Michael Pauletto



Michael Pauletto is a partner in the Chicago office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the General Liability and Workers' Compensation Practices. Mr. Pauletto has over 18 years of experience successfully defending actions involving construction site accidents, workers compensation, medical defense, product liability, professional liability, transportation, premises liability and toxic torts. He has successfully defended owners, construction managers, general contractors, architects and subcontractors in a variety of high exposure lawsuits in state and federal court.

Mr. Pauletto has successfully defended employers in third party lawsuits in both State and Federal Court and has brought third-party lawsuits on behalf of insurers seeking reimbursement of their workers compensation lien. Throughout his career Mr. Pauletto has helped employers and their insurers develop defense strategies to successfully manage the risk of work related accidents.

Primary Area(s) of Practice

  • General Liability
  • Workers’ Compensation



United States District Court, Northern Illinois

United States District Court, Western Wisconsin

Professional Presentations

Continuing Legal Education Seminars in Third-Party Litigation, Discovery Disputes, and Trial Preparation


The John Marshall Law School

cum laude, 1996

Indiana University


Legal Experience

  • Obtained summary judgment based on the exclusive remedy provision of the Illinois Workers Compensation Act for an insurance company named as a direct defendant in a multiple death construction accident. He has successfully litigated on behalf of employers before the Illinois Industrial Commission and in third-party lawsuits. He has served as national counsel to a food manufacturer in a series of lawsuits alleging exposure to synthetic butter flavoring. He has also assisted construction companies in drafting their safety manuals and subcontracts, and defended companies through OSHA investigations and proceedings.
  • Represented some of Illinois’ largest employers including retail grocery stores, hotel chains, restaurant chains, electrical contractors, general contractors and plumbing contractors.
  • Obtained summary judgment based on exclusive remedy of the Workers Compensation Act for insurance company sued directly in a multiple death construction accident. Successfully argued that insurance company was acting as a safety service organization and was therefore immune under the Act. The decision was affirmed on appeal on a case of first impression and has become the preeminent case on the issue.
  • Drafts subcontracts for construction clients to maximize the protections afforded employers under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act.
  • Regularly provides clients with presentations on changes and updates within the workers compensation industry.
  • Presented CLE seminars on 3rd party litigation, written discovery and trial preparation.

Prior Experience

Before coming to Lewis Brisbois in 2014, Mr. Pauletto spent 15 years as a partner at a Chicago litigation firm and 3 years as an associate at a workers compensation defense firm.


Mr. Pauletto has co-authored the Illinois portion of the ALFA Compendium on Construction Law in 2009 and 2011.

Community Activities

Mr. Pauletto is an active member of his community, Glenview, Illinois serving as a manager of a travel baseball team and a coach of a travel basketball team.