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Michael C. Terranova

Born and raised in Chicago, Michael is the grandson of a Union City Laborer and the son of a Union Sheet Metal Worker. Growing up in a Union household, Michael learned at an early age the value of hard work.

After graduating high school, Michael enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he had multiple deployments overseas and was part of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Aside from the medals and accommodations, Michael left the Marines knowing the value of service to others.

After the Marines, Michael came back to Chicago and joined the Riggers Union. Eventually, he took a withdrawal card from the Riggers and enrolled at Western Illinois University. While in college, Michael always kept connected to the Unions. During breaks he worked with the Riggers and on permit with the Iron Workers. After graduation, Michael worked a series of different jobs such as Safety Consultant for US Steel and Risk Management Consultant for a public entity insurance trust.

Eventually, Michael left those jobs to pursue his lifelong dream and went to law school at Chicago Kent College of Law. While in law school, Michael focused his studies on Labor and Employment law. He learned the ins and outs of the Railway Labor Act, the National Labor Relations Act, and worked for a firm where he was able to be involved in collective bargaining agreements and help injured Union workers. Michael broadened his legal experience with positions at the Chicago Legal Clinic and at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where he utilized his 711 license in the Felony Trial Division. Michael also served as an Extern for the Honorable Judge Darrah in the United States Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Since being admitted to practice law, Michael has focused his practice on representing injured Union workers. He has had jury trials in Illinois and Iowa and has argued before the Northern District of Illinois on a matter of first impression resulting in a favorable decision for his client and a publication of the Judge’s opinion. That publication created precedent and a new legal standard for removal of concurrent jurisdiction cases such as those involving the Federal Employees Liability Act (FELA), Admiralty, and Maritime law.

Aside from his work in the courtroom, Michael is a bone marrow donor, through the CW Bill Young Bone Marrow Donor Program and is the President of the Associate Board for Salute Inc., a nonprofit organization that raises awareness, financial assistance and benefits for wounded veterans and their families.

When not fighting for his clients or helping his fellow veterans and their families, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife, Heather and their son Mikey.

In 2017 Michael Terranova received the honor of becoming Designated Legal Counsel for SMART Union’s Transportation Division.

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Bar Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • United States Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States Court for the Southern District of Iowa
  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

Education Information

  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., Certificate in Labor and Employment Law
  • Western Illinois University, B.S., Law and Justice Administration

Legal Organizations

  • Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys (ARLA)
  • Justinian Society of Lawyers
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Society
  • Italian American Labor Counsel
  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association

If you have been injured in a personal injury or medical malpractice accident, do not hesitate to contact the Chicago accident and injury law firm of Cogan & Power at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free case consultation, so that we can help you begin the process of recovery as soon as possible. If you cannot come to our offices in downtown Chicago, we will come to you. And because we take cases on a contingency basis, you will not pay any fee unless we get you compensation.