A. Michael Pratt, a past chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, is a partner in the Philadelphia and Harrisburg offices of Pepper Hamilton LLP, concentrating in complex commercial, product liability and toxic tort litigation. Mr. Pratt is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.
Mr. Pratt joined Pepper Hamilton in 1986, where he has practiced since, with two separate leaves – he was chief deputy city solicitor in charge of commercial litigation for the City of Philadelphia’s Law Department from early 1992 until mid-1994, and chief litigation counsel for corporate and toxic tort matters for Honeywell International Inc. in Morristown, N.J., from late 2001 until mid-2003.
Mr. Pratt has a diverse litigation practice representing a number of industries, including industrial and product manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, medical institutions and government institutions.
Mr. Pratt has co-authored several articles and publications, including “Developing Strategy in Mass Tort Litigation,” published in For the Defense (September 2003), the Pennsylvania chapter in State in Public Contracting Law Source Book (CCH, 2002) and the Pennsylvania chapter in Fifty States Public Contracting (Wiley Law Publications, 1996).
Mr. Pratt is dedicated to professional and community activities. In addition to leading the Philadelphia Bar Association as chancellor in 2008, Mr. Pratt has held many other leadership positions in the association, including chancellor-elect in 2007, vice chancellor in 2006, a member of its board of governors and chairman of its Young Lawyers Division (he was the first African-American to hold that office).
He has served as president of the Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, an organization of African-American lawyers, and in various leadership positions in the National Bar Association, which represents African-American lawyers and judges across the country.
Mr. Pratt also has been actively involved with the Pennsylvania and American bar associations, serving as a member of the PBA’s House of Delegates, the ABA’s Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants, and the ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, of which he is currently the chair.
Mr. Pratt is a commissioner of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, of which he is currently vice-chair. He also is a member of the board of trustees of Washington & Jefferson College (Washington, Pa.), a member of the board of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, a past member of the board of directors of Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc., and a past chairman of the board of trustees of Community Legal Services, Inc. in Philadelphia. He also has served as a big brother in Philadelphia’s local Big Brother Big Sister Association and as a mentor in the Philadelphia Futures Program.
He has received numerous honors and awards, including one of Pennsylvania’s Diversity Attorneys of the Year; the Barristers’ Association’s J. Austin Norris Award; Community Legal Services, Inc.’s Equal Justice Award; LGBT Rights Committee Cheryl Ingram Advocate for Justice Award; and the Friends of Farmworkers’ Leadership Award.
He is a regular speaker before legal, bar association and civic groups.