Hill, Farrer & Burrill LLP


Patrick E. Michela


Hill, Farrer & Burrill LLP
One California Plaza
300 So. Grand Avenue, 37th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90071-3147

  • (213) 620-0460 - General
  • (213) 624-4840 - Fax

PATRICK E. MICHELA practices in the area of general civil and business litigation, with an emphasis on employment defense.

Mr. Michela graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. He received his Juris Doctor degree in 1994 from Pepperdine University School of Law. He was a Note and Comment Editor of the Pepperdine Law Review and is the author of You May Have Already Won… Telemarketing Fraud and the Need for a Federal Legislative Solution, 21 Pepp. L. Rev. 553 (1994). Mr. Michela was admitted to the California bar in 1994 and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the United States District Courts for the Central District of California and the District of Colorado. Mr. Michela was recognized as a Rising Star by Los Angeles Magazine in 2005 and 2006.

Employment Wrongful Termination

Successfully defended plaintiff employee’s appeal of trial court’s order dismissing court action following arbitration award and affirming previous grant of motion to compel arbitration.  Court of Appeal held that because the plaintiff failed to timely seek vacatur of the arbitration award, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to consider the motion to vacate and the order of dismissal was an unappealable order.

California Private Attorney General Action

Obtained ruling overturning trial court’s denial of motion to compel arbitration after U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Moriana v. Viking River Cruises upheld the right of employers to include provisions in arbitration agreements compelling individual PAGA actions to arbitration.

Employment Arbitration

Successfully moved to compel arbitration and enforce waiver of class claims on behalf of a major retailer.  Plaintiffs appealed and matter was resolved during pendency of appeal.

Damage Claims of Railroad Easement

On behalf of large interstate railroad, obtained summary adjudication of all damage claims asserted against railroad in action involving viability of railroad easement.  Railroad eventually obtained judgment in its favor on all remaining claims at trial.  Judgment upheld by California Court of Appeal.

Restraining Order and Injunction of Property Dispute

Obtained temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction blocking trustee’s sale of residential property in dispute between two mortgage lenders involving proper lien priorities in title to property.

Breach of Royalty Agreement with Banking Software

Obtained summary judgment on behalf of defendant accused of breaching royalty agreement in connection with licensing of computer “flow charts” underlying regulatory banking software.  Decision upheld by United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Anti-SLAPP Motion/Landowner Dispute

Represented landowner involved in a dispute with a neighboring sewage treatment plant regarding scope of easement to discharge treated effluent on landowner’s property.  Successfully brought “anti-SLAPP” motion against sewage treatment company on grounds that the sewage treatment company was attempting to infringe on landowner’s first amendment rights of free speech and petition. Decision of trial court upheld on appeal.

Appeal of Decision Finding Labor Statutes Unconstitutional

Represented joint labor-management committee in appeal of trial court decision holding sections 1771.2 and 1776(e) of the Labor Code unconstitutional on due process grounds.  Appeal stayed as a result of defendant’s bankruptcy