By limiting his practice in both size and subject matter, Mr. Faber provides his clients highly personalized service along with his considerable experience and expertise.
In nearly 40 years of practice, Michael J. Faber has acquired significant experience, and enjoyed significant success, in both trial and appellate courts.
In 2018, in a hotly contested legal malpractice action, Mr. Faber represented clients against their former defense attorneys, a national law firm. After three days of trial, the law firm settled for over $3 million.
In 2016 and 2017, Mr. Faber successfully litigated a sexual harassment case in which his client fended off the advances of a company’s senior executive. Despite four national law firms arrayed against him, he negotiated a pre-trial settlement in excess of $4 million.
Recently, Mr. Faber also prevailed in two significant appellate matters. In one, he persuaded the 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana to deny an employer’s attempt to force a cancer discrimination case into arbitration, ordering instead that Mr. Faber’s client was entitled to a jury trial. That decision quickly led to a favorable settlement. In the other matter, in which Mr. Faber is suing the State of California on behalf of the former Chief Executive Officer of the Kern Regional Center, he successfully defended against the government’s anti-SLAPP motion, a victory which was upheld by the Court of Appeal in Sacramento. [Law v. Department of Developmental Services; 3rd DCA Case No. C084499.]
Among Mr. Faber’s other appellate victories are the following:
Haddock v. Ready Pac Foods, Inc., B230776 (Court of Appeal, State of California, 2d Appellate District – Unpublished)
In this case, the court affirmed an order granting a new trial in favor of Mr. Faber’s client following a six week jury trial marred by juror misconduct during deliberations. Mr. Faber’s client, Ready Pac’s Vice President of Human Resources, was fired after complaining that the company’s President was unlawfully classified as an independent contractor rather than an employee. Although the plaintiff initially lost at trial, Mr. Faber persevered against one of the largest law firms in the country and persuaded the trial court to grant a new trial based on the jury’s improper consideration of the so-called “at will employment” doctrine. The defendant appealed the new trial order, but Mr. Faber again prevailed in the Court of Appeal. The case was then resolved on confidential terms.
D’Sa v. Playhut, Inc. 85 Cal.App.4th 927 (2000)
holding that it was unlawful to fire an employee for refusing to sign an agreement which contained a non-compete clause. This precedent setting decision added a significant measure of protection for California employees.
Beaty v. BET Holdings, Inc. 222 F.3d 607 (9th Cir. 2000)
in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed the availability of attorneys fees in discrimination cases of modest value, thereby enabling victims of discrimination to secure competent counsel to vindicate their rights.
Burton v. Ralph’s Food 4 Less, E029789 (Court of Appeal, State of California, 4th Appellate District—unpublished)
in which the court held that it was unlawful to fire a worker in retaliation for reopening a dormant worker’s compensation case, and that he could pursue his claims in a civil jury trial seeking damages for emotional distress and punitive damages, in addition to loss of earnings.
Dawson v. Aerospace Corp., B117639 (Court of Appeal, State of California, 2d Appellate District—unpublished)
in which the court affirmed a substantial jury verdict, including punitive damages, won by Mr. Faber for his client, an aerospace engineer laid off in a reduction in force necessitated by adverse business conditions. Mr. Faber successfully argued that circumstantial evidence indicated that plaintiff had been selected for the layoff list, at least in small measure, due to his age. The court held that was sufficient to sustain the jury’s finding of unlawful discrmination.
Other appellate victories include:
- McCoy v. Superior Court, 87 Cal.App. 4th 354 (2001)
- Crescent Wharf and Warehouse Co. v. Barracuda Tanker Corp. 696 F.2d 703 (9th Cir. 1983)
- Korn v. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, 724 F.2d 1397 (9th Cir. 1984)
- Touhey v. Carnival Cruise Lines, 111 Cal. App. 3d 958 (1980)
- Ponce v. Graceous Navigation, Inc. 125 Cal. App. 3d 823 (1981)
- Bernal v. Richard Wolf Instruments Corp., 221 Cal. App. 3d 1326 (1990)
Mr. Faber’s considerable trial experience includes well more than 40 jury trials, together with numerous bench trials and arbitrations. The following are a few examples of his trials over the past several years:
Atrzadeh v. DAKO Corp., Santa Barbara County Superior Court No. 01036480
in which the jury awarded plaintiff $250,000 plus punitive damages, after finding that her consensual relations with a superior were instead a form of sexual harassment. The case settled for a confidential amount before the jury decided on the amount of punitive damages.
Gonzalez v. Heidelberger Co., Los Angeles County Superior Court No. VC 018445
in which the jury awarded plaintiff, an undocumented alien, $4.1 million following the loss of an arm in an industrial accident.
Van Kralingen v. Fairchild Corp. United States District Court, Central District of California, No. CV 96-4550
in which the jury awarded plaintiff $2.2 million in damages for age discrimination and wrongful termination, despite his having lied on his employment application that he had no criminal record. In fact, he had served time in prison and had multiple felony convictions.
Smith v. Federal Express Co., United States District Court, Central District of California, No. CV 02-1149
in which the jury awarded plaintiff $250,000 in emotional distress damages after her “team leader” kissed her once, and despite the fact that the company immediately fired him. The court upheld the verdict, and awarded an additional $230,000 in attorneys fees.
Miles v. Stater Bros. Markets, San Bernardino County Superior Court No. 273559
in which the jury awarded plaintiff, a warehouse clerk, $780,000 in damages for emotional distress for verbal racial and sexual harassment. The case settled for a confidential amount after the court added attorneys fees to the judgment.
Traynor v. Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, Los Angeles County Superior Court No. KC 014325
in which the jury awarded plaintiff $490,000 in loss of earnings after determining that her termination from her job as a staff physical therapist, on grounds of insubordination, was without good cause.