About Michael

Practice

Michael F. Wright is a business litigator and regulatory attorney. He advises outdoor advertising and developer clients in litigation, regulatory, and transactional matters. Michael litigates cases at the administrative, trial, and appellate levels. His areas of practice include various aspects of constitutional law, outdoor advertising regulation, the California Prevailing Wage Law, and the federal Clean Water Act. He advises clients in drafting proposed city and state legislation.

In the outdoor advertising area, Michael has represented developers in negotiating development agreements that included signage and dealing with other sign regulatory issues. Michael was lead counsel for the appellant in the often-cited Desert Outdoor Advertising, Inc. v. City of Moreno Valley, 103 F.3d 814 (9th Cir. 1996), in which the court reversed summary judgment against Michael’s client and held the city’s sign ordinance unconstitutional. He represented the California State Outdoor Advertising Association in California State Outdoor Advertising Association v. State of California, 2005 WL 2086071 (E.D. Cal. 2005), 2006 WL 662747 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 16, 2006), in which the court held that Caltrans’ permit fee for outdoor advertising displays was void and ordered a refund of the permit fees paid. The court also awarded attorneys’ fees to the plaintiffs. In 2016, Michael represented the CSOAA in obtaining a regulatory decision that the Prevailing Wage Law does not apply to county-sponsored billboards. https://www.dir.ca.gov/OPRL/coverage/year2016/2015-015.pdf.

Michael was lead counsel in Lamar Central Outdoor, LLC v. Dept. of Transportation, 221 Cal. App. 4th 810 (2013) and Lamar Central Outdoor, LLC v. City of Los Angeles, 245 Cal. App. 4th 610 (2016).

In the area of general business litigation, Michael was lead counsel for the appellant in Krikorian Premier Theatres, LLC v. Westminster Central, LLC, 2008 WL 1122225 (Cal. App. 2008), 193 Cal.App.4th 1075 (2011), in which the court reversed a $22 million judgment against Michael’s client in a breach of contract action. Michael and his team went on to recover $6.8 million in attorney’s fees and costs.  Michael has represented clients in cases involving securities regulation, antitrust, and other areas of law.

Michael has practiced in all the federal district courts in California, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., as well as the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals, the California Supreme Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Michael served as a law clerk to the late Lawrence T. Lydick, U.S. District Court, Central District of California. He is rated AV 5.0/5.0 by Martindale.

Education

J.D. Stanford Law School
B.A. Stanford University, Phi Beta Kappa

Community Activities

Michael is a researcher in mid-19th century American history at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. He does pro bono work for neighborhood conservation groups including the Santa Monica Conservancy. He is a member of the Los Angeles Economic Round Table.