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Michael H. Doran

Active in the service of his community, Mr. Doran was a member of the board of directors of the Western New York Leukemia Society, the University of Buffalo Center for Children and Families, an active volunteer with the University of Buffalo Law School Alumni Association, and a generous patron of the University of Buffalo as well as many charities. In 2008, he participated in the Ride for Roswell, biking sixty-two miles and raising over eighty-five hundred dollars for that charity. He was currently working with Roswell Park Cancer Institute in promoting a program for early detection of lung cancer in high-risk patients. This program, proven to be effective in prolonging life and curing lung cancers, is designed to help detect lung cancer in individuals who have been exposed to asbestos and have a history of smoking.

Mr. Doran was also an ardent sports enthusiast and world traveler, visiting Ireland, Italy, Tahiti, Greece, Switzerland and Mexico, among other places. He enjoyed boating, bicycling, and rollerblading, was an avid extreme skier, and was the 2008 champion of the Buffalo Croquet and Debating Club. Mr. Doran’s passion was flying. He was an FAA-certified pilot, holding a multi-engine instrument rating, and many years of flying experience since becoming a pilot.

Mr. Doran was a member of Saint Benedict’s Catholic Church, The Erie County and New York State Bar Associations, New York State Trial Lawyers Association, The American Association for Justice and former Chairman of its Railroad Section. He is survived by his two children, Gabrielle and Garrett, his brother Thomas (Julia), two sisters, Debbie (Eugene) and Susan (Andy), as well as his parents Robert and Nina, many aunts and uncles, nieces, and dearest friend Georgiann.


  • Williamsville North High School
  • University of Buffalo


On April 28, 2009, while returning from a business trip to Cleveland, Michael Doran and Matthew Schnirel were killed when the plane that Mr. Doran was piloting crashed into a wooded area. Eye-witness accounts report that Mr. Doran directed the plane away from neighboring houses and have hailed him a hero.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Michael and Matt’s families and friends. Our two brothers will be missed by their Doran & Murphy Family.

Born and raised in Buffalo, Mr. Doran graduated from Williamsville North High School, where he was an accomplished springboard diver. Mr. Doran attended the University of Buffalo, majoring in business administration, and diving in the 1979 Empire State Games. He received his undergraduate degree in 1979 and was accepted into the University of Buffalo Law School, graduating in 1982.

Mr. Doran was admitted to the New York bar in 1983. After beginning his legal career at the law firm of Collins, Collins and Di Nardo, here in Buffalo, Mr. Doran began his own practice, Michael Doran and Associates in 1992. In 1999, Mr. Doran partnered with attorney Christopher Murphy and founded the firm of Doran and Murphy, L.L.P. He was also admitted to practice law in Florida, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio, as well as in the Supreme Court of the United States.

For over 25 years, Mr. Doran dedicated his legal practice to representing individuals afflicted with serious injury and occupational disease, as well as wrongful death cases. He achieved multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements in various types of complex litigation, including medical malpractice, construction law, products liability, asbestos litigation, pharmaceutical litigation and railroad law.

In particular, Mr. Doran concentrated on representing railroad workers who sustained on-the-job traumatic injuries, as well as those who contracted occupational diseases including noise-induced hearing loss, lung disease and asbestos-related cancers.

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