Michael A. Velthoen


Mike maintains a robust practice in all aspects of business litigation and counseling with an emphasis on shareholder and partnership governance and disputes, trade secrets, and employment law.

Recognized by the Pacific Coast Business Times as a leading business attorney along the corridor that stretches from San Luis Obispo to the Conejo Valley, Mike has represented clients on both sides of numerous business cases.   Representative matters include:

  • Mike obtained a dismissal of an $80 million claim was made against a clients accused of a fraudulent equity transfer in a publicly-traded company.
  • Mike was a member of the firm’s litigation team that prevailed in a four week jury trial for clients accused of misappropriating trade secrets relating to the development of vegetable seeds.
  • Mike obtained a defense verdict in favor of a helicopter manufacturer who had questioned the provenance of a helicopter that purported to be a civilian rather than military model.
  • Mike successfully argued that a homeowner association’s ban on short term rentals without obtaining a permit violated the Coastal Act in Greenfield v. Mandalay Shores Community Association (2018) 21 Cal.App.4th
  • Mike has represented clients in numerous wage and hour actions, including class actions and PAGA claims.

Mike graduated from Stanford University in 1990 and earned his law degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University in 1995, where he also received a master’s degree with distinction from the School of Foreign Service.  At Georgetown, Mike was a member of the Georgetown Law Review and interned for the Honorable Harry T. Edwards, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia. After graduation, Mike spent a year serving as a law clerk for the Honorable William D. Keller, a judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. He then joined the litigation department of the international law firm of Latham & Watkins in San Francisco. In 1999, Mike moved to the firm of Farella Braun + Martel.

A Ventura County native, Mike moved back to Ventura and joined Ferguson Case Orr Paterson in 2001.  He served as the firm’s managing partner from 2009 to 2022.  During his tenure as managing partner, Ferguson Case Orr Paterson grew to be the largest law firm in Ventura County, opened its Westlake office, added an Intellectual Property Department, and enhanced its land use, litigation and estate planning practice groups.

Mike is currently a board member of CAPS Media, the public access media organization in Ventura, and FOOD Share.  He is also a member of the advisory board for California Lutheran University’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting. When not practicing law, Mike enjoys traveling, reading, basketball, and spending time with his kids.

Practice Groups

Bar and Professional

  • State Bar of California
  • Ventura County Bar Association (Citations, Editorial Board)
  • Ventura County Bar Association, Business Litigation Steering Committee (former Board Member)


  • J.D., Georgetown University, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, 1995
  • M.S.F.S., Georgetown University, with honors, 1995
  • B.A., Stanford University, International Relations, 1990


  • Director, Food Share, 2020-Present
  • Director, CAPS Media, 2014-Present
  • Member, Advisory Board of Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, California Lutheran University
  • Director, Ventura Chamber of Commerce 2018-2020
  • Director, Ventura County Mobile Home Rent Control Review Board (2008-2016 (President 2015-2016)

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