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Michael V. Kaplen

Michael V. Kaplen is a senior partner in the New York personal injury law firm, De Caro & Kaplen, LLP. His practice focuses on personal injury and medical malpractice with an emphasis on representing individuals who have sustained a traumatic or acquired brain injury and other catastrophic injuries.

Michael is a Professorial Lecturer in Law at The George Washington University Law School where he teaches the only course in the nation devoted to traumatic brain injury law. He is board certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and is board certified in Medical Malpractice, and a member of the board of governors of the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys.

Michael serves on the executive board of the Interstate Bus Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice and is current chair of the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Services Coordinating Council and previously chaired the council from 2007 to 2013. The Council was created by the New York State Legislature to advise and consult with the New York State Department of Health on issues pertaining to traumatic brain injury.

Michael Kaplen at the White House
Michael Kaplen at the White House

He was invited by President Obama to be a participant in the 2014, White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit and serves as a member of the American Academy of Neurology, Concussion Work Group.

Michael served three-terms as president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State, the leading not-for-profit New York State brain injury advocacy dedicated to brain injury education, advocacy and prevention. He is past chairperson of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Automobile, Highway and Premise Liability Section and past chair of the AAJ Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, a nation-wide group of attorneys that focus their practice on representing victims of brain trauma. He is a graduate of the Marquette University, Neuroanatomical Dissection of the Human Brain and Spinal Cord course.

He served as the Co-Chair of the Tort Section of the New York County Lawyer’s Association and on the Board of Directors of Public Justice. Michael served as a member of the Medical Malpractice Screening Panel, New York State Appellate Division, First and Second Judicial Departments. Michael served as a vice president of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers and a member of their board of directors.

Besides his teaching responsibilities at The George Washington University Law School, he has taught courses in trial practice and medical malpractice at St. John's University School of Law and is Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Graduate School of Psychology, Touro College. He is a guest lecturer at The George Washington University School, Graduate School of Education and Human Development and a member of the Board of Advisors, The New York Traumatic Brain Injury Model System Program, Brain Injury Research Center of Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York.

Michael has been selected a New York Super Lawyer for the last 14 years and named as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in New York State by the American Association of Trial Lawyers. Michael has been selected as a Best Lawyer, New York and De Caro & Kaplen has been designated a Best Law Firm by US News & World Report.

He was co-counsel representing the Brain Injury Association of America and co-authored the Brain Injury Association of America, Amicus Brief challenging the sufficiency of the NFL Class Action Concussion Settlement before the United States Supreme Court and the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Michael is the author of numerous articles and chapters on prosecuting brain injury cases including, co-author of the chapter on NeuroLaw in the Psychiatric Clinics of North America’s special edition on Traumatic Brain Injury published by the American Psychiatric Association and has co-authored the expert column on Traumatic Brain Injury published by the New York Law Journal. His summations have been published in the Matthew Bender, Art of Advocacy Series.

Michael is a frequent national lecturer on brain injury advocacy having lectured to National and State bar associations including the American Association of Justice, the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys, the Litigation Counsel of America, the Florida Association for Justice, the Indiana Association for Justice, the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association, the New Jersey Association for Justice, the New York State Academy of Trial Attorneys, and the Utah Trial Lawyers Association.

His views and opinions are often sought by well-known news sources including, The New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, Gannet News Services, the New York Daily News, the National Law Journal, the New York Post, the Huffington Post, ABC News, CBS News, ESPN, Fox Broadcasting, and NBC News.

Michael is admitted to the bars of New York, Florida, and the District of Columbia. He is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, 3rd Circuit and the District of Columbia; and the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and North Districts of New York.


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For over 35 years, De Caro & Kaplen have been helping brain injury survivors in New York State achieve the justice and compensation they deserve for their injuries.
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