Paul R. Fine

Michael Schonbuch headshot
When not in trial, Mike can be found lifting weights at Gold’s Gym Venice and supporting The Raider Nation.

Paul R. Fine

Of Counsel

Practice Areas
Litigation and Jury Trials in Defense of Commercial Properties, Music Venues, Commercial Transportation, Construction, Catastrophic Personal Injury, Catastrophic Automobile Liability, Wrongful Death, Products Liability, Libel, Slander and Defamation as well as Matters Involving Business, Music and Real Estate Disputes, Employment, Wrongful Termination, Sexual Harassment and Discrimination and Breach of Contract.

Michael “Mike” Schonbuch is the premier trial attorney routinely retained to handle almost any type of litigation that may or will be tried before a jury. Mike has tried and handled matters involving real estate and property disputes, real estate investment disputes, all types of business litigation, confidentiality and non-compete agreements, libel, slander and defamation, product liability, employment, wrongful termination and discrimination, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, construction defect, conversion, uniform trade secrets, entertainment and music litigation, fraud, assault and battery and many others.

The key to Mike’s skill and expertise is his ability to try any type of litigation before a jury. The majority of his cases involve excess exposure, personal liability, punitive damages, open policy and “bet the company” high-stakes litigation. Mike is brought in to handle the dangerous cases that many other lawyers won’t touch. Mike handles matters from the inception but is also frequently brought in when the parties realize there is no other way out except going to trial. While most lawyers are substituted out of a case before trial, Mike is the one who is brought in to take the case to verdict.

