Michael J. Silverman is a partner in and General Counsel of Duane Morris LLP. He is the chair of the firm's Information Technologies and Telecommunications Practice Group and a member of the Trial Practice and Professional Liability Defense Groups.
As General Counsel, Mr. Silverman provides risk management and ethics guidance to the firm's more than 750 lawyers. Mr. Silverman also maintains an active litigation practice, and regularly defends law firms against all manner of claims.
Mr. Silverman represents clients in computer, e-commerce and technology law transactions, systems development disputes, commercial disputes and shareholder disputes. Mr. Silverman has counseled clients (vendors and users) on negotiating and drafting systems development contracts and outsourcing agreements, domestic and international software license agreements, Web hosting and development agreements, and telecommunications service agreements. Mr. Silverman has also litigated a number of large-scale information technology and e-commerce system failure disputes, as well as complex financial fraud, shareholder trade secret, non-competition, and commercial disputes in state and federal courts and before arbitrators.
Mr. Silverman also counsels clients regarding numerous areas of e-commerce and Internet law, including structuring relationships, processes and contracts for e-commerce endeavors (such as joint ventures, channel partner, ASP and co-marketing arrangements) and for delivering products and services to consumers and businesses over the Internet. He assists clients in managing IT and Internet law issues in M&A transactions and counsels clients on privacy and security issues relating to Internet and network-based activities.
Recently, Mr. Silverman managed a team of Duane Morris lawyers negotiating more than 800 customer contracts in a year for one of the world's largest information database providers. He assisted the client in the development of its suite of form customer contracts to license its products, enter into e-commerce relationships with business partners and provide services to end users.
In November 2007, Mr. Silverman was cited in The BTI Client Service All-Star Team for Corporate Transactions for "delivering truly superior client service in corporate M&A work." Previously, he served as special counsel to the City of Chicago regarding the Y2K computer issue. He also served on the Mayor's Council of Technology Advisors for the City of Chicago. He is a certified public accountant and a certified fraud examiner. He has written and spoken frequently on a variety of legal topics, including those related to lawyer liability, lawyer regulation, professional responsibility, law firm risk management, systems development contracts and system failure disputes, software licensing, cybercrime prevention, trade secrets, outsourcing, privacy and e-commerce and has acted as a legal source for various members of the press, including Computer World Magazine and CNN's Burden of Proof.
Admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Mr. Silverman is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the American Bar Association. He is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and graduate of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (B.S., accounting).
- Successfully completed a two and a half month arbitration against one of the largest computer system developers in the world regarding the failure of its three year system development and outsourcing project.
- Successfully represented the Resolution Trust Corporation at the trial of a former lawyer who defrauded a federally insured bank of millions of dollars via a complex scheme of financial transactions.
- Obtained a unanimous decision from the California Court of Appeal reinstating a $1.05 million jury verdict in favor a developer of air-cargo facilities against a major city and its airport. The appellate court reversed the post-trial judgment overturning the verdict, ruling that the trial court erred in determining that the developer's claim for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing was time-barred. Airis SFO, LLC v. The City and County of San Francisco, (Cal. Ct. App. Sept. 22, 2010).
