Michael R. White is one of Los Angeles’ top trial attorneys. He has over 30 years of experience representing individuals and businesses and trying cases before juries, judges, and administrative tribunals throughout the state and country. He has represented clients in state trial courts throughout Southern and Northern California, the California Courts of Appeal, the California Supreme Court, United States District Courts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego, Santa Ana, New York, and other cities, United States Bankruptcy Courts, and in the United States Court of Appeals throughout the United States. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a national association of top jury trial lawyers. He has been listed in Who’s Who in American Law and has individually obtained the highest rating obtainable from Martindale-Hubbell, the nationwide legal directory service.
Mr. White is often engaged by other attorneys to act as lead trial counsel in complex jury and court trials. He has participated in instruction of judges at the Judicial College on the topic of settlement negotiations, has been a regular lecturer for the National Business Institute, and has frequently lectured and conducted workshops for other attorneys on trial practice and litigation skills.
Mr. White graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 1979. Earlier, he graduated from Yale University with a degree in English Literature. He was a member of the varsity track and cross country teams at Yale, was the first four year letterman in cross country in Yale history, and served as captain of the team for two years.
As a law student at Boalt Hall in the late 1970’s, Mr. White was active in student efforts to diversify the law school faculty to include more women and minorities, and to preserve affirmative action in the wake of the Bakke case. He co-authored the faculty-student Post-Bakke Report, participated in a student-initiated proceeding before the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, relating to faculty hiring practices, worked on initiative campaigns for the United Farm Workers, and worked as a volunteer law clerk for the Asian Law Caucus. He was also a summer associate with the prestigious New York law firm Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler, and was a law clerk for Judge Donald P. McCullum in Oakland, California.
After graduating from law school in 1979, Mr. White worked for the federal government in Washington, D.C., representing the National Labor Relations Board before the United States Circuit Courts of Appeals. Among other things, he successfully advanced the government’s position in a series of cases which ultimately clarified and expanded the rights of union shop stewards in the Circuit Courts and, eventually, in the United States Supreme Court. Subsequently, he worked in the Labor Board’s field office in Los Angeles, and was lead counsel in the Board’s prosecution of the Western Conference of Teamsters for unlawful picketing during the union’s attempt to organize container freight operations in the Los Angeles harbor.
After leaving the government, Mr. White served as assistant counsel for the California Teachers Association, the largest union in California, where he prosecuted cases before administrative agencies and courts that dramatically expanded the rights of public employees. He was lead counsel in the union’s appeal to the California Supreme Court in a case that expanded public employees’ rights to take action to protect their rights. Subsequently, he worked in the entertainment industry as assistant counsel for the Writers Guild of America, representing screenwriters in disputes with major studios and other industry employers.
Mr. White entered private practice in 1986 with the Los Angeles firm DeCastro, West, Chodorow & Burns. He handled numerous complex civil litigation matters in the business, entertainment, corporate, real estate, and employment fields. Among other things, he represented prominent actor James Garner in a major lawsuit against Universal Studios involving Mr. Garner’s rights to profit participation on the long-running television series “The Rockford Files.”
In 1992, Mr. White joined the national firm Beigel & Sandler, heading the firm’s newly opened Los Angeles office. He was lead counsel on numerous large mass and class actions, and obtained numerous multi-million dollar settlements and judgments in cases involving securities and investment fraud, fraudulent business practices, and toxic torts. The firm was eventually renamed Beigel Schy & White, in recognition of Mr. White’s eminence in the Los Angeles legal community and his contributions to the firm.
In 1997, Mr. White and Mr. Reed left Beigel & Sandler to form White & Reed LLP where they have successfully practiced together for nearly 20 years representing individuals and businesses in all areas of civil trial litigation in state and federal courts, administrative forums and arbitration.
During that time, Mr. White and Mr. Reed have obtained more than $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts for their clients in business litigation, wrongful death, personal injury and product liability cases, sexual assault and abuse cases, environmental and toxic tort matters, intellectual property cases, civil rights cases, and labor and employment cases, including wrongful termination and discrimination actions. Mr. White has prosecuted more than 20 actions that have resulted in multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements.