MICHAEL J. FISH
Michael has been practicing law in Marin and Sonoma Counties for over 40 years.
Michael has earned an outstanding reputation as an attorney with a broad professional background and is extremely experienced in his family law, civil litigation and transactional work. He is also one of the foremost attorneys in California representing attorneys and clients and serving as an expert in attorney-client fee disputes.
He has counseled clients on matters in diverse family law matters. He has filed, responded to and appeared in court to argue a myriad of motions and proceeded to trial on various family law issues relating to, among other things, divorce, paternity, characterization and division of separate and community property, temporary and permanent spousal support, child support, child custody and visitation.
He also helps his clients in areas including, but not limited to, representing businesses, business entity formation, operation, and termination; acquisitions and sales of businesses; attorney-client fee disputes; FINRA arbitrations and estate planning.
Michael is an experienced and sought after Mediator having successfully resolved over 400 matters and has served as a regular and successful settlement conference panelist in both family law and civil matters for over 25 years.
In addition, he presides over numerous fee arbitrations and has trained Mandatory Attorney Fee arbitrators in almost every county in the state.
Michael has served as Chairperson for several local and State Bar committees:
- Sonoma County Bar Association Fee Arbitration Committee
- State Bar of California Mandatory Fee Arbitration Committee
- Marin County Bar Association Client Relations Committee
- Sonoma County Bar Association Family Law Education Committee.
He is a former Trustee of the UC Hastings 1066 Foundation and currently a Master with the Edward J. McFetridge American Inn of Court.
Michael has also been involved in Rotary for over 35 years, serving in many capacities, including, but not limited to, Rotary Club President, District Governor and District Director for the Rotary Foundation Permanent Fund.
Michael is Past Chairman of the Board and a current Director Emeritus of Rotaplast International, Inc., a program providing free cleft palate and cleft lip surgeries to indigent children and has led teams to Argentina, Venezuela and Egypt. Rotaplast has operated in over 200 missions on over 17,000 children since the program’s inception.
Michael is a very sought-after national speaker on numerous legal and humanitarian-related topics. He is also a frequent speaker/presenter at MCLE classes presented by the SCBA and other State and local bar associations. Additionally, he has authored numerous published articles related to how to determine reasonable attorney’s fees and other related matters.
- Family Law
- Including, but not limited to, divorce, paternity, characterization and division of separate and community property, temporary and permanent spousal support, child support, child custody and visitation.
- General Civil Litigation
- Including Business and Real Property
- Attorney and Client Fee Disputes
- Representing attorneys and clients
- Expert Witness and consulting
- Mediation services to help parties resolve their legal disputes out of court.
- FINRA Disputes
- Representing parties in securities FINRA Dispute Resolution (formerly NASD and NYSE) forum.
- Representing parties in their disputes between Investors and Brokers.
- Representing Brokers in their disputes with Securities Firms.
- California State Courts
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- Sonoma State University (B.A. 1977)
- University of California Hastings College of the Law (J.D. 1980)
ASSOCIATIONS & ACTIVITIES
- Director and twice former Chairman of the Board, Rotaplast International, Inc. (2003-Present)
- State Bar of California Mandatory Fee Arbitration Committee (2002-2010, 2018-2019; Chair 2006-2007)
- State Bar of California Mandatory Fee Arbitration Assistant Presiding Arbitrator (2008-2010)
- Marin County Bar Association (1985-Present), Client Relations Committee Member, since January 2000, Chair 2000-2008, Vice Chair 2008-2009
- Sonoma County Bar Association Mandatory Fee Arbitration Committee, Chair (2015-Present)
- Sonoma County Bar Association Family Law Education Committee, Chair (2021-Present)
- Marin County Bar Association, Board of Directors (2008-2010)
- FINRA Dispute Resolution, Inc. (formerly NASD and NYSE) – Arbitrator (1997-2000); Chair Arbitrator since 2000
- Edward J. McFetridge American Inn of Court ~Master~ (1998-Present)
- UC Hastings 1066 Foundation, Board of Trustees (2008-2010)
- Marin County Bar Association, Membership Committee (2000-2003; Chair 2002-2003)
Michael is involved in the following community organizations:
- Sonoma County Airport Airline Attraction Committee (2012 – present)
- Rotary International (1987 – present). Michael is a Past District Governor and the recipient of numerous humanitarian awards, including
- Three Rotary Presidential Citations
- Two of The Rotary Foundation’s highest honors:
- The Citation for Meritorious Service
- The Distinguished Service Award
- Rotary Club of Ignacio (1987 – present)
- Rotaplast International, Inc., a program providing free cleft palate and cleft lip surgeries to indigent children around the world.
- Fountaingrove Club Board of Directors and Committee Member (2019 – present)
Michael is married to Gina. They have four children and 4 grandchildren. He loves sports, golfing, attending San Francisco Giants game, theatre and is an enthusiastic outdoorsman. He is an avid pilot and loves to travel with his family. He also embraces his international volunteer efforts with a focus on bringing a little more humanity and dignity to those less fortunate.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT MICHAEL J. FISH
Darryl Horowitt, Business Trial Lawyer, Mediator and Arbitrator, Coleman & Horowitt, LLP
I worked with Michael as an arbitrator and found him to be thorough, thoughtful and professional. I would recommend him as a neutral and attorney (if you needed an attorney to represent you in litigation).
Karen Long, Lab Services Manager at Planned Parenthood
Michael has a great deal of experience and expertise in family law in Marin County. He is well-respected by his colleagues and the judges in the Marin County Courts. He is very competent at arguing in court for his client. He is prepared and is assertive in setting forth his case. He deeply cares for the people he serves, particularly the children. He advocates for victims and their families.
Russ Ketron, Managing Member at Ketron Financial, LLC
I have used Michael for Estate Planning Services for my clients and have been very pleased with the quality, timely legal work and positive feedback from those clients.
David Pitchford, Relocation Project Manager
When you engage Michael’s service, you have hired an attorney that is knowledgeable, inventive, and personable and works diligently to provide you with the best results imaginable. He has been a “silent partner” in our business and I would highly recommend him to anyone needing solid advice on a many business decisions.
Jill Sperber, .JD, CFE, Program Manager, Business Conduct Office at- Visa Inc.
Michael Fish’s professional services are cost effective, results oriented, reliable, and strategic. His work ethic, ability to work well with clients who are under stress, and attention to detail make for a winning combination. He makes special efforts to keep his client informed of significant developments in the case and respects the client’s bottom line.