Michael C. Douglass


Professional Experience

Mr. Douglass is an experienced trial attorney with a diverse civil litigation practice, who is eligible to practice in all California state and federal courts. Mr. Douglass focuses on the defense of corporate and municipal clients in complex, high-exposure general liability, professional liability, trucking, employment, insurance bad faith, consumer finance, and product liability matters. He has defended clients in arbitrations, tried cases to verdict, and successfully argued before the California Court of Appeal, resulting in reported decisions. Mr. Douglass is pragmatic, seasoned and well-versed in providing his business clients with strategic counsel to help them make better-informed decisions to assist in managing their legal risks and protecting their brands.

Prior to joining the firm in 2021, Mr. Douglass was a litigation partner with a national civil litigation law firm. Before that, he was in-house managing attorney for the San Francisco and San Jose staff counsel offices of Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company.

In the general liability area, Mr. Douglass’ practice involves the representation of municipalities, property owners and managers in high-exposure personal injury cases arising from incidents and accidents on their premises. His experience in this regard includes injury due to environmental hazards, dangerous conditions, and negligent security claims arising from shootings, fights, third-party criminal conduct, and other such incidents. He has also handled industrial accident and product liability cases, which often involve complex machinery, products and operations. Mr. Douglass has handled numerous construction-site injury matters involving the work of sub-contractors, general contractors, and developers. Additionally, Mr. Douglass has handled hundreds of automobile and trucking liability cases and represented trucking companies in pre-litigation accident investigations as well as high-exposure accidents and incidents involving their drivers.

Mr. Douglass’ professional liability practice includes the defense of errors and omissions claims against medical professionals, insurance agents and brokers, and real estate agents and brokers.

Mr. Douglass has experience representing clients in a variety of commercial disputes, including breach of contract, unfair business practices, and real property disputes. He has also defended corporate clients in consumer matters including TCPA, improper credit reporting, and improper debt collection claims.

Significant Representations & Experience

Mr. Douglass has been involved in various cases of first impression and matters involving complex issues of law, resulting in leading
California authorities. Representative cases are:

  • Contreras v. Dowling, (2016) 5 Cal.App.5th 394
  • Paiva v. Nichols, (2008) 168 Cal.App.4th 1007


  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Practice Areas

  • Bad Faith Litigation
  • Trucking and Transportation
  • General Liability
  • Government Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Consumer Finance
  • Employment

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Defense Research Institute
  • Centinela Youth Services, Board of Directors
  • Claims Litigation Management Alliance
  • Association of Defense Trial Attorneys
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • California Lawyers Association


JD, Texas Southern University, 1993

  • Law Review (Comments Editor)
  • Moot Court/Mock Trial Board

BA, Jacksonville State University, 1989

  • Full-tuition Army ROTC scholarship

Publications and Presentations

  • “The Ins, Outs and Uh Ohs of Policy Limit Demands,” August 2019
  • “Who’s Peeking into Your Privacy? An In-Depth Look into Social Media,” Claims Litigation Management Alliance, May 2013
  • “Mock Trial: A D&O Placement Predicament,” Surplus Lines Association of California presentation, May 2010
  • “Employment Litigation Mock Trial,” Surplus Lines Association of California presentation, September 2008
  • “Litigation and Discovery 101: Nuts and Bolts,” Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company in-house claims staff training presentation, June 2006