  • Lead defense counsel for concert venue and promoter in the October 1st, 2017 Las Vegas shootings, the deadliest shooting massacre by a single gunman in American History resulting in 58 deaths
  • Lead defense counsel for Starline Tours in death of 16 year old minor who was killed when his head hit the freeway overpass while decedent was riding on second level of open air double decker bus
  • Lead defense counsel for developer of Northridge Meadows apartment building collapse resulting in 17 deaths during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake
  • Lead defense counsel in United States/Mexico Border breach by SUV fleeing Border Patrol and carrying 25 passengers resulting in 13 deaths
  • Co-Counsel representing Lil Wayne for alleged incident after BET Awards show
  • Lead Counsel for Ozzy Obsourne and Ozzfest at trial court and Appellate Court arising from third party criminal conduct
  • Represented Arnold Schwarzenegger and The Arnold Classic against Met-Rx for breach of sponsorship contract
  • Represented Johnny Depp and The Viper Room in claim by paparazzi for assault and battery and conversion of photographic film allegedly depicting Mick Jagger and Uma Thurman in compromising situation
  • Lead counsel for San Diego music venue accused of wrongful death in rival gang shooting death of white supremacist gang leader and service of alcohol to obviously intoxicated minor who murdered decedent
  • Lead defense counsel in multiple drug overdose death cases representing outdoor music festival promoters and operators
  • Lead defense counsel for Los Angeles Times in third retrial of employment discrimination case pursued by former sports columnist TJ Simers
  • Lead defense counsel for second round draft pick and Oakland Raider defensive starter in assault and battery case with connected criminal matter
  • Lead counsel for celebrity dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman (Extreme Makeover/The Doctors) in breach of contract, uniform trade secrets, wrongful termination employment case resulting in favorable verdicts on both sides of the case
  • Lead counsel in United States District Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for manager of the 80’s metal band RATT involving alleged breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, improper use of band name and cyber theft of social media accounts
  • Lead counsel for bassist of Five Finger Death Punch against his former band for failure to pay residuals and acknowledge credit for songs written and owned
  • Handled and tried to verdict dozens of wrongful death cases involving vehicular accidents, products liability, shootings and various claims of negligence
  • Lead defense counsel for Amphitheater in wrongful death case alleging that Young Jeezy shot and killed promoter/decedent backstage due to argument over after-party contract
  • Lead defense counsel in hundreds of Traumatic Brain Injury cases resulting from accidents involving construction, commercial tractor-trailers, shipping containers, forklifts, freight elevators, elevated falls and dozens of other causes
  • Lead defense counsel for multiple Gold’s Gym Venice cases involving allegations of catastrophic injury from defective gym equipment
  • Lead defense counsel against MMA Fighter Freddy “The Detroit Diesel” George suing Gold’s Gym Venice for injury claims while training/fighting with Gold’s Gym Boxing Coach/Trainer allegedly ending Diesel’s professional career
  • Lead defense counsel representing Johnny Depp and The Viper Room against a paparazzi who claimed that Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe threw plaintiff into a row of Harleys parked outside after a Baywatch Birthday Party inside the club
  • Lead defense counsel for production company on the set of The Love Connection after plaintiff claims catastrophic injuries from falling off the half-constructed stage
  • Lead defense counsel for venue, promoter and artist involving claims of catastrophic injury during Mosh Pit at Metallica concert
  • Lead counsel for Former NBA Champion and current ESPN Analyst
  • Represented Fitness Legend and Anti-Aging Guru Bob Delmonteque for over 10 years handling multiple matters
  • Lead defense counsel for The Palladium in case involving alleged fall/jump from VIP balcony during Blink 182 concert and witnessed by drummer of Nine Inch Nails the plaintiff’s brother
  • Lead defense counsel in well over a thousand cases involving catastrophic injuries including quadriplegia, paraplegia, brain damage, compound fractures, spinal fusions, spinal cord stimulators, amputations, loss of eyes and virtually every other type of injury
  • California Counsel for the largest concert promoter in the world
  • California Counsel for the third largest construction Company in the United States
  • ABOTA American Board of Trial Advocates-Admitted October 2001
  • Los Angeles ABOTA President 2020-2021
  • Los Angeles ABOTA Vice President 2019
  • Los Angeles ABOTA-Executive Committee 2010 to present
  • 2022 Recipient of the Lee B. Wenzel ABOTA Civility Award-The Highest Honor Awarded by Los Angeles ABOTA
  • Course Director-Jack Daniels ABOTA Trial School
  • Fellow-American College of Trial Lawyers
  • CDC California Defense Counsel President 2018
  • CDC California Defense Counsel Vice President 2017
  • ASCDC Association of Southern California Defense Counsel President 2015
  • ASCDC Association of Southern California Defense Counsel President Elect 2014
  • ASCDC Association of Southern California Defense Counsel Vice President 2013
  • ASCDC Association of Southern California Defense Counsel Secretary-Treasurer 2012
  • ASCDC Association of Southern California Defense Counsel Board of Directors 2000-Present
  • Selected by Los Angeles Superior Court Leadership to demonstrate Voir Dire techniques for LASC website tutorial video series
  • Los Angeles Superior Court COVID Advisory Committee
  • ABOTA-LAUSD-LASC Presenter on Voir Dire 2023
  • ABOTA-LAUSD-LASC Presenter on Closing Arguments 2024
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association-Judicial Appointments Committee
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating
  • California Super Lawyers 1999-Present
  • Italian American Lawyers Association
  • ABOTA Masters in Trial: Sacramento Valley Chapter
  • ABOTA Masters in Trial: Los Angeles Chapter
  • Loyola Law School: Trial Advocacy Guest Lecturer
  • Loyola Law School: ABOTA Civility Lecturer
  • Pepperdine Law School: ABOTA Civility Lecturer
  • Southwestern Law School: Trial Advocacy Guest Lecturer
  • Mentor: The LEAP Foundation-Leadership Excellence Accelerating Potential
  • CAALA Las Vegas Convention Presenter-Jury Trials From Defense Perspective
  • TBI Med Legal Presenter-Defending A Brain Injury Lawsuit
  • Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada-Annual Seminar Presenter and Speaker
  • 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. Boston University
Sports Law Certification-Boston College Law School
Entertainment Law Certification-Boston College Law School
B.A. State University of New York at Albany, Magna Cum Laude
New York State Four Year Full Regents Scholarship

Bar Admissions

California Supreme Court
United States District Court, Central District of California
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Supreme Court