Allen L. Michel

Attorney
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Allen L. Michel, chair of the firm’s Professional Liability Group, is a State Bar-certified Legal Malpractice Specialist with four decades of jury trial and appellate experience focused on complex business and real property litigation matters, often as elements of lawsuits against lawyers and law firms.  Mr. Michel has handled virtually all types of cases: negligence, conflicts of interest and other breaches of fiduciary duty, fraud, fee disputes, malicious prosecution, and State Bar disciplinary proceedings.  The substantive subject areas of his legal malpractice cases have included entertainment law and intellectual property, real property and mechanics lien law, partnership and business law, marital dissolution, estate planning and tax issues, business litigation, and bankruptcy.  He has been counsel in scores of anti-SLAPP proceedings, and is also an experienced appellate attorney.

Mr. Michel has lectured to groups of attorneys throughout the country on issues of legal ethics, legal malpractice, risk management, and attorney’s fees.  He is frequently consulted by attorneys evaluating complex malpractice or conflict of interest issues, and he is often retained to testify at trial as an expert witness in such matters.

He has been “AV” rated since 1980, and has been recognized by his peers as a Southern California Super Lawyer in the area of Business Litigation each year since 2007 – fewer than five percent of California lawyers receive this distinction.  Mr. Michel is a member of a number of professional organizations focusing on issues of professional competence and ethics, including the ABA’s Standing Committee on Professional Liability and the Professional Liability Underwriting Society.

Mr. Michel grew up in Pacoima (the second worst community in Los Angeles, according to a recent report) before obtaining his two degrees at UCLA (B.A. in 1971 and J.D. in 1975).  Now a resident of Calabasas after 37 years on the Westside of L.A., he admits to being a mediocre golfer, a slowing but still effective player on a softball team he co-founded in 1976, and a die-hard Dodger fan.  He will stop channel surfing to watch any film by Quentin Tarantino or either of the first two Godfather films, but not the third one.

Education

J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, 1975.
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1971.

Bar & Professional Memberships

The State Bar of California.
The American Bar Association.
Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Beverly Hills Bar Association.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
United States District Court, Central District of California.
United States District Court, Eastern District of California.
United States District Court, Northern District of California.
United States District Court, Southern District of California.
Association of Southern California Defense Counsel.
Professional Liability Underwriting Society.

Practice Areas

Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Professional Liability

The following are representative of the cases handled by attorney Allen Michel:

  • Lead counsel for a well-regarded Los Angeles entertainment firm sued by an internationally known rock star for alleged mishandling of that singer/songwriter's audit claims against his record company.
  • Jury trial and appeal resulting in a 7-figure judgment for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty arising out of offshore tax planning for an Academy Award-winning screenwriter.
  • Representation of a Beverly Hills law firm in connection with a claim by a distributor of a series of celebrity-endorsed exercise videotapes in which we not only defeated several malpractice claims at the jury trial, but enforced the firm's fee agreement with the client.
  • Successfully defended a law firm accused of mishandling the negotiations for the creation and operation of a “green” power facility in Los Angeles, the damage claim being $1.5 billion.
  • Successful litigation in favor of an Orange County law firm accused of being responsible for a $140,000,000 arbitration award arising from the attempted rescission of a contract to sell a Nevada hotel.

Mr. Michel also consults on matters of risk management and legal ethics, and has testified as an expert in cases involving legal malpractice, legal ethics, fees, and related issues.