell Youth Commission, co-chaired the Community Schools Advisory Board, and co-founded the Healthy Summer Program. These efforts were designed to identify and provide fun and instructive activities and programs (as well as meals) for young people — as alternatives to non-productive activities — during non-school hours. Since then, he has served on the UTEC Board (helping it locate and secure its headquarters on Hurd Street) and Advisory Board, and was a team member of two Lowell All-American City delegations (in Mobile, Alabama and Philadelphia, where Lowell secured its All-American City designation). In addition, he served on the EforAll Board and the Lowell House, Inc. Advisory Board. He has also led or been much involved in numerous citywide initiatives, including chairing the Keep LHS Downtown Committee, advocating (as the City's designee) for changing the city's voting method (for the first time in 60 years) from all at-large to a fairer hybrid district and at-large system, and sitting on the Save the Spinners Committee. He has authored numerous Op-eds in the local newspaper on key community issues, hosted various public access cable programs, co-chaired former Congressperson Niki Tsongas' Finance Committee, and coached youth soccer, basketball, and baseball. At The Gaslight building, he has hosted many fundraisers for political candidates and current officeholders as well as Meet & Greet's and non-profit gatherings in support of the arts, mental health, public education, and entrepreneurship.

As to health care, Mr. Gallagher co-chaired the Lowell Community Health Center's Capital Campaign which raised Five Million Dollars to get its new Medical Building operational and later served on its Senior Advisory Committee. For many years, he also served on the Lowell General Hospital Board of Governors.

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