Michael brings decades of experience in successfully handling disputes and litigation in an extraordinarily diverse array of industries and businesses. His peers in the legal community describe Michael as the consummate trial lawyer, and he approaches every trial as an opportunity tell his client’s story, in order to win.
In an era of “specialization” in the legal profession, Michael has been fortunate to maintain a trial, litigation and dispute practice that emphasizes achieving great results for clients in areas as varied as real estate acquisition and development, intellectual property/technology, energy, pharmaceuticals/drug development, securities, healthcare, environmental, consumer products, finance, apparel, and others. Michael excels at guiding clients through the perilous waters of disputes and conflicts in virtually any type of business dispute, and in being expertly skilled in helping clients achieve great results in settlement all the way through trial, if required.
Michael founded the firm’s Litigation Practice in 2014 and chairs that practice, and earlier in his career, following graduation with honors from Columbia college and thereafter from University of California Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), he was blessed with extensive on-the-job training from several of the nation’s leading trial lawyers, with multiple opportunities to hone his litigation and trial skills. His creativity, persistence and work ethic led him to partnership at a leading Los Angeles litigation boutique at a young age and subsequently to a prominent partnership position at an international Am Law 100 law firm.
Michael has been recognized as a leading trial lawyer by his peers and regularly featured in the press for some of his significant victories on behalf of clients. He is a past president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the association of business trial lawyers. Michael’s trial skills and courtroom success resulted in his being named to the “Top 100 Lawyers” in California list, published by the Daily Journal newspaper chain. For years he has consistently been named to “Best Lawyers in America” and “Super Lawyers”.
In building the firm’s business litigation practice, Michael has spent considerable time becoming expert in the special needs of business entrepreneurs, in representing “risk takers” in all facets of disputes involving business formation, capital raising, business operation, and business mergers, acquisitions and dispositions, as well as business “divorces” and employment disputes of virtually all stripes for both smaller and larger companies including both the prosecution and defense of class actions. As often as he finds himself representing “Goliath” in litigation matters, he equally finds himself representing ‘David”.
When not preparing cases for trial and in his “spare time,” Michael is active in the Los Angeles philanthropic community and in Bar activities, and spends time with his wife Stacey of 36 years, his three adult children, and participating in LA City life, the arts, traveling, hiking and indoor cycling.
Practice & Experience
Ironclad v. Orr Industries – dissolved an onerous distributorship agreement for a small publicly traded company against a large industrial distributor, with dissolution occurring on the eve of hearing of SJ
Broadspring v. Content – successfully represented an internet marketing company in recovering $__ owing from a customer that had defaulted on its obligations
Xaleron v. Allergan – representing an entrepreneurial drug development company against “Big Pharma” alleging unfair competition in bringing to market a novel treatment for allergic rhinitis/”hay fever” and seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
Colburn v. EuroPlay Capital – achieved complete victory for founders of skype in opposition to a claim of a “shared investment” alleging $250M in damages
Visconti v. Elemental Superfood, Anderson – counseled founder and CEO of one of nation’s fastest growing nutrition/supplements bar companies in achieving a business divorce from co-founder and in navigating complex appraisal process
Fisher v. Biozone – SAM and Michael were retained to represent a publicly traded drug exploration company to resolve a long-running governance dispute between that company and its founder, and succeeded in achieving a settlement on favorable terms to the company
Auritec v. Oak Crest – representing an early stage drug development company in a trade secrets dispute against a research institute, in a 2-week arbitration
Fair v. SunAmerica – achieved total defense victory in a 3-week jury trial on behalf of an affiliate of AIG that was sued for millions of dollars by a former executive alleging breach of employment and investment agreements
Reynolds Advisory Partners v. UPS Capital – achieved full recovery of a finders’ fee for an investment advisory firm on an acquisition transaction
Riordan v. Burkle – Represented former Mayor of Los Angeles, Richard Riordan, in successfully exiting an investment operated by private equity investor Ron Burkle.
Danny Wimmer Presents v. Davis Shapiro Lewitt, Leven – Achieved complete trial victory on behalf of nation’s leading independent concert promotion company, against claim by former lawyers of that company that it owned a significant minority interest in that company.
Schreiber v. Schultz – Following trial, achieved multi-million-dollar recovery for heir of an Estate following air crash disaster, where the Estate’s Administrator had cut heir out of the entire settlement proceeds.
Coto v. Stockton – Recovered approximately $25M, and award of punitive damages, for co-owner of successful telephony start-up in 6 week arbitration, proving that the Company’s president had breached his fiduciary duties as part of his employment obligations owing to company and co-owner.
US Ecology v. State of California – After lengthy bench trial that Michael co-tried with the state attorney general’s office, successfully represented state of California and Governor’s office in a breach of contract claim valued at $250M against the State, by the operator of a nuclear waste dump sites.
Posner v. Nestor – Successfully represented family of one of nation’s foremost corporate raiders against estate administrator, alleging that valuation of unique beach front property in South Florida had been materially undervalued by the Estate. Trial resulted in millions of dollars in valuation accruing to benefit of family members.
US Department of Justice and US Marine Corp v. Eastern Municipal Water District – Following a lengthy trial, Michael’s client completely defensed claims of the US Government that a pollution-remediation contract entered into between the parties, had caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to the city of Temecula and the Marine Corp base at Camp Pendleton.
Education, Admissions And Accolades
- B.A, Columbia College
- J.D., University of California Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)
- Admitted to practice in California
- Member California Bar Association
- Member Beverly Hills Bar Association
- “Top 100 Lawyers in California,” Daily Journal
- Super Lawyers – recognized 2004-2019
- Best Lawyers in America – recognized 2007-2018