Michael D. Hess, Esq.

Senior Counsel and Group Head, Commercial Litigation Group

Michael Hess is a senior counsel at Dorf & Nelson with decades of experience in commercial litigation, mediation, arbitration, corporate transactions, municipal and state law, as well as in business fraud, bankruptcy, antitrust, securities, and finance law in a wide variety of federal and state courts. He has an “AV Preeminent” peer review rating in Martindale, the highest rating in the legal profession for professional excellence and ethical standards.

While serving as corporation counsel of the city of New York, Mr. Hess litigated thousands of trial and appellate cases. As chief of the civil division and chief appellate attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, he represented the United States in numerous major cases, including the Pentagon Papers case against The New York Times. Before serving as the city’s head lawyer, Mr. Hess has been a senior partner in three prominent New York City law firms, practicing in such areas as litigation, antitrust, bankruptcy, securities, labor, environmental and commercial law. He has personally tried many jury and non-jury cases in various federal and state courts. Also, he has argued appeals in the Second Circuit, the New York Court of Appeals and other appellate courts.

Mr. Hess has taught and lectured at many prominent law schools including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, New York University, and Fordham. In 2001, Harvard Law School named him a Wasserstein Fellow for his outstanding public service. Mr. Hess has extensive business and management experience. Serving as a trustee appointed by the federal government, he operated the S&A Concrete Company, one of the largest concrete and construction businesses in New York City.


Harvard Law School, J.D., 1965
Yale College, A.B., Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, 1962

Bar & Court Admissions:

United States Supreme Court, 1974
State of New York, 1966
Second Circuit Court of Appeals, 1966
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1966
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 1966

Board and Committee Memberships:

Federal Bar Council
Horace Mann School, Trustee (served as Chairman of the School’s Board of Trustees)
Served on the Board of Berkshire Theatre Festival
Served on the Board of New York State Thoroughbred Racing Association

Professional Affiliations:

American Bar Association
Litigation Section
Committee on Corporate Counsel
Committee on Commercial Litigation   and International Section
New York State Bar Association