Michael P. McDermott

Senior Shareholder

Mike is the President at O’Connell and Aronowitz.  He handles plaintiff’s personal injury cases and criminal defense at our firm with a special emphasis in representing children who have suffered brain injuries as a result of lead paint poisoning. He has handled or supervised over three dozen homicide prosecutions, trying many of those cases to verdict, and he is a court-appointed special prosecutor in homicide cases in Albany and Rensselaer counties.

While in law school, Mike was an Associate Editor of the Albany Law Review.  Upon graduation, he entered the Albany County District Attorney’s Office as an assistant district attorney under the Hon. Sol Greenberg. In 1991 he was hired by the Hon. Mary Donohue as Chief Assistant District Attorney of Rensselaer County.

After leaving the Rensselaer County DA’s Office, Mike was a partner in the former Albany law firm of Bouck, Holloway, Kiernan and Casey where he specialized in defending insurance carriers in arson cases. In 2002, he returned to the Albany County District Attorney’s Office as Chief Assistant District Attorney under the Hon. Paul A. Clyne.  In 2004, Mike was named New York State Arson Prosecutor of the Year by the New York State Fire Investigators Association.

Mike continued to serve in the Albany County District Attorney’s Office as Chief Assistant under the Hon. P. David Soares until January of 2007, when he became Of Counsel to our firm. Also in 2007, he was appointed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer to the New York State Commission on Sentencing Reform. He previously served as a member of the City of Albany Gun Violence Task Force.

For the sixth consecutive year, Mike was named to the 2019 Upstate New York Super Lawyers list, a distinction earned by less than 5% of the attorneys in the state. He serves on the board of directors of TASC, Inc. a local not-for-profit corporation providing residential drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration for eligible offenders in the Capital District, and he also serves on the board of directors of the Albany County Bar Association.

In addition to the practice of law, Mike has been an adjunct professor at Siena College and Southern Vermont College. He has lectured on legal issues for the New York State Bar Association, the Albany County Bar Association, the Schenectady County Bar Association, the New York State Prosecutors Training Institute, Albany Law School, and the National Business Institute.

Education

  • Albany Law School
  • Siena College

Presentations

  • Damages in Personal Injury
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • The Role of the Criminal Defense Attorney
  • The Role of the Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Court of Appeals Roundup: Criminal Law Update
  • Expert Reports and Scientific Evidence
  • The Role of the Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Applying the Rules of Evidence: What Every Attorney Needs to Know
  • Permissible Trickery or Constitutional Violation?
  • Personal Injury 101
  • Court of Appeals Roundup: Criminal Law Update
  • Plaintiff's Personal Injury – From Start to Finish

Board Memberships

  • President-Elect, Albany County Bar Association
  • Board Member, TASC, Inc.

Professional Associations

  • American Association for Justice
  • New York State Bar Association
  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association
  • New York State Defenders Association
  • Albany County Bar Association
  • Saratoga County Bar Association
  • Capital District Trial Lawyers Association
  • City of Albany Gun Violence Task Force

Awards

  • Upstate New York Super Lawyers, 2014-2019
  • New York State Arson Prosecutor of the Year presented by New York State Fire Investigators Association, New York State Fire Investigators Association
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