I am a Trial Attorney. From time to time people ask me why I chose my profession. My best answer is: because I wanted to help people in their time of need. My education, training and experience provide me all the necessary tools to protect my client’s interests — oftentimes against great odds.
My passion for representing working women, men and their families comes from having witnessed the challenges my own parents experienced with lawyers during my early years.
My father suffered injuries when his ship was torpedoed during WWII. Those injuries were later aggravated by a work-related injury. He was unable to work for an extended period and that resulted in a great financial burden and strains upon our family. I learned early on, what it meant to place your well-being in someone else’s hands.
Years later, my mother’s car was struck broadside in an automobile collision that was no fault of her own. She suffered a herniated cervical disk that ultimately went untreated when her case was settled for a small amount. I learned what it was to make a recovery that did not cover your future medical needs.
My parents both had very limited education. They did not understand the legal process; they were frightened by their injuries and feared they would be unable to earn money to support their family. Neither of my parents knew anything about the law, the doctors they needed to consult to get better or what their claims were worth.
Those experiences inspired me to become an attorney and a resource to people like them: decent, hardworking folks whose only goal in life was to give their children a better life than they had known.
I never met an attorney prior to going to law school. It wasn’t easy, but through lots of effort, and good people who helped me along the way, I acquired the knowledge, skill and attitude necessary to earn the right to be called a Trial Lawyer. I can honestly say that I have made a difference in thousands of people’s lives.
I am proud of my profession. Trial attorneys represent people who are injured and have nowhere else to turn. They seek justice and accountability for the negligence, or deliberate misconduct, of others and help their clients, and their families, get their lives back on track.
Today our environment is cleaner, our medicine is better and our cars are safer, thanks to those Americans who, with the aid of a trial lawyer, stood up to big corporations and held them accountable in a court of law.
I am committed to ensuring that all people—individuals, families, patients, workers and consumers—can seek justice in our nation’s courtrooms.
I am committed to fighting to preserve a balanced civil justice system and advocate for tough laws to hold industries and corporations accountable when they withhold information that can harm or kill.
During the course of my career, I have helped thousands of people throughout Texas who have suffered catastrophic injuries or lost loved ones. Over the last 36 years, I have recovered multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements against large, domestic and multi-national corporations who were responsible for causing catastrophic injuries or the death of my clients.
J. Michael Solar is the founder and Managing Partner of The Solar Law He was conferred Lifetime Membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Associates Forum, The Top Trial Lawyers in America, based on a review of his litigation and trial achievements.
The firm has provided counseling, investigation and litigation services to working men and women, unions, Fortune 500 firms, civic and religious organizations, and foreign governments.
Michael has prosecuted an array of complex multiparty litigation spanning the spectrum of domestic and international lawsuits including: chemical plant explosions; maritime collisions / disasters; railroad accidents; 18-wheeler collisions; pharmaceutical products liability (bad medicine); products liability (defective automobiles, golf carts, fire alarms, etc.); and medical malpractice resulting in catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths.
Michael is recognized as a writer, lecturer, and the subject of local, national and international interviews regarding legal issues and his litigation.
MARITIME AND INTERNATIONAL
Michael was appointed to three terms as Commissioner of the Port of Houston Authority. The Port of Houston is a 52-mile-long complex of diversified public and 150-plus private facilities. The Port of Houston is ranked first in the United States in foreign waterborne tonnage and second in total U.S. tonnage.
Michael’s international, labor and trade experience was founded upon his early work in the maritime industry; first working as a Welder Helper for a marine maintenance company and later as a Deckhand on a ship channel midstream fuel barge. Those real-life maritime experiences serve him well in the maritime legal arena. He went on to represent the National Maritime Union (where his father was a life-long member); the Pan-Hellenic Seaman’s Federation of Greece (PNO) and the London based International Transport Workers Federation (ITF).
His international affiliations have included: Fellow, “The British American Project”; Founder, “The Americas Project” (a collaborative venture uniting the resources and expertise of the Greater Houston Partnership, Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy and the Organization of American States); Founder, Houston Hispanic Bar Association and Member Inter-American Bar Association.
