Michael W. Case

Founding Partner

Ferguson Case Orr Paterson founding partner Michael Case has more than three decades of experience in real estate, business and real estate litigation. He has handled some of Southern California’s most important business litigation cases. Michael has secured verdicts on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants.

Among other accomplishments on behalf of his clients, Michael has secured favorable verdicts for a nationally known title company facing a multi-million-dollar wrongful foreclosure claim, successfully represented a deputy sheriff severely injured in the 2008 Metrolink train crash, and won a complete defense verdict and recovery for clients who left the world’s largest hybrid vegetable seed company to start a new company and who were sued for damages. In that case, Michael’s clients cross-complained for slander, breach of practice and unfair business practices and he won a jury verdict in his clients’ favor to add to the jury’s verdict for his clients in the original complaint.

Many of these cases involved successfully challenging Los Angeles based firms, underscoring Ferguson Case Orr Paterson’s capabilities as a full-service law firm competing in courts throughout Southern California. An annual fixture among the top five percent “Super Lawyers” recognized by Los Angeles Magazine, Michael also features regularly in the Pacific Coast Business Times‘s “Who’s Who in Professional Services.” Martindale-Hubbard has rated him AV Preeminent, for more than thirty years.

Michael is a leader in California’s legal community and beyond. He served for four years as a judge advocate for the United States Air Force. For two of those years, He was one of only ten lawyers assigned world wide to defend Air Force personnel in general courts-martial, and the other two he was a prosecutor. He also worked as a deputy district attorney in Fresno. A 1968 graduate of California State University, Fresno, where he studied political science and was the school’s student body president, Michael earned his juris doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1971.

Outside of the legal system, he has been involved widely in the community as a volunteer and/or a board member with groups such as Casa Pacifica, the Ventura Police Activities League, the Ventura Education Partnership, Community Memorial Hospital, and the American Cancer Society of Ventura County. In 2000, Michael was nominated as the Democratic candidate for Congress in the 23rd Congressional District.

Recent Examples of Litigation 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.

 

 

Practice Groups

Bar and Professional

  • State Bar of California
  • All California United States District Courts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court
  • California Judicial Council (former)
  • Board of Governors of the California State Bar (former)
  • State Bar Task Force on Complex Civil Litigation (former)
  • Emeritus Director, Foundation of the State Bar of California
  • Ventura County Bar Association (Past President)
  • Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Former law school adjunct professor and community college instructor
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • Settlement Officer for Ventura County Courts

Education

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

Community

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

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