Michael J. Daly

Mike focuses his practice on representing clients involved in commercial, insurance, construction and maritime disputes. In January 2014, he recovered a $2 million jury verdict for a client in a breach-of-contract case in Rhode Island Federal Court.

He has tried, arbitrated, and otherwise litigated cases involving business contracts, Jones Act and general maritime law, claims for life, health and disability insurance benefits, construction defects and accidental death, among other issues.
Mike also has represented property owners in regulatory proceedings concerning disputes over uses of shoreline property.

In addition to being an assistant instructor of Federal Practice/Commercial Litigation at the Roger Williams University School of Law, Mike is a frequent author and speaker on topics including federal court practice and procedure, admiralty law, and insurance coverage. He also was appointed to the Rhode Island Federal District Court Local Rules Committee and is a co-author of the Local Admiralty Rules for the District of Rhode Island.

While at Roger Williams University Law School, Mike was a published member of the Law Review and a member of the Moot Court Honor Society. He simultaneously returned to the University of Rhode Island, where he earned a master's degree in Marine Affairs. Upon graduation, Mike spent two years clerking for Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice, Frank J. Williams (Ret.). Mike also is an author and co-editor of a collegiate and law school case book, titled Marine and Coastal Law.

Before going to law school, Mike worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service doing environmental fieldwork throughout the Chesapeake Bay, the Narragansett Bay and the rivers of California's Central Valley Delta.

Honors & Distinctions
  • Providence Business News recognized Mike as a top "40 Under 40" in 2013
  • Mike has been recognized as a Rhode Island Super Lawyer in 2014 and 2013, and as a Rhode Island Super Lawyer “Rising Star” in 2012 and 2011
Professional Activities

    Speaking Engagements

  • Rhode Island Federal District Court Conference: Admiralty Law Arrests and Attachments, October 2013

  • National Business Institute: Insurance Coverage Law, June 2007, June 2008, March 2012
  • Defense Counsel of Rhode Island, CLE Seminar: Damages: Legal, Practical and Pragmatic Considerations of Value Assessment, May 2011
  • Maritime Law Association, Recreational Boating Committee Meeting: Piracy and Recreational Boating, May 2010
  • American Bar Association/(TIPS), Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Annual Meeting: Insurance Coverage for Maritime Piracy, February 2010
  • Rhode Island Federal District Court / Federal Practice Series Seminar: Admiralty Law and Jurisdiction, March 2009

    Professional Associations

  • Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association
    • Admiralty Committee (Chair, 2009-2010)
    • Business Litigation Committee
    • Insurance Coverage Committee
    • Editorial Board, The Brief


  • Maritime Law Association
  • Rhode Island Bar Association

Recent Developments in Admiralty and Maritime Law. Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal (2011, 2010 & 2009). (Co-author).

Marine and Coastal Law, Cases and Materials 2nd Ed. Praeger Publishing. 2010.

Punitive Damages, Rhode Island Chapter. DRI Survey of Punitive Damages Laws. 2009.

Intellectual Property. Chapter, DRI Young Lawyers Form Book. 2009.

Has the Antiquities Act Gone Down With the Ship?  A Preemption Analysis of Rhode Island's Shipwreck Laws, 6 Roger Williams U. Law Rev. 539 (2001).

Civic Activities

Harbor Management Commission, Portsmouth, R.I., May, 2013-present

School Committee Member, Portsmouth, R.I., June 2012 - November 2012

Legal Committee, Save the Bay, 2008-present

Board Member, Portsmouth Public Education Foundation, 2011-2012

Youth Soccer Coach, Portsmouth, R.I., 2009-2012

Portsmouth School Committee, Portsmouth, R.I., 2012

Practice Areas