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Michael Wolfer is a Senior Associate in Butler’s Subrogation and Recovery Department in Philadelphia. An experienced litigator, he concentrates his practice on property subrogation claims involving construction defect, product liability, structural failure, fire and explosion, water damage and other casualty losses across the United States. Michael has successfully represented clients in several high profile cases including a widely publicized roof collapse in Philadelphia’s Center City resulting in a high-value recovery for his clients. Michael also represents clients’ interests in liability defense and insurance coverage matters, and enjoys serving as an arbitrator for the Philadelphia County Arbitration Program.

Michael earned his law degree from Rutgers School of Law and his bachelor’s degree in political science from Columbia University where he competed as a Division I wrestler for the Lions.

Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania

Recognitions

  • Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Certified Civil Arbitrator

Education

  • Columbia University, New York
    Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
  • Rutgers University School of Law
    Doctor of Jurisprudence

Memberships

  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
  • Columbia University Club of Philadelphia, Board Secretary (2018—2020)
  • Philadelphia State Bar Association

Courts

  • Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas
  • United States District Court – District of New Jersey

Media

Best Lawyers – Ones to Watch

Please join us in congratulating our attorneys for their inclusion in the inaugural edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch. This list recognizes lawyers who are earlier in their careers for their outstanding professional excellence in private practice. They have been recognized in the First Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for their work in insurance litigation. Congratulations! Click their...

IS AMAZON A SELLER? AN ISSUE PRIMED FOR STATE COURTS

The tide is turning as another federal court declares that Amazon is responsible for third-party products purchased on its website. On January 7, 2020, the Southern District of Texas in McMillian v. Amazon.com, 433 F.Supp.3d 1034, joined the Third Circuit court of Appeals and the Western District of Wisconsin in finding that Amazon can be a “seller” under the applicable state product liabilit...

Michael Wolfer – Winner Of The Inaugural Impact Award

The production and distribution of scholarly content for the legal and insurance industry has been a critical component of Butler’s growth over the past 40 years. The Firm produces a diverse array of content that is distributed through various channels, such as blogs and articles on the Firm’s website; articles for trade and association publications; scholarly/academic content for legal treati...

District of New Jersey Rejects Waiver of Subrogation in Residential Solar Contract

New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group v. Vivint Solar, Inc., 2018 WL 1003745 (D.N.J. 2018) Recently, Judge Sheridan of the District of New Jersey rejected a waiver of subrogation in a residential solar contract, finding that the contract was one of adhesion and that the waiver was against public interest. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group v. Vivint Solar, Inc., 2018 WL 1003745 (D.N.J. ...

And You are Not Done; The Future of Products Liability Claims Against Amazon Still Uncertain

This past summer, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a seminal opinion in Oberdorf v. Amazon.com, Inc., which held Amazon could be liable as a seller for products sold by third parties on its website. The issue, however, appears to be far from settled as opinions addressing whether Amazon is a “seller” continue to hit dockets across the country. Federal courts applying various States' ...

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How Amazon Disrupted Product Liability

This article is originally a publication of Property Casualty 360 on October 28, 2019. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved. Amazon is the quintessential example of a modern-day “disrupter.” From books to electronics to groceries and media, the trillion-dollar behemoth has significantly impacted almost every sector of the economy. Perhaps les...

Subro Sense Podcast – Unpacking Product Claims against Amazon

Historically, many jurisdictions have held that Amazon was not a “Seller” when considering products sold on its website by third-party vendors. Recently, a U.S. Court of Appeals held for the first time that Amazon was a “Seller” and therefore potentially liable for defective products purchased on its website. Host Aaron Jacobs will be joined by guest Michael Wolfer as they discuss the ...

Congratulations to our Newest Senior Associates!

Please join us in congratulating Michael Wolfer and Gray Kelly for achieving the Senior Associate designation in our firm. We thank Michael and Gray for their service and commitment to the firm....

Amazon is subject to liability as “Seller,” rules the Third Circuit

In my article last month, “Should Amazon be Liable for Products Sold in its Marketplace,” I discussed how the Fourth Circuit, like many courts before it, ruled Amazon was not a “Seller” when considering products sold on its website by third-party vendors. While the Fourth Circuit in Erie Insurance Company v. Amazon.com, Inc., 2019 WL 215146, ruled in Amazon’s favor, Judge Motz wrote sep...

Should Amazon be Liable for Products Sold in its Marketplace?

Amazon, the largest e-commerce website in the world and a member of the “Big Four” has repeatedly, and successfully, argued that the company is not liable for harm caused by the defective products that are sold by third parties on its website. Most recently, Amazon avoided potential liability arising from a house fire caused by a defective headlamp. In Erie Insurance Company v. Amazon.com, In...

Notre Dame and Handling Tragic Losses

Imagine you just received an email with the subject line “New Assignment – April 15, 2019 loss – Paris, France.” You open the email and learn that you will be assisting in the rebuilding of Notre Dame. Immediately you realize this is not just another assignment. Notre Dame has served as a place of worship and a symbol of cultural heritage for nearly a millennia. People immediately gathere...

Lots of Cold Feelings in Pipe Freeze Claims

A recent Pennsylvania decision highlights the difficulties and critical issues associated with identifying potentially liable parties in pipe freeze cases. Freezing temperatures have captured the country’s attention once again. Videos and photographs of the Chicago tundra have gone viral on social media, serving as a reminder of winter’s icy grip. While pipe freezes may not be as visually stu...

District Judge in New Jersey Rules Waiver of Subrogation Provision in Residential Lease Is Unenforceable

Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company v. AvalonBay Communities, Inc., Case No. 16—5441, 2017 WL 1095473 (D.N.J. March 22, 2017). Background This case involved a subrogation action arising out of a fire loss at a residential apartment complex owned and managed by the Defendant. It is alleged that the Defendant’s maintenance workers caused a massive five-alarm fire while performing plumbing re...

Michael Wolfer