Michael W. Case

Founding Partner

Business Litigation & Real Estate and Land Use| [email protected] | Ext. #210

Michael W. CaseMichael Case’s more than thirty years of real estate, business and litigation expertise has earned him a reputation as one of the best business and real estate trial lawyers in the Tri-County region. A former state bar leader, county bar president and law school adjunct professor, Michael has tried over 100 jury and court trials to successful conclusion and has been honored by election as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). He has earned the prestigious AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell, has been annually named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine (reserved to 5% of lawyers), and has been frequently featured in the Pacific Coast Business Times’ Who’s Who in Professional Services.

Michael graduated from California State University, Fresno with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He served as the school’s student body president. Michael earned his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Before co-founding Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP in 1982, Michael served as a deputy district attorney in Fresno County. Michael also spent four years as a judge advocate in the United States Air Force –two years in prosecuting and two years as one of ten lawyers worldwide charged with criminal defense of Air Force personnel in general courts-martial.

Michael previously served as a member of the Board of Governors of the California State Bar and in 1996 was its vice president. In 1997, he was appointed by the Chief Justice to the California Judicial Council’s Task Force on Complex Civil Litigation. Michael was also named to the California State Bar Attorney’s Civility Task Force which led to the adoption of a statewide Civility Code for California lawyers.

In 2000, Michael was the Democratic candidate for election to Congress, 23rd Congressional District.

In 2001, Michael completed his term as one of four lawyers serving on the 21-member California Judicial Council. The Council, chaired by the Chief Justice of California, is constitutionally charged with oversight of the State’s trial and appellate courts, including funding, policy and adoption of court rules.

Education:

  • J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1971
  • B.A., California State University at Fresno, Political Science, 1968

Admissions:

  • State Bar of California, 1972
  • All California United States District Courts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Practice Groups:

Business Litigation, Real Estate and Civil Litigation

Some recent examples of litigaton matters:

  • Contract/Lease Dispute: Defense verdict in arbitration dispute between client lessor of an automobile dealership and its former tenant. The client was awarded $920,000 plus attorney’s fees.
  • Unfair Competition: Complete defense verdict and recovery for clients, who left world’s largest hybrid vegetable seed company to start their own company. Clients were sued for damages alleged to be in the millions by a major Los Angeles law firm. Clients cross-complained for slander, breach of contract, and unfair business practices. Jury found in favor of clients on all of the multiple special verdicts, both on complaint and cross-complaint. Attorney fees were recovered.
  • Corporate Control: Defense verdict for clients in Delaware Chancery Court and in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, restoring company investors and officers to control of large California based oil company. A major Los Angeles law firm represented the adverse parties.
  • Construction Dispute: Defense verdict by jury for client Portland Cement Association. Plaintiff claimed material defects in 1000-foot sea wall with demand for complete replacement.
  • Real Property: Defense verdict following one-month court trial and appeal for nationally known title company alleged to have conducted wrongful foreclosure. Plaintiff’s demand was in excess of $10 million.
  • Professional Negligence. Defense verdict in 2011 for a mortgage banker and real estate broker in a three week jury trial in Los Angeles brought by an investor seeking several million dollars of alleged losses.
  • Professional Disputes. Represented multiple professionals both in trial and arbitration over their rights in professional matters.
  • 2008 Metrolink Chatsworth Disaster. Successfully represented severely injured deputy sheriff.

Professional Affiliations and Honors:

  • “Super Lawyer,” Los Angeles Magazine (2007-2013)
  • “Who’s Who in Professional Services,” Pacific Coast Business Times (multiple publications)
  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Ventura County Bar Association (Former President)
  • Foundation of the State Bar of California (Emeritus Director)
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section (Member)
  • Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association (Member)
  • State Bar Task Force on Complex Civil Litigation (Former Member)
  • Board of Governors of the California State Bar (Former Member)
  • California Judicial Council (Former Member)
  • Former law school adjunct professor and community college instructor

Community Involvement:

  • City of Ventura Citizen Blue Ribbon Budget Committee (Vice-Chair)
  • Casa Pacifica (Former Board Member, Chair of the HR Committee)
  • Ventura County Medical Resource Foundation (Board Member)
  • Ventura Police Activities League (PAL) (Advisory Board Member)
  • Ventura Education Partnership (VEP) (Current Advisory Board Member, Former Officer)
  • American Cancer Society of Ventura County (Former President and Board Member)
  • Community Memorial Hospital (Former Board Member)

 

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