Michael has served as legal counsel to foreign Consulates and has participated in numerous multi-national initiatives, including passage of the historic North American Free Trade Agreement. He was subsequently officially designated Legal Counsel to the Republic of Mexico by its Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
ECONOMICS AND FINANCIAL
Among Michael’s economic and financial credentials, he was appointed Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Houston for three terms; Regional Advisory Board Member of J. P. Morgan Chase Bank, including its predecessor Texas Commerce Bank, for over 18 years; Member, Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, and Trustee of various foundations.
BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL
Michael is a recognized leader in the Houston business and professional community as evidenced by his service at the Greater Houston Partnership and other business organizations. The Partnership is the primary advocate of Houston’s business and professional community and is dedicated to building Southwestern U.S. regional economic prosperity. Solar served multiple terms on the Executive Committee as well as various committees including Chairman of the Americas Committee.
HEALTHCARE AND EDUCATION
Michael is a recognized leader in the private and public healthcare arena. The Texas Medical Center is the largest medical center in the world with one of the highest densities of clinical facilities for patient care, basic science, and translational research. His service has included membership on the Executive Committee of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center; Director, The Menninger Clinic; Director, The University of Houston Health Law & Policy Institute; and National board member and Texas State Chairman of the Children’s Defense Fund where he has actively worked to expand healthcare for indigent children.
Michael has been recognized for his leadership in promoting public and private education and has served in various capacities to implement education reforms. His service includes local, state and national committees, boards and foundations including serving as a National Director, Teach For America; Advisory Board Member for KIPP Charter Schools, Member of CHESS (Concerned Houston Encouraging Superior Schools); Member, Texas Commission on Higher Education Reform;
- “Presidential Citation”, State Bar of Texas Bar year 1995-1996
- “Lifetime Achievement Award” Hispanic Bar Association 2008
- “Dean’s Award”, University of Houston Law Center
- “Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem”(Catholic Order of Knighthood, under the direct protection of the Holy See)
- “Honorary Lifetime Membership”, Apostleship of the Sea (Formed with approval of the Holy See in 1922, it is under the direction of the Pontifical Commission for Migrants and Tourism)
- “Excellence in Leadership Award” Thurgood Marshall College Fund
- “Senior Fellow” American Leadership Forum
- “Fellow”, British-American Project, a fellowship of over 1,000 leaders and opinion formers from a broad spectrum of occupations, backgrounds and political viewpoints, drawn in equal numbers from the United States and the United Kingdom
- “Aztec Medallion”, Mexican American Opportunities Foundation, Los Angeles, California
- “Community Service Award”, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
- “Distinguished Alumnus”, Pasadena Independent School District
- “Inaugural Inductee” Sam Rayburn High School Hall of Honor
- “Bronze Anchor” Award, Houston International Seafarers’ Center for outstanding contribution to Houston Maritime Community
- “Milton Popkin Community Service Award”, Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith, recognizes individuals and institutions who have made a unique contribution toward furthering the mission of ADL, and toward translating our country’s ideals into a way of life for all Americans and toward promoting intergroup relations
- “National Advisory Council”, University of Houston
- “Director Emeritus” Children’s Defense Fund, National Board of Directors
- “Father of the Year” Houston Community Partners
Michael served in the United States Army during the Vietnam era. After completing basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, he was assigned to an Advanced Infantry training program. Upon successfully completing his training he was subsequently assigned to 3d United States Infantry, “The Old Guard”, Honor Guard Company, at Ft. Meyer, Virginia, where he served in the Presidential Guard. He was honorably discharged after completion of his tour of duty.
Doctorate of Jurisprudence, University of Houston Law Center, 1980
Bachelor of Business Administration/ Economics; University of Houston
Solar celebrated 39 years of marriage to Dr. Patricia Claire Solar. they have four adult children: Ash, Sebastien, Bryan and Stefanie
LECTURES AND PUBLICATIONS
In addition to serving as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Houston for Trial Advocacy, Mr. Solar has been a frequent guest lecturer on various legal topics for organizations including the American Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, the U.S. Mexico Judicial Conference, State Bar of Texas Continuing Education Program, University of Houston Law Foundation’s Continuing Education program, Seaman’s Church Institute Center for Seafarer’s Rights, International Council on Seafarers Rights, Conference of Gulf Coast Seamen’s Agencies, Thurgood Marshall School of Law and the Houston Inter-American Chamber of Commerce.
His cases and interviews have been featured in the New York Times, numerous television affiliates, magazines and newspapers in the United States and abroad.