Michael S. Chamberlin

Partner

Los Angeles
T +1.310.442.8845
F +1.310.820.8859

"[Michael] has continually excelled in providing sound advice and direction for each of the complex legal matters we have faced."

— Chambers USA 2022

Overview

As leader of BakerHostetler’s Los Angeles Labor and Employment team, Michael Chamberlin defends employers of all sizes in both individual and class action litigation. Michael has extensive first chair experience defending clients in numerous trials and arbitrations. This invaluable experience informs every aspect of his practice and provides him with the insight to advise his clients on avoiding and minimizing risks without compromising their business goals.

Michael’s practice emphasizes long-term and continuing relationships with his clients, many of whom he has worked with for decades. As a key part of his practice, he develops and maintains an intimate knowledge of his clients’ business operations, which allows him to provide timely and focused advice geared to their needs and priorities.

Michael regularly advises and represents clients on all aspects of employment law, from developing and maintaining policies and procedures that comply with California’s ever-changing employment laws, to defending individual and class action lawsuits, to union relations and collective bargaining.

Select Experience

  • Represented energy company in three related high-stakes wage and hour class and PAGA actions. Successfully defeated two successive motions for class certifications as to majority of sub-classes alleged by plaintiff.
  • Represented client in two multi-week arbitrations by former employees asserting age and disability discrimination. Obtained complete defense verdicts on each.
  • Negotiated collective bargaining agreement on behalf of employer facing employee strike, successfully addressing union demands and unfair labor charge practices.
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Experience

  • Represented energy company in three related high-stakes wage and hour class and PAGA actions. Successfully defeated two successive motions for class certifications as to majority of sub-classes alleged by plaintiff.
  • Represented client in two multi-week arbitrations by former employees asserting age and disability discrimination. Obtained complete defense verdicts on each.
  • Negotiated collective bargaining agreement on behalf of employer facing employee strike, successfully addressing union demands and unfair labor charge practices.
  • Successfully arbitrated numerous discipline, termination and contract interpretation grievances for clients in the oil and gas and transportation industries.
  • Obtained complete defense verdicts for clients in two recent arbitrations alleging wrongful termination and age discrimination.
  • Representing energy industry clients in numerous successful grievance arbitrations alleging unjust discipline and contract interpretation matters.
  • Defending a client's win on a motion for summary judgment before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Chambers USA: Labor and Employment in California (2021 to 2022)
    • Band 5 (2021 to 2022)
  • The Legal 500 United States (2020)
    • Recommended in Labor and Employment - Labor and Employment Disputes (including collective actions): Defense

Memberships

  • State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Law Section

Pro Bono

  • Represented victim of domestic violence in proceedings related to her efforts to obtain a U-Visa.
  • Represented African-American Sheriff's Deputy in discrimination lawsuit.
  • Serving as counsel to military veteran seeking to upgrade discharge status.
  • Advised a number of nonprofit organizations, including Soulfood For Your Baby and Shoes That Fit
  • Provided employment law advice to mental health service provider through the Community Clinic Association of LA County (CCALA)

Prior Positions

  • California Employers' Guide to Employee Handbooks and Personnel Policy Manuels, Chief Editor
  • Department of Defense, Office of Assistant General Counsel for International Affairs and Intelligence: Intern

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • California

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 1994
  • B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1989, cum laude

Blog

In The Blogs

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Employment Law Spotlight
California Supreme Court Allows Employees to Seek Derivative Penalties for Meal and Rest Break Violations
By Michael S. Chamberlin, Vivian Y. Shen
May 24, 2022
On May 23, the California Supreme Court issued an opinion that will drastically increase the potential exposure for employers facing meal and rest break class actions. The court, in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc., ruled that...
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