Bryan Cave Combines with Berwin Leighton Paisner to Form Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP Learn More

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 As a member of the Labor and Employment group, Michael represents and counsels employers in a wide range of employment matters, including federal and California discrimination laws, trade secrets, and wage & hour issues. He defends employers against claims of harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, age, gender, national origin, disability, and sexual orientation, as well as claims of retaliation, and misclassification of employees.

Michael has successfully obtained dismissals of numerous claims at the pleadings stage in state and federal courts, as well as administrative agencies, brought under state wage and hour law, as well as state and federal anti-discrimination law. He has successfully defended against numerous claims before the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, and obtained complete dismissals of charges/complaints of discrimination before the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

During law school, Michael served as a law clerk for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles where he assisted indigent veterans. He was also an extern to U.S. District Court Judge Thelton E. Henderson in the Northern District of California and served as law student extern in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition (LTC4 Technology Certified Professional) (2016)
    • Articles Editor, Hastings Law Journal (2014-15)
    • Staff Editor, UCLA Women’s Law Journal (2014-15)
    • Senior Articles Editor, Hastings Communication & Entertainment Law Journal (2014-15)
    • Student Editor, Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel Quarterly (2014-15)
    • Recipient, CALI and Witkin Award for Excellence in International Business Transactions (2014)
    • Best Brief & Honorable Mention Best Oral Advocate, Moot Court, University of California, Hastings College of the Law (2013)
    • Fellow at the Veterans Justice Center, Legal Aid Foundation of America (Equal Justice America and Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps), (2013)
    • Dean’s Medalist, College of Arts and Humanities, California State University, Fresno (2007)
    • Senior Articles Editor, Hastings Communication & Entertainment Law Journal (2014-15)
    • Student Editor, Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel Quarterly (2014-15)
    • Recipient, CALI and Witkin Award for Excellence in International Business Transactions (2014)
    • Best Brief & Honorable Mention Best Oral Advocate, Moot Court, University of California, Hastings College of the Law (2013)
    • Fellow at the Veterans Justice Center, Legal Aid Foundation of America (Equal Justice America and Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps), (2013)
    • Dean’s Medalist, College of Arts and Humanities, California State University, Fresno (2007)
    • Best Brief & Honorable Mention Best Oral Advocate, Moot Court, University of California, Hastings College of the Law (2013)
    • Fellow at the Veterans Justice Center, Legal Aid Foundation of America (Equal Justice America and Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps), (2013)
    • Dean’s Medalist, College of Arts and Humanities, California State University, Fresno (2007)
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Professional Affiliations

    • National LGBT Bar Association
    • The LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles
    • Orange County Lavender Bar Association
    • Orange County Bar Association
    • American Bar Association – Litigation, and Employment and Labor Sections
    • Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF)
    • Orange County Bar Association
    • American Bar Association – Litigation, and Employment and Labor Sections
    • Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF)
    • Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF)
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Representative Experience

  • After removal to federal court, and on the eve of trial, secured entry of full summary judgment in breach of contract commercial litigation between aerospace company and one of its suppliers where the plaintiff-supplier had sought in excess of $15 million in damages.
  • Drafted and argued successful demurrer/motion for judgment on the pleadings to numerous complaints under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) for failure to exhaust administrative remedies where the administrative complaints were facially deficient.
  • At the pleading stage, successfully obtained dismissal of complaint for race discrimination and harassment under FEHA, after removal to Federal court, based on lack of jurisidction under the presumption against the extraterritorial application of state law.
  • Successfully moved to quash multiple subpoenas for production of business records in wage and hour class action, significantly limiting discovery of class information.
  • Represented numerous employers and obtained  numerous dismissals before the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”), including obtaining dismissal of claims of unpaid wages, and claims for unpaid meal and rest break premiums.
  • Successful motion for judgment on the pleadings on various wage and hour claims, appealed from a decision of the DLSE, including alleged overtime and unreimbursed business expenses, with Court dismissing the action in its entirety for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and awarding attorneys’ fees and costs to Defendant.
  • Successful anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) motion, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs, where plaintiff sued the defendant-employee for supporting through declaration her employer’s pursuit of a Temporary Restraining Order against the plaintiff.

Publications

  • Contributing Author, "Section of Labor and Employment Law Committee on Federal Labor Standards Legislation Subcommittee on the Family and Medical Leave Act," American Bar Association 2016 Midwinter Meeting Report of 2015 Cases
  • Author, "Disabled but Unqualified: The Essential Functions Requirement as a Proxy for the Ideal Worker Norm," 65 Hastings Law Journal 1485 (2015)