Michael Baker has substantial experience handling a broad range of complex business disputes. Mr. Baker has managed and tried numerous lawsuits involving corporate and partnership governance, unfair competition, trade secrets, securities and accounting fraud, real estate transactions, construction, products liability, employment, and political law – arising in a variety of business settings, including high technology, cogeneration power, oil and gas exploration, waste management, chemical manufacturing, telecommunications, and hospitality.
Mr. Baker's litigation experience includes cross-border disputes on behalf of and against business interests located in both Europe and Asia. Both in litigation and in initiatives to avoid litigation, Mr. Baker has counseled corporate boards and public agencies on a variety of governance and strategic issues and has also extensively advised clients with business before public agencies.
In addition to his career in private practice, Mr. Baker served as Legal Director and Litigation Director of the California Fair Political Practices Commission in Sacramento from 1976 to 1979, where he led the trial team in the Commission's first post-Watergate enforcement action for concealment of campaign contributors. While at UC Berkeley School of Law, he was an Articles Editor for the California Law Review.
- Jury trial in California state court successfully defending a statutory false claims action brought by a client’s former employee.
- Jury trial in California state court successfully defending a former employee’s retaliatory firing claim.
- Jury trial in Texas state court successfully defending product liability claims relating to semiconductor fabrication.
- Trial in San Francisco federal court over ERISA claims for breaches of fiduciary duty in an employee benefit plan.
- Two trials in Marin County Superior Court upholding rights under a long-term commercial lease, including the recovery of substantial attorney's fees.
- An arbitration before FINRA successfully defending a hedge fund against claims of trading errors on the Milan Exchange.
- An arbitration before FINRA recovering US$1.8 million on behalf of brokers seeking deferred compensation and unpaid commissions.
- Trial in California state court recovering damages on behalf of homeowners for construction defects.
- An arbitration before the American Arbitration Association defending claims brought by a subcontractor relating to refuse collection and recycling.
- Trial in California state court defeating claims by a joint venture partner in a highway tunnel construction project.
- JD, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, 1973
- AB, Harvard University, 1969, cum laude
State Bar of California