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- Supreme Court of Illinois
- Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1990
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S., Accounting, 1985
- Duane Morris LLP
- General Counsel, 2004-present
- Partner, 1999-present
- Holleb & Coff, Chicago, Illinois
- Partner, 1998-1999
- Associate, 1990-1998
- The Morton Group, Chicago, Illinois
- Consultant, 1987-1988
- Laventhol & Horwath, Chicago, Illinois
- Senior Auditor and Consultant, 1985-1987
- Certified Public Accountant, Illinois, 1985
- Certified Fraud Examiner
- American Bar Association
- Federal Trial Bar
- Co-author, "Key Elements of an E-commerce Integration Project Contract," Journal of Internet Law, February 2003
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, "Thorny Ethics Issues You Can't Ignore," LexisNexis® CLE Ethics-Eligible Webinar, September 27, 2016
- Panelist, "Playbook Disqualification Motions," 2014 Legal Malpractice and Risk Management Conference, March 7, 2014
- Panelist, "Litigators Beware: Malpractice Risks Abound," ALAS Video Webcast, December 12, 2013
- Panelist, "Herding Your In-Firm Cats and Managing Their Risks: Perspectives of General Counsel and Risk Managers," ABA Fall 2013 National Legal Malpractice Conference, September 19, 2013
- Speaker, "Case Law Developments," American Bar Association Spring 2011 National Legal Malpractice Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, April 28, 2011
- Speaker, "What Keeps Us Up at Night," Hildebrandt Law Firm General Counsels' Forum: Managing Risks and Finding Opportunities, New York City, September 13-14, 2010
- Speaker, "Understanding the Risks Associated with Attorney Attrition, Lateral Hiring and Integration," Law Firm General Counsel Summit, New York City, April 30, 2008
- Speaker, 2nd Annual Risk Management for the Modern Law Firm Conference, Chicago, Illinois, April 17-18, 2007
- Speaker, The Hildebrandt Institute's Fifth Annual Law Firm General Counsels Forum, New York City, November 17, 2006
- Co-presenter, "Hot Topics in E-Commerce Websites," New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association (NJCCA) annual meeting, September 26, 2006
- Co-panelist, "What You Must Know About IT Security and Privacy Law," Chicago, Illinois, June 29, 2005; Rosemont, Illinois, June 30, 2005
- Featured Speaker, Third National Conference on Outsourcing in Financial Services, Las Vegas, Nevada, week of March 8, 2004
- "Non-Competition Agreements and Protection of Trade Secrets Under Illinois Law," National Business Institute Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, February 2, 2004
- Speaker, "E-Commerce: A One-Day Legal Primer," Multilaw E-Commerce Special Interest Practice Group, San Jose, Costa Rica, February 6-8, 2003
- Speaker, "Protect Your Client: Non-Competition Agreement Enforcement in Illinois," National Business Institute seminar, Chicago, Illinois, January 29, 2003
- Co-Chair and Speaker, The Computer Law Association's "Advanced Issues in IT Law Conference," Orlando, Florida, October 3-4, 2002
- Speaker, "Key Elements of an Information Technology System Acquisition, "The Computer Law Association's Annual CyberSpaceCamp Conference, San Jose, California, February 14-16, 2002
- Speaker, "Internet Risk Management for the Airline Industry," Risk and Insurance Management Society's Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, April 29-May 3, 2001
- Speaker, "Key Elements of an Information Technology System Acquisition," The Computer Law Association's CyberSpaceCamp Conference, San Jose, California, March 15-17, 2001
- Speaker, "Cybercrime Laws," sponsored by Duane, Morris & Heckscher LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Upside Media at Cybercrime Conference, San Francisco, California, April 18, 2000
- Speaker, "Cybercrime Prevention," sponsored by Duane, Morris & Heckscher LLP, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Upside Media at Cybercrime Conference, San Francisco, California, April 18, 2000
- "Key Elements of an Information Technology System Acquisition," Computer Law Association's Fourth Annual CyberSpaceCamp Conference, San Jose, California, March 2, 2000
- "Legal Issues Regarding the Year 2000 Computer Problem," CNN's Burden of Proof, Chicago, Illinois, 1999
- "Estate Contests: What They Are, How to do Them and How to Avoid Them," Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois, October 5, 1999
- "Valuation Issues in Contested Estates Litigation," Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois, 1998
- "Year 2000 Computer Problem - Legal and Business Risks in the Long Term Care Industry," Illinois Long Term Care Association, Springfield, Illinois, 1998
- "Effective Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution," Corporate Counsel Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, 1998
- A frequent author and lecturer on information technology and electronic commerce matters, including an appearance on CNN's Burden of Proof, protection of trade secrets and covenants not to compete, how to use accountants as expert witnesses, valuation issues in litigation and strategically manage alternative dispute resolution.