District of Columbia (inactive status)
United States Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Third, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Civil Justice Fellow Advisor for the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy
American Association for Justice
The National Association of Consumer Advocates, elected to Board of Directors December 2015
The National Employment Lawyers Association
The College of New Jersey, B.A. (1992)
Masters Degree Rutgers University-Newark Graduate School, M.A. (1996)
University of Michigan Law School, J.D. cum laude (1999)
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s words guide my practice of law: "Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress."
Michael Quirk specializes in consumer protection, employment, civil rights, and products liability law, class action and complex litigation, and appellate practice. Within these areas, he has extensive experience fighting against enforcement of mandatory arbitration clauses, expansive uses of federal preemption doctrine, and other barriers to justice for consumers, workers, and other persons harmed by corporate or government wrongdoing.
Mr. Quirk also has considerable experience in litigating federal and state-court appeals, having successfully represented consumers and workers against some of the nation’s most powerful corporations in the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous federal circuit courts of appeals, state supreme courts, and state courts of appeals.
“Now more than ever we litigate in a conservative environment.
In the federal and state appeals courts, this means we must clearly establish powerful facts to satisfy the court that it can rule in our client’s favor without opening the floodgates to millions of claims.
By doing this, we secure justice for our clients and keep the courthouse doors open for our next clients.”
Mr. Quirk launched his legal career in Washington, D.C., serving as an Equal Justice Works Fellow and staff attorney with Public Justice, P.C., after he was Supreme Court Assistance Project Fellow with the Public Citizen Litigation Group. He also served as advisor to the Civil Justice Fellow for the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, a civil rights organization based in New York. He was designated a Pennsylvania SuperLawyer “Rising Star” in 2010.
He is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates (“NACA”), and co-chair of its Issues Committee, which reviews requests for NACA to file and join amicus curiae briefs in consumer rights cases in the federal and state appeals courts. He also serves on NACA’s Federal Rules Committee, which submits proposals and comments on federal court rules amendments.
Mr. Quirk is co-author of Consumer Arbitration Agreements: Enforceability and Other Topics, part of the National Consumer Law Center’s Consumer Credit and Sales Legal Practice series and the leading authority on its subject area. He also co-wrote the third edition of the NACA Standards and Guidelines for Litigating and Settling Consumer Class Actions, which outlines client-centered values and “best practices” for representing consumers in class action litigation.
“It is an honor, but also can be daunting, to represent the ‘little guy’ against the powerful corporate or government interests in court.
And although our civil justice system is not foolproof and can be frustrating, I still believe that the courts are the best forum we have for putting ordinary citizens on equal footing to hold the powerful accountable for their harmful conduct.”
Mr. Quirk is a semi-practicing Quaker and regularly attends meeting for worship with his daughter, Sarah, at Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting in Philadelphia.
Mr. Quirk has been class counsel or collective action counsel in numerous consumer and employment actions, including:
Mr. Quirk also has been lead counsel who briefed and/or argued for prevailing plaintiffs, including:
Mr. Quirk also has represented consumer rights and public interest groups as amici curiae in support of consumers and other plaintiffs in U.S. Supreme Court and state and other federal courts.
For a more extensive list of cases, click on curriculum vitae link below.
Mr. Quirk is a frequent speaker for the legal community, an accomplished author and a frequent blogger for this website. Click the link below for a comprehensive list on Mr. Quirk’s curriculum vitae.
Select speaking engagements:
National Consumer Law Center’s 15th Annual Class Action Symposium panel discussion addressing the possible impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo on class action litigation practice, including how the Supreme Court may assess or re-assess issues involving statistical evidence, class-wide injury, and class ascertainability that were previously addressed or alluded to in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes and Comcast Corp. v. Behrend. San Antonio, November 14-15, 2015
Legal Services of New Jersey’s Annual Consumer Law Training CLE presentation on “Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Contracts” as part of the full-day “Federal Consumer Laws of General Application” session. Edison, New Jersey, April 19, 2016
CLE presentations at conferences of National Consumer Law Center; NACA-Pennsylvania; Equal Justice Works; Hispanic National Bar Association; National Employment Lawyers Association; West Virginia Judicial Education Conference; Legal Services of New Jersey; Colorado, Ohio, Oregon, West Virginia, and Wyoming State Trial Lawyers Associations
A sampling of Mr. Quirk’s publications:
Articles in Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty Law and Policy; Consumer Attorneys of California Forum; Consumer Financial Services Law Report; National Lawyers Guild Newsletter of the Labor and Employment Committee; Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers Journal; Trial: Journal of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America; Wisconsin Lawyer