In his fourth decade of practice as a commercial litigator and trial lawyer Michael J. O’Connor has successfully prosecuted and defended hundreds of claims in a wide variety of commercial cases, including the full spectrum of insurance policyholder matters, as well as entertainment industry and First Amendment law claims.
Michael has secured significant verdicts and settlements for clients ranging from well-known Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurs and individuals. Michael helps policyholders manage their insurance programs and to enforce their coverage rights.
He works diligently with his clients and their insurance companies early on to make sure that their claims are presented in a way that mitigates the possibility of a dispute and maximizes the potential for coverage.
Michael is also retained to advise on the negotiation of policy coverage and exclusions, and on the insurance implications of ongoing business operations and transactions.
Over the course of his career, Michael has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars of unpaid claims and damages on behalf of policyholders. His trial victories include multi-million-dollar judgments and recoveries against insurance companies.
Michael’s experience includes dispute resolution and litigation involving the full array of bad faith violations, including the denial of coverage and payment; improper reserving, pricing practices, claims investigation, and delay of benefits; failure to defend the policyholder; and professional negligence.
Moreover, Michael is involved in the resolution of motion picture production/cast insurance; E&O and D&O claims; and commercial property claims, such as business interruption, completed operations, and builder’s risk, among others.
In addition to insurance coverage, Michael has represented a number of entertainment companies and broadcasters in claims ranging from copyright and trademark cases to profit participation and contract disputes.
- Regularly represents many of the nation’s top commercial construction companies in coverage disputes nationwide. Recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements of bad faith and other insurance claims concerning builder’s risk, property insurance, and other construction-related policies
- On behalf of a California trade association, secured a judgment after trial against several insurance companies for breach of contract and bad faith arising out of claims brought by members of the trade association
- On behalf of a real estate investment group, secured a bad faith verdict after trial against insurance companies over claims arising out of the purchase and sale of investment properties
- In a record-setting result on behalf of national hotel chain, secured a $23 million jury verdict for insurance bad faith claims against an insurance company for failure to defend its insureds in a catastrophic personal injury case
- On behalf of a national radio group, secured a defense verdict after trial in an age discrimination case, brought by an on-air radio personality
- On behalf of a commercial production company, secured a defense verdict after trial in an action for interference with a contract involving the services of a director.
- J.D.University of California, Los Angeles School of Law1979
- B.A.University of California at Berkeley1976
Bar Admissions : California
Court Admissions :
- Supreme Court of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- 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
Professional Memberships : Member, California State Bar
Rate : $$$