October 24, 1953|
University of Florida|
Cumberland School of Law
TV & Radio Host
A prominent trial lawyer, Papantonio co-hosts Ring of Fire, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder, where he is referenced as America's Lawyer. In December 2016, Papantonio began hosting a program on RT America called "America's Lawyer".
Papantonio graduated from the University of Florida and received his J.D. from Cumberland School of Law. He was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1982 and the bar of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in 1983. He graduated from DeSoto County High School, Arcadia, Florida.
He is a senior partner in the Pensacola, Florida-based Levin Papantonio Law Firm, a leading mass torts firm. Papantonio is noted for his success in mass torts, product liability, personal injury, and wrongful death cases, and has returned numerous verdicts of multimillion-dollar damages for plaintiffs.
He has been listed in the publication Best Lawyers in America since 1999, and has written several books, including the legal thriller Law and Disorder; Resurrecting Aesop: Fables Lawyers Should Remember; Clarence Darrow, the Journeyman; and In Search of Atticus Finch, A Motivational Book for Lawyers, as well as Defenses You Can Count on in an Asbestosis Case and How to Prove a Sick Building Case. He also co-authored Closing Arguments–The Last Battle with Fred Levin.
Papantonio says he wrote In Search of Atticus Finch as a "wake-up call to the legal profession that has largely lost its moral compass" and has said that "seventy percent of kids coming out of law school want to represent corporations and get paid exorbitant amounts of money," he says. "They're willing to sell their souls to the highest bidder. We need to bring more quality to what we do as lawyers, we need to be better servants to the community and we need to have more political involvement for positive change in the country."
Ring of Fire airs weekly on Saturdays from 3-6 p.m. EST. On the radio show Papantonio, (a Methodist), often criticizes the Christian right. He has said that "I come from a pretty strong spiritual center, but it doesn't change the way I judge people. Simply put, the Sermon on the Mount makes much more sense to me than the frenzied rantings of America's new 'religious right.' They have become an element of American politics that threatens our sense of decency as well as our democracy." Papantonio's role on Ring of Fire was featured in the 2006 documentary Jesus Camp, in which he offers commentary on many of the scenes depicted. According to DVD commentary by the film's directors, Papantonio was added to the film later on because they felt there wasn't any "tension" in it, and they wanted another viewpoint.
Ring of Fire began in 2004 and was syndicated by the now defunct Air America Radio until January 2010. Papantonio was also involved at Air America as a member of the Board of Directors, and as one of the main contributors to the New York Times bestseller, Air America, the Playbook, a collection of essays, transcripts, and interviews by network personalities released in the run-up to the 2006 congressional elections.
- In 2011, Papantonio was awarded the Perry Nichols Award, the highest honor given by the Florida Justice Association. The award recognizes individuals who fight valiantly with distinction for justice throughout their lives.
- In 2014, the Stephen and Sandra Sheller Center for Social Justice of Temple University Beasley School of Law honored Papantonio for his outstanding contributions to social justice.
- In 2015, Papantonio was inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.
- Deitz, Corey. "A Profile of Radio Personality Mike Papantonio". radio.about.com. About Technology. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Podcast 008 – "America's Lawyer" Mike Papantonio". wegoted.com/. Ed Schultz Broadcasting. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Ring of Fire - Mike Papantonio". ringoffireradio.com. Ring of Fire. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "America's Lawyer". www.RT.com. February 11, 2017.
- "Levin Papantonio Home Page". Levin Papantonio. Levin Papantonio. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- "Mike Papantonio - Attorney Profile". levinlaw.com. Levin Papantonio. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- "J. Michael Papantonio". bestlawyers.com. Best Lawyers. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Mike Papantonio on Corporate America's Need to Control Media". ideacityonline.com. IdeaCity Conference.
- "Jesus Camp" (PDF). kidology.org. Kidology. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- "Jesus Camp Shuts Down Due to Negative Response". christiantoday.com. Christian Today. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- Jacobson, Alan. "Innocence Lost or Regained? The Clear-Eyed Vision of Jesus Camp". brightlightsfilm.com. Bright Lights Film Journal. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Best Sellers", New York Times, October 8, 2006
- "FJA Founders Awards". Florida Justice Association. Florida Justice Association. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
- "Mike Papantonio Biography". Ring of Fire. Ring of Fire. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- Cousins, Farron (9 April 2015). "Ring of Fire's Mike Papantonio Inducted Into Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame".
- Official biography from the Levin Papantonio website