Michael A. Firestein is a vice-chair the Litigation Department and co-head of West Coast Litigation.
Michael handles a wide range of commercial litigation on behalf of private equity funds, financial institutions, securities brokerages, investment advisors, fiduciaries, real estate operating companies and entertainment corporations. Michael also has represented clients in a variety of employment litigation matters, including wrongful termination. Michael’s experience also includes entertainment and intellectual property litigation, most recently in the area of cybersquatting and Lanham Act matters. Michael also participates in representing publicly traded companies requesting internal investigations and representation of those companies before the SEC, FINRA, other SROs, and matters being pursued by the Department of Justice. Michael has also represented various individuals in securities aspects of high net worth family law disputes and white-collar criminal cases. Michael has tried cases before nearly every kind of tribunal (jury and bench), be it state or federal court and in front of a host of arbitration forums, including FINRA, AAA, JAMS, NYSE and others. Michael is an experienced trial lawyer and litigator.
Michael’s clients in various industries have included: Spectrum Equity Investors; The Nederlander Group Companies; Far East National Bank; United Pacific Bank; Lincoln Military Housing; Energy Future Holdings; Aniplex, Inc.; Cookie Jar Entertainment; JP Morgan; New World Restaurant Group; NBC Universal; Telemundo Network; The Pivotal Group; NTD Apparel; and a variety of individuals involved in a wide range of business disputes.
Significant matters in which Michael has been involved include being lead trial lawyer for a major developer of military based housing in a dispute involving claims of toxic exposure, lead trial lawyer in confirmation and related proceedings in connection with one of the largest bankruptcies in the country, lead trial lawyer for a major animation company in a contract dispute against a prominent trading card producer, lead litigator in an internal investigation of a publicly traded company in the food services industry regarding certain accounting irregularities; lead litigator in an internal investigation of a broker-dealer involved in a stock loan operation; representation of multiple portfolio companies of private equity funds in varying contractual, regulatory or other business disputes; defense of a television network in a federal court RICO action concerning the licensing, airing and cancellation of a program; defense of a financial institution in nationwide litigation regarding a significant bankruptcy fraud; ongoing representation of broker-dealers and financial advisors regarding claims brought by clients or investors regarding short selling and other issues; extensive representation of institutional and individual clients in fiduciary trust and probate related litigation; defense of numerous financial institutions relating to intricate operational matters; and ongoing representation of entertainment companies regarding intellectual property and other disputes.
Community service is also an important part of Michael's life. Most significantly, for more than 20 years, Michael has served as a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee for Concern Foundation for Cancer Research, also serving as its President from 1994-1996. Michael also serves on the Board of Directors of Bet Tzedek, a Los Angeles-based provider of pro bono legal services.