Michael Brophy


  • Education: American University, magna cum laude, B.A. • Harvard Law School, cum laude, J.D.
  • Admitted: State of CA, 1998
  • Year joined: 2015
  • Year became partner: 2015


Michael's practice focuses on trust and succession disputes, family business and commercial litigation, and intellectual property matters. He has extensive experience in trust and estate litigation, copyright, Lanham Act, trade secret, unfair competition, contract, and real estate matters. In addition to litigation matters, his experience includes risk assessment and counseling, alternative dispute resolution, and administrative proceedings.

Michael has successfully represented a wide range of clients from successful individuals and families to multinational Fortune 500 companies. He has also represented large institutional fiduciaries and individual trustees.

In addition to the State of California, Michael is admitted to practice in 9th Circuit Court of Appeals; Federal Circuit Court of Appeals; Central District of California; Southern District of California; Eastern District of California; and Eastern District of Texas.


  • Southern California Rising Star from 2008-2013
  • Southern California Super Lawyer in Trust and Estate Litigation 2014 - 2016

Representative Transactions

Trust & Estate Litigation

  • Represented an individual trustee in a bench trial obtaining a complete and decisive verdict in favor of the fiduciary.
  • Represented the co-trustees of the living trust of a deceased celebrity in defeating fraud claims in arbitration.
  • Represented the co-executors of the estate of a deceased celebrity in defeating employment and contract claims.
  • Represented trust-owned partnership in successfully retrieving misappropriated residual funds.
  • Represented charity in a challenge to a charitable trust, successfully resolving the matter in mediation.

Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment

  • Represented importer of book lights in defeating a request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction regarding claims of trade dress infringement regarding product design.
  • Represented a major chemical manufacturer in resolving a trade secret dispute with a former independent contractor.
  • Counseled major television studio regarding risk management in non-scripted programming.
  • Represented foreign entertainment client in successfully resolving a film finance dispute with a production company.
  • Represented a well-known music group in a trial with their former attorneys.
  • Represented an advertising agency in a dispute with a rock music group regarding a commercial.

Commercial Disputes

  • Obtained and enforced a default judgment for a major auction house in an art fraud matter, seizing known California assets.
  • Counseled major talent agency regarding employment and contract related issues.
  • Represented members of a limited liability company in the fashion industry defeating breach of fiduciary duty claims at trial.
  • Represented family business in real estate dispute, prevailing before the California Court of Appeal.

Publications and speaking engagements

  • Co-author, "Parse the Issues Involving Guardians in Legal Proceedings, Estate Planning, July 2017.
  • Quoted, "Silicon Valley DNA vs. NDAs," The Deal, May 2017.
  • Quoted, "Uber Ordered to Return Documents in Self-Driving Fight With Waymo," Wall Street Journal, May 2017.
  • Quoted, "Uber, Waymo Take Out (More) Knives in their Battle Over Critical Self-Driving Car Tech," USA Today, May 2017.
  • Quoted, "Injunction Against Uber? No Decision Yet," CNET, May 2017.
  • Speaker, “What Every Future Lawyer Needs to Know About Serving as the Family Fiduciary,” UCLA Tax and Estate Planning Law Association.
  • Speaker, "Navigating Legal Issues in the Electronic Age," Association of Corporate Counsel of America, Southern California Chapter.
  • Speaker, "Perspectives on Trustee Fees: Evaluating `Reasonableness' in Trust Planning, Administration and Litigation," Beverly Hills Bar Association.
  • Presentation, "Privacy Protection: What Every In-House Counsel Needs to Know About: Managing and Protecting Private Employee, Consumer and Company Information," Association Of Corporate Counsel of America, Southern California Chapter.
  • Presentation, "Legal Writing and Research," Winston & Strawn LLP, Los Angeles.

On a personal note

Michael enjoys playing softball, attending the theater, and cheering for the Green Bay Packers.


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