Michael Weed, Senior Counsel in the Complex Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group, is based in the Sacramento office. Mike focuses his practice on general commercial litigation.

Mike is experienced and effective in bet-the-company litigation, but his first focus is always to keep his clients out of litigation or to resolve it favorably and quickly when litigation is unavoidable. He has significant experience in a variety of substantive areas, including commercial contract and business disputes, trade secret misappropriation, false advertising and unfair business practices, environmental compliance and litigation, Proposition 65, and administrative enforcement proceedings. Mike has been a lead trial attorney in both civil and criminal matters.  

Mike also has unique and in-depth expertise defending constitutional and statutory challenges to public finance projects on behalf of state and local agencies throughout California. Over the past 15 years, he has successfully prosecuted and defended dozens of validation actions, in both trial and appellate courts, confirming the legality of public finance transactions involving a variety of projects, including sports stadiums, convention centers and critical infrastructure.

Mike was a summer associate with Orrick in 1997, and an associate from 1998 through July 2000. He then joined the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office where he prosecuted numerous misdemeanor trials. He returned to Orrick in February 2001 to continue his civil practice.

  • Among Mike's notable engagements are:

    • Patriot Railroad Corp. v. Sierra Railroad Company, in a trade secret misappropriation trial in the Eastern District of California, obtained a jury verdict for defendant Sierra Railroad on all claims, with an award on its counter-claims of $22.3 million in compensatory damages and $17.4 million in punitive damages, followed by a court award of an additional $13.1 million in exemplary damages. The result was hailed by the Daily Journal and Law360 as one of 2014's top defense results and trade secret verdicts.
    • Watershed Enforcers v. California Department of Water Resources, et al., a "front page" environmental case in which Mike successfully litigated and then negotiated among numerous parties a stipulation to stay the appeal of an adverse trial court decision. Based on the joint agreement and motion drafted by Mike, the Court of Appeal granted a year-long stay and, subsequently, an additional six-month stay, in order to allow involved state and federal agencies time to cooperatively address issues involving endangered species and the continued water supply for millions of Californians.
    • CPUC Orders Instituting Investigation re San Bruno Pipeline Explosion, representing a California public utility in CPUC administrative enforcement proceedings and National Transportation Safety Board accident investigation resulting from a natural gas pipeline rupture.
    • In re City of Vallejo, one of the lead trial attorneys representing the City in Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings, which at that time constituted the largest municipal bankruptcy in California since the 1994 Orange County filing.
    • Intelligent Direct Marketing v. U.S. Marketing, et al., involving three former employees who left our client to start a competitor business, taking with them significant trade secret information. Mike and the Orrick team obtained preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against the former employees and their new company, and won an award of attorneys’ fees in successfully defending against the employees’ anti-SLAPP motion.
    • People of the State of California v. Jamestown Mining Corp., et al., which involved reclamation of a closed gold mine in Northern California in connection with water and other environmental damage.
    • People of the State of California v. Frito-Lay, et al., in which Orrick represented a Fortune 100, global manufacturing company in a Proposition 65 action involving acrylamide in fried food products. Mike and the Orrick team resolved the case favorably for the client with a ground-breaking settlement in Proposition 65 jurisprudence.
    • California Statewide Communities Development Authority v. All Persons Interested, et al., 40 Cal.4th 788 (2007), in which the California Supreme Court clarified on behalf of Orrick's client the constitutionality of conduit financings for sectarian educational institutions under the religion clauses of the California and United States constitutions.

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