Pitt McGehee Palmer Bonanni & Rivers

Speaker Bio

Michael Pitt is a Founding Member of Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, Bonanni & Rivers.

Michael has handled complex employment litigation including nationwide class actions, group actions and multiple party cases on behalf of employees from the lowest to highest levels of many of the largest companies in the United States. He received his Bachelor's Degree from Michigan State University in 1971 and his Juris Doctor from Wayne State Law School in 1974. Since 1980, Michael has specialized in employment law and civil rights litigation on behalf of employees. He also serves as a court-appointed mediator of employment disputes and has been frequently selected as an arbitrator.

Michael’s recent work on the Neal Case as part of a team of civil rights lawyers has garnered him wide acclaim and recognition. In this case, eighteen women prisoners were raped and sexually assaulted by prison guards in Michigan’s prisons, and through Michael’s hard work, a damage verdict was won in favor of the women prisoners. As a result of this case, Michael and the team received recognition from the Trial Lawyers for the Public as the 2008 Trial Lawyer of the Year, recognition from the National Lawyers Guild as the 2008 People’s Lawyer of the Year and in February 2009, the team also received the Wade McCree Award from the Federal Bar Association for the Eastern District of Michigan. The Department of Corrections settled the matter after two jury trials generated more than $30 million in damages for 18 women. The Department agreed in July 2009 to pay more than 400 women $100 million in resolution of all claims of rape and sexual assault.

In 2004 and 2005, Michael was elected President of the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association. In 2003, he was inducted as a Fellow into the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He is President-Elect of Public Justice, the nation’s largest public interest law firm. He has presented more than 80 papers at seminars across the country sponsored by ATLA, NELA, MTLA, ICLE of Michigan and other organizations.

In 2015 he was presented with the “Champion of Justice Award” by the State Bar of Michigan. In 2017, he was presented with the “Distinguished Service Award” by the Labor and Employment Section of the State Bar of Michigan. He has been listed as a Best Layer in America every year since 1989. He has been named Top 100 Super Lawyers from 2013 through 2016.

Most recently, Michael was appointed by Judge Judith Levy of the Eastern District Court of Michigan as Interim Co-Lead of the Consolidated Class Actions in the Flint Water Crisis Cases. As Co-Lead, Michael and a team of 15 attorneys will pursue complex and high stakes litigation on behalf of tens of thousands of injured Flint citizens against elected government officials and private contractors responsible for contaminating the drinking water for the entire City of Flint.

Michael and his wife, Peggy Goldberg Pitt, are avid bicycle riders, travelers and doting grandparents. They are very proud of their son, Jared, a California attorney and father of two boys, and their daughter, Meagan, a Colorado attorney and the mother of two daughters.