Michael E. Elsner: Lawyer with Motley Rice

Michael E. Elsner

Mount Pleasant,  SC  U.S.A.

Peer Rating

Client Rating

Printer Friendly VersionEmail this PageDownload to My Outlook ContactsAdd lawyer to My FavoritesCompare this lawyer to other lawyers in your favorites

Experience & Credentials

Practice Areas

  • Anti-Terrorism
  • Toxic Exposure
  • Human Rights
University John Carroll University, B.A., 1993
Law SchoolUniversity of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, J.D., 1997
Admitted1997, VA; 2002, NY; 2004, SC; U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York


•American Association for Justice
•American Bar Association
•New York Bar Association
•South Carolina Bar Association, International Law Committee
•Virginia Bar Association
•National Crime Victims Bar Association
•Public Justice Foundation


Michael Elsner uses the U.S. civil justice system to seek social change and improved protection of Americans at home and abroad. He litigates complex civil matters on behalf of people and businesses victimized by commercial malfeasance, violations of human rights, inadequate security measures and state-sponsored terrorism, managing cross-border litigation and intricate investigations of infringement and abuse of human rights, multi-layered financial transactions and due diligence.

Michael's understanding of the complex legal challenges of international matters is critical to litigating cases involving human rights and financial dealings. He uses legal mechanisms to track illicit finances, and his investigations through the maze of international banking and financial regulations continue to uncover violations that have allowed money laundering and terrorist financing. Michael is building upon legal theories and case precedents to represent plaintiffs harmed by financial crimes and actions and hold the global institutions and organizations accountable.

Michael was a lead plaintiffs' counsel in Linde et al. v. Arab Bank, a suit brought on behalf of victims of terrorist attacks in Israel. In September 2014, a jury found Jordan-based Arab Bank plc liable for financing terrorist activity, including funneling financial support to top Hamas leaders and to the families of suicide bombers. Michael also leads the worldwide investigation for liability evidence in the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism civil action against al Qaeda's alleged financiers and supporters. In this capacity, Michael meets with U.S. and foreign intelligence officers, witnesses, and informants, who have already helped him gather more than two million pages of documents in numerous languages identifying the activities of al Qaeda and its financiers. He is a member of the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee for this multidistrict litigation filed on behalf of more than 6, 500 families and survivors of the 9/11 attacks. He also served as a member of the Plaintiffs' Committee in In re September 11th Litigation, a suit brought against the airline industry alleging that it failed to detect and prevent the attacks.

Michael's work with financial transaction litigation includes commercial, securities fraud and shareholder derivative cases such as his extensive work on behalf of domestic and foreign investors in In re Vivendi Universal, S.A. Securities Litigation.

Michael is also leading the firm in its role as consultants to South African human rights lawyer Richard Spoor in his effort to take on leading global gold producers and seek justice for tens of thousands of exploited gold mine workers who are suffering from silicosis. Few class actions have been brought in South Africa, and none have been filed for sick workers. If approved as a class, the suit would generate an unprecedented means of recovery for the country and ensure meaningful access to justice for the indigent and rural workers who are dying from this entirely preventable yet incurable disease.

Michael began his career with the Manville Personal Injury Trust and then practiced complex civil litigation in New York in the areas of toxic torts, security, personal injury, bankruptcy, and whistleblower protections prior to joining Motley Rice attorneys in 2002.

Sharing his experience and insight as a lecturer and consultant, Michael has discussed anti-terrorism and human rights litigation on several national and international news outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, NPR and the BBC, as well as international anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism industry conferences. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Awards and Accolades

South Carolina Lawyers Weekly

2014 Leadership in Law Award
•The Lawdragon

2014-2015 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America
2010 Lawdragon 3, 000

Recent Blog Posts

September 23, 2014

Only in America

by: Michael E. Elsner

April 28, 2014

Are foreign sovereigns more protected under U.S. law than U.S. citizens?

by: Michael E. Elsner

Related News

May 28, 2015

Jury Finds Boston Scientific Liable For Woman's Two Defective Transvaginal Mesh Devices

March 3, 2015

National Recognition: Motley Rice once again named to National Law Journals Plaintiffs Hot List for 2015

December 24, 2014

Plaintiffs Firm Trailblazers: National Law Journal recognizes co-founder Joe Rice and attorney Michael Elsner

Reported CasesCasework: Silica Exposure Representing industry workers and miners exposed to high levels of silica dust, resulting in lung diseases such as silicosis and lung cancer. Attorneys: Michael E. Elsner, Anne McGinness Kearse; Seeking Justice for 9/11 Families: In re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 Motley Rice led the charge in groundbreaking 9/11 litigation against the financiers and material supporters of al Qaeda, and we continue to represent family members of victims and survivors today. Attorneys: Jodi Westbrook Flowers, Robert T. Haefele; Wrongful Imprisonment Our efforts to uphold civil rights Attorneys: Michael E. Elsner, Robert J. McConnell; International Hotel Bombings Insufficient security measures may contribute to terrorist attacks on properties owned by U.S.-based entities on foreign soil Attorneys: Jodi Westbrook Flowers; The Four Planes of 9/11 Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Motley Rice launched a worldwide discovery effort revealing numerous security shortcomings and related to our efforts in In re September 11 Litigation, including Bavis v. United Airlines. Attorneys: Mary F. Schiavo, Donald A. Migliori; Arab Bank Litigation Holding Jordan-based Arab Bank accountable for the illegal financing of terrorist activity Attorneys: Michael E. Elsner; 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund If you are sick as a result of exposure to World Trade Center Dust, you may have rights under the new 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. We can file your claim and fight for the maximum compensation Attorneys: Jodi Westbrook Flowers
Profile Visibility
#43 in weekly profile views out of 582 lawyers in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
#93,313 in weekly profile views out of 1,733,488 total lawyers Overall

Office Information

Michael E. Elsner

28 Bridgeside Blvd.
Mount PleasantSC 29464


Professional Networking for Legal Professionals Only

Quickly and easily expand your professional
network - join the premier global network for legal professionals only. It's powered by the
Martindale-Hubbell database - over 1,000,000 lawyers strong.
Join Now