Photo of Michael  McGrory

Michael McGrory

Partner

Practice Areas

Education

DePaul University College of Law, J.D., 2003

Eastern Illinois University, B.A., 1999

Admissions

Illinois

Mike has a unique ability to stay focused and even-keeled even when it may look to some like the sky is falling. He takes a thoughtful and direct approach to advising clients in the areas of aviation and aerospace law, commercial litigation, regulatory compliance, and the cannabis industry.

Since entering private practice after serving as a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney, Mike has represented airlines, airports, aircraft owners and manufacturers in business disputes and lawsuits arising out of accidents. His non-aviation work involves advising businesses, governmental entities, insurers and insurance brokers in commercial and tort litigation.

Mike founded the firm’s cannabis practice in 2013 with the advent of Illinois’ medical cannabis program. SmithAmundsen was one of the first full-service law firms in the Midwest to serve the cannabis industry, and it remains a leader. Mike continues to serve as co-chair, providing counsel to all variety of businesses operating in the cannabis industry.  

Mike has held a variety of leadership positions in bar and industry organizations, and has also demonstrated great commitment to his community. He is particularly passionate about his work on the board of directors for Mental Health America of Illinois, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving treatment and care available to those who suffer from mental and emotional disorders.

Honors

  • Recognized as "40 Illinois Attorney Under 40 to Watch" by the Law Bulletin in 2014
  • Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers List: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers "Rising Stars" List: 2015, 2016
  • Leadership Award, Defense Research Institute, 2019

Memberships & Involvement

  • Director, Attorney Division: Aviation Insurance Association
  • Member: Education Committee: Aviation Insurance Association; Federal Trial Bar; Chicago Bar Association; Education Committee and Content Committee; Illinois Cannabis Bar Association; Illinois Women in Cannabis; Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel 
  • Chair: Chicago Bar Association, Aviation Law Committee, 2014-2015
  • Defense Research Institute: Aviation Law Committee Program Chair, 2017-2019; Aviation Law Committee Publications Chair, 2013-2015; Aviation Law Committee Membership Chair, 2012-2013; Aviation Law Committee Expert Witness Chair, 2011-2012
  • Commissioner: Village of Homewood Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, 2009-2014
  • Commissioner: Village of Homewood Community Relations Commission, 2008-2009
  • Board of Directors: Mental Health America of Illinois
  • Homewood-Flossmoor Soccer Club, Coach

Experience

  • Defended the owner of a Cessna 421 in litigation stemming from a four-fatality crash. The case was litigated for over a decade and resulted in multiple appellate decisions, including an opinion of first impression finding that Illinois does not recognize the tort of educational malpractice. Ultimately, Mike's client was awarded summary judgment on all remaining theories of liability. The final appeal resulted in a decision providing much-needed clarification on the law surrounding proximate cause and negligent entrustment in Illinois.
  • Was a key trial team member in the representation of a Cessna Citation in a breach of contract and fraud federal jury trial. The jury sided with Mike’s client. Mike also successfully argued the appeal in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • In a federal jury trial, defended two police officers accused of false arrest. The plaintiff, who had been arrested for possessing a large quantity of illegal drugs, claimed that the substance was innocent and that there was no probable cause for his arrest. The jury found in favor of the officers.
  • Advised many cannabis businesses on applying for highly competitive cannabis licenses in Illinois. Mike’s deep understanding of Illinois cannabis law and his persuasion-focused approach to application drafting have helped clients achieve the maximum number of points from government evaluators.

News & Press Releases

Publications

Presentations & Events