Michael and his wife, Kelly, have been life-long residents of Huntington Beach. Michael attended grade school at Haven View Elementary, junior high at St. Bonaventure Catholic School, and high school at Marina High School. During his childhood, Michael was educated by Huntington Beach schools and benefitted from local volunteer youth organizations such as AYSO, among others.
Michael and Kelly met in Huntington Beach shortly after high school. They married twenty years ago and have five beautiful children: Michael, Madeleine, John, Gregory and Catherine. Michael and Kelly purchased their home in Huntington Beach shortly after marriage and as proud citizens of this beach town, they purchased investment properties in this City as well. Michael and his wife plan to raise all of their children in Huntington Beach and hope that this City will remain one of the greatest cities in the nation in which to raise a family. Michael’s concern for the quality of legal representation at the City is the reason that he takes his job as City Attorney seriously.
Michael and Kelly have a long, rich history in Huntington Beach. Throughout the years, Michael and his family have been active parishioners at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church, St. Mary’s by the Sea Catholic Church, and St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. He has also been a member of the Knights of Columbus and St. Thomas More Society for many years, while supporting other organizations such as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Birth Choice, the Boys & Girls Club, the Huntington Beach Police and Community Foundation, Make a Wish Foundation, Mercy House, Toby’s House, and St. Michael’s Abbey, nearly his entire adult life.
As an active member of the Huntington Beach community, Michael continues to teach Business and Law at Golden West College and he has served for over thirteen years at Ocean View Little League as a volunteer baseball coach. Since the growth of the family, Michael’s family has also been actively involved in other youth sports in Huntington Beach such as AYSO, S.C.A.T.S., and Friday Night Lights, and many others.
As a small business owner and a concerned citizen of Huntington Beach, Michael is a proud member of the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club, the Boys & Girls Club, the Huntington Beach Police and Community Foundation, the Orange County Bar Association, the Orange County Republican Party, the Huntington Beach Republican Assembly, and is an associate member of the Huntington Beach Republican Women Federation.
Michael has successfully served as the elected City Attorney for the City of Huntington Beach, elected November 4, 2014. Since his election, he has been very successful in a wide range of accomplishments, including, prevailing in a difficult Circuit Court Appeal in the Housing Lawsuit brought by the Kennedy Commission, resolving the decade-old Senior Center lawsuit - allowing the Senior Center in Central Park to be built to completion and open to the public, and implementing a first-ever, in-house Community Criminal Prosecutor program in the City Attorney's Office.
In addition to all other aggressively handled lawsuits defending the City, Michael's office has now been prosecuting certain crimes committed in Huntington Beach, and while enhancing law enforcement, these efforts are improving public safety and enhancing the quality of life for residents in Huntington Beach. Michael has also ushered in many changes within his office, bringing from his private sector experience, a new, aggressive approach to fighting lawsuits against the City. The City is winning again and Michael has saved taxpayers in Huntington Beach well over $30,000,000 from his defense of the City, aggressive and smart negotiations, and from in-depth legal research. He has also been credited for his excellent work in negotiations and handling the transaction regarding the preservation and improvement of the Huntington Beach Fuel Dock. These are among a long list of outstanding results for the City and its taxpayers.
Prior to his election as City Attorney in 2014, Michael was a partner at a successful law firm. He is a successful litigation/trial attorney and had been defending numerous clients in a wide range of legal areas such as: Federal Civil Rights (Excessive Force), Public Entity Law, Government Tort Liability, General Liability, Truck/Automobile Liability, Premises Liability, Products Liability, Professional Liability, Medical Malpractice, and Employment Law. He has represented clients such as the County of Orange, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Orange County District Attorney, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, various large scale trucking companies, and various physicians, surgeons, and other medical professionals and hospitals in the Orange County and Los Angeles areas. Throughout the years Michael has demonstrated strong management and leadership skills in his experience both as a business owner and attorney, having led teams of people to produce the highest quality work product, highest quality services, and to produce the highest quality results.
Michael has taken a number of cases to trial throughout his career and has a terrific trial record. While in private practice in 2013, Michael successfully tried three cases and in his most recent trial, won a defense verdict for his client in a complex real property loss case with a demand from plaintiff in the amount of $2,500,000. In addition to obtaining a complete defense in this case, Michael recovered over $150,000 in attorney’s fees for his client from the plaintiff.
Michael earned his Juris Doctor from Chapman University School of Law. Prior to his legal education, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management, magna cum laude, from Pepperdine University. For his high academic achievement, he was invited to join the Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Society and has been a member for almost ten years. He is admitted to the California Supreme Court, the United States District Court - Central District, and the United States Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit.
Michael’s legal experience began in 2006 when he had the privilege during law school of working as a clerk for the United States Department of Justice assisting in the prosecution of fraud cases on behalf of the U.S. Government. He also clerked two terms with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in both the Felony and Major Frauds units, and worked for a federal bankruptcy judge for the Central District of California. Michael also worked as a Certified Law Clerk representing minors in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he undertook significant law and motion for advancing the due process rights of unrepresented minors in the immigration court system.
Michael earned the “Commitment to Service Award” for completing over 50 hours of pro bono work, volunteered his time performing legal research and writing defending a Title VII, religious discrimination case for the Pacific Justice Institute and worked over 30 hours of directed research for the Anaheim Family Justice Center.