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About Michael

Michael was born in Mississippi. His mother was a nurse and his father was a US postman. He headed out West to California with his mother and sister when he was three years old. Being from the South and raised by a single mother and maternal grandmother, alongside his only sister, Michael understands the value of perseverance through life’s struggles, while considering others in their times of need.

Michael’s love of the law is rooted in his core belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law, regardless of race, class, gender, sexuality, immigration status or religion. Michael has called Oakland, California his home for over 33 years and is married to Katrina and is a proud father to their daughter.

Over 30 Years of Legal Experience

    ✓ Current Temporary Judge Appointed by the Alameda County Superior Court

    ✓ In-house & Assistant Vice President, Senior Legal Counsel for two Fortune 500 Companies

    ✓ General Counsel & Board Member of the Charles Houston Bar Association/Charles Houston Bar Institute

Michael’s diverse legal experiences meet the needs of all areas of the Alameda Superior Court judiciary and best serve the needs of the diverse people of Alameda County. He was a trial lawyer in small and medium sized law firms in Oakland and San Francisco; he started his own law firm in Oakland; and then spent over 18 years as both complex litigation and transactional in-house counsel for AT&T and WarnerMedia. He has also served for the past three years as the General Counsel for the Charles Houston Bar Association, a non-profit organization comprised of African American lawyers, judges, and law students throughout Northern California working to address the unique challenges facing the African American community in the Bay Area. In addition, since 2013, Michael has been admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the Unites States of America.

For the past four years, Michael has worked inside the courtroom as a Temporary Judge appointed by the Alameda County Superior Court. He’s presided over hundreds of Traffic cases, over 400 criminal court trials and arraignments as well as being certified to hear Civil Harassment matters, Family Law and Small Claims cases. Michael also serves as a court-appointed settlement conference attorney for all Mandatory Settlement Conferences.

Beyond the legal arena, Michael has dedicated over 30 years, helping Oakland and Alameda County residents in their moments of hardship to secure legal equality and access to justice not only as an attorney but also by volunteering his time in numerous community and legal organizations as well as schools, such as:

    ✓ General Counsel and Board member of the Charles Houston Bar Association/Charles Houston Bar Institute
    ✓ Mentor, Oakland Tech High School Race, Policy & Law Pathway Program
    ✓ Mentor, The DeAnza High School Law Academy
    ✓ Active member of The 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, Inc.
    ✓ Past President of the Board of Directors of the Alameda County Bar Association (ACBA)
    ✓ Past President of the Board of Directors of Legal Access Alameda (formerly ACBA Volunteer Legal Services Corp.)
    ✓ Immediate Past Co-Chair of the Judicial Council of California’s Bench Bar Coalition
    ✓ Attorney Volunteer, Alameda County Lawyers in the Library Program

Fairness & Justice for All

Michael understands the frustration of being burglarized; the heartache of unhoused communities; mental health pains; and the fear felt by LGBTQ, ethnic minorities, and immigrant communities. As a judge, he will continue to ensure that every person who appears before him is heard and seen with patience, with dignity and is provided with equal access to justice.

Michael has garnered the reputation professionally and personally of being fair, calm, a good listener and very experienced in the law.

Awards & Recognition

    Award from the membership of the Earl Warren American Inns Of Court for the “Best Program” for 2022/23, “Stranger Things: Batson Challenges INN the Upside?” and the “Best Program” for 2020/21, “Celebrity Jeopardy: What are legal ethics?”
    Award from the President of the Board of Directors of the Charles Houston Bar Association in recognition of my service and legal advice and counsel to Board and the organization as the General Counsel to the Board of Directors.
    Award from the Alameda County Bar Association Board of Directors for my service as President of the Board of Directors in 2018.
    Award from the California Minority Bar Coalition in recognition for my dedication and involvement on behalf of the Alameda County Bar Association with several Bay Area community legal programs and initiatives throughout 2018.
  • THE PRESIDENT’S VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD – December 2018 & December 2019
    Awarded by the President of the United States of America in conjunction with the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Points of Light organization for community service throughout both 2018 and 2019. Awarded twice!
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