Michael is a seasoned trial attorney with extensive experience in all facets of civil litigation. His practice focuses on representing both plaintiffs and defendants in business, employment, real estate and intellectual property disputes. Michael has successfully obtained verdicts in both jury and bench trials, and has prevailed in mediation and arbitration. He has also authored several writ petitions and appeals. In matters that are not in litigation, Michael routinely navigates clients though complex legal issues, and counsels individuals and businesses on how to avoid litigation altogether.
Michael is actively involved in the Bay Area legal community. He regularly teaches MCLE classes on the mechanics of civil litigation to less experienced attorneys. From 2014 through the end of 2016, Michael has served as the Chair of the Alameda County Bar Association’s Trial Practice Section. From 2013 until 2018, he was also the Editor-in-Chief of the Section’s Newsletter. In October of 2016, Michael was appointed to the Business Litigation Committee of the Business Law Section of the California State Bar Association. Michael frequently represents indigent clients on a pro bono or reduced fee basis in debt collection defense, sealing of arrest records, and Presidential pardon cases. Michael was recognized as a Northern California Rising Star in Business Litigation by the Super Lawyers Magazine in in 2015-2019, and as a Super Lawyer in Business Litigation in 2020 and 2021.
- General Civil Litigation, Including Business, Employment, Real Estate, Landlord-Tenant, Intellectual Property, Probate and Appeals
- Counseling Clients in Non-Litigation Matters, Including Business Formation, Employment, Landlord-Tenant, Real Estate and Risk Management Issues
- California State Courts
- U.S. District Court, Northern District
- U.S. District Court, Central District
- U.S. District Court, Southern District
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
- University of California at Berkeley (B.A. in Rhetoric, 2002)
- Golden Gate University School of Law (J.D., 2007)
In law school, Michael was a merit scholarship recipient, received several CALI and Witkin awards, led the debate team for the ATLA National Student Trial Competition, and was a semi-finalist in the Appellate Advocacy Debate Competition.
Associations & Activities:
- Member of the Civil Bench Bar Section and the Education Committee of the Sonoma County Bar Association.
- Member of the Executive Committee of the Business Law Section of the California Lawyers Association.
- Member of the Business Litigation Standing Committee of the California Lawyers Association (2016 to present, currently serving as Co-Chair).
- Member of the Board of Directors of the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation.
- Judge Pro Tem Hearing Small Claims in Sonoma County Superior Court (2018 to present)
- Mandatory Settlement Conference Panelist and Discovery Facilitator in Sonoma County Superior Court (2017 to present)
- Leadership Santa Rosa, Class 34
- Former Chair of the Executive Committee of the Trial Practice Section of the Alameda County Bar Association (2014-2016); Member Emeritus (2017 and 2018).
- Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director of the ACBA’s Trial Practice Section’s Quarterly Newsletter (2013 to 2018).
- Frequent speaker at MCLE classes presented by SCBA and ACBA.
- Co-author with Mara Erlach of “Natural Disasters: One Is On Its Way Toward You” published in Law Practice, May/June 2018
- Recognized as Rising Star in Business Litigation by Super Lawyers Magazine from 2015 to 2019, and as a Super Lawyer in Business Litigation in 2020 and 2021.
- 2018 Distinguished Service Award to Attorney by the ACBA
- 2018 recipient of the 40 Under 40 Award by the North Bay Business Journal.
- Michael is an avid backpacker, wildlife and nature photographer, and an outdoors enthusiast. He also enjoys carpentry, kayaking, and is rumored to have a green thumb.