Maureen M. Michail

Headshot of Maureen Michail


Senior Partner

Practice Areas
Business, Construction, Employment, Real Estate, Film Finance, and Insurance Bad Faith Litigation.

Maureen is a Senior Partner with Schonbuch Hallissy LLP. In the early 1990’s, she worked for an engineering and construction firm on large public works construction projects as an estimator and government claims administrator. Her law practice since 1996 has focused on litigating high exposure cases in the areas of business, construction, employment, real estate, film finance and insurance bad faith cases in state and federal courts. Maureen also advises her corporate clients regarding policies, procedures and planning to manage risk on a day-to-day basis to avoid costly litigation.

  • William M. Dorfman, D.D.S. v. Cantor et al., Los Angeles Superior Court: After a 2-month long trial, the jury found in favor of our client, Dr. Dorfman in a Misappropriation of Trade Secret and Employment Action between Dr. Dorfman and his former hygienist and another dentist. Dr. Dorfman’s former hygienist sued him seeking over $6 million in damages. The jury awarded her $0 and instead awarded Dr. Dorfman over $3 million in damages. The case involved extremely complicated legal issues pertaining to federal and state labor laws and trade secret statutes.
  • Union Patriot Capital Management, LLC v. Hannibal Classics, Inc. et al., Los Angeles Superior Court: Following a several month trial, Maureen obtained judgments totaling over $21 million in favor of her film financier clients against their former film distributor and sales agent arising out of two motion picture films: Vengeance: A Love Story; USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage (“USSI”). The litigation involved complex film finance and distribution contract issues, as well commercial fraud claims.
  • Hartwell Corp. v. Superior Court (2002) 27 Cal.4th 256 Maureen drafted most of the legal briefing for this California Supreme Court case in which Plaintiffs, residents of the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California, filed lawsuits in superior court, alleging, inter alia, that certain water companies provided them unsafe drinking water causing death, personal injury, and property damage. The Supreme Court concluded that the PUC’s regulation of water quality and safety does not preempt damage claims alleging violations of federal and state drinking water standards against the water providers subject to PUC regulation, but that the remaining claims against those water providers, including Maureen’s client were preempted.
  • R. L. H. v. United Services Auto. Ass’n (9th Cir. 2009) 327 Fed. Appx. 714 Maureen prevailed on summary judgment in the United States District Court on the issue of whether a fetus is a member of his mother’s household for purposes of the interfamily liability exclusion common in auto liability insurance policies. The defendant appealed and Maureen argued the issue again in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which affirmed summary judgment in favor of Maureen’s client. By coincidence, Maureen argued the issue of whether a fetus is a member of his mother’s household for purposes of the insurance liability exclusion while 8 months pregnant with one of her sons, which perhaps gave the argument added credibility.
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
  • AV Preeminent by Peers & Judiciary – Highest Rating in Legal Ability & Ethical Standards
  • Los Angeles Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • Super Lawyers Southern California “Rising Stars” in 2011; added to “Super Lawyers” list since 2012
  • Firm was identified as one of Los Angeles’ “Go-To” Litigation Firms in Corporate Counsel Magazine
  • American Center for Law & Justice
  • Coptic Orphans U.S. and Canada Liaison
  • Los Angeles Daily Journal-December 23, 2015: Litigator Pumps Iron, Outlasts Opponents
  • The Recorder: The Wall Street Journal-June, 2015: California’s Top Ranked Law Firms
  • The Hollywood Reporter-August 9, 2012: Johnny Depp Wins Key Rulings in Hollywood Palladium Altercation Lawsuit
  • Verdict Magazine Volume 2, 2015: President’s Message-Manners Maketh Man
  • Verdict Magazine Volume 1, 2015: Schonbuch & Newt Gingrich
  • Verdict Magazine Volume 1, 2014: Schonbuch Cover
  • Jury Trial Coverage March, 2012: Channel 10 News San Diego
  • Verdict Magazine 2004: Defending Southern California Nightlife-Schonbuch cover and featured article
  • Daily Journal Verdicts 2002: The Gambler-Featured Article on Schonbuch’s Trial Tactics
  • Daily Journal Verdicts 2002: Kiss Off-Schonbuch Featured Spotlight
  • California Law Business 2001: The Go To Attorneys of Hollywood-Schonbuch Featured As Go To Hollywood Lawyer
  • Daily Journal Verdicts 2001: Ha! The Viper Room-Schonbuch Featured Article On Successful Verdict Defending Johnny Depp and The Viper Room
  • Meet The Mentor: YouTube December, 2023 Michael Schonbuch Trial Lawyers
J.D. Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, California B.A. Economics, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
Bar Admissions

State Bar of California
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit