Areas of Practice
Michael provides legal advice to school and community college districts regarding administrative matters, litigation, personnel, investigations, and employee training.
In addition to general legal advice and support, Michael has prevailed on behalf of public entities in all manner of proceedings before administrative agencies and courts of law. Michael is a frequent presenter and trainer for public schools, community colleges, and universities regarding harassment prevention, workplace violence, sexual harassment, Title IX, and EEO issues.
He is recognized as one of California’s top attorneys in school and education law, having been selected for the “Rising Stars” list of exceptional attorneys in “Super Lawyers” magazine each year from 2013 through 2017. Listed below is his legal employment history:
- Partner, Parker & Covert LLP, 2014
- Associate, Parker & Covert LLP, 2007
In re TM (2017) Tenured Faculty Dismissal. Community college District sought to dismiss a long-time tenured faculty member due to dishonesty and mismanagement resulting in more than $40,000 of fraudulent requisitions. The faculty member agreed to resign before a seven-day hearing commenced.
In re PG (2017) Permanent Certificated Employee Termination. School district terminated a certificated employee of 20+ years due to falsification of District records, dishonesty, and unsatisfactory performance. Employee settled for less than nuisance value at the mandatory settlement conference before the Office of Administrative Hearings.
In re KU (2016) Student Expulsion Hearing. School district expelled high school student for repeated incidents of bullying and threatening another student with a gun. Student agreed to proposed settlement following presentation of District’s evidence before administrative hearing panel.
AFSCME Local 3112 v. Anaheim Union High School District (2015) Unfair labor practice charge filed with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) alleging bad faith bargaining and impasse conduct by the District on multiple grounds. The administrative law judge ruled in the District’s favor on every issue and dismissed the unfair practice charge. The decision was upheld on review by PERB. (41 PERC 80.)
In re WD (2014) Permanent Classified Employee Termination. Community college district terminated permanent classified employee for sleeping on the job and poor performance. The hearing officer rejected all of the affirmative defenses offered by the employee in upholding the District’s decision to terminate.
D.R. v. Bonita Unified School District (2013) Employee filed an unfair labor practice with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) alleging discrimination and retaliation for engaging in protected activity. The administrative law judge dismissed the unfair practice charge following a contested hearing.
In re RT (2012) Permanent Classified Employee Termination. School district terminated a classified employee with more than 15 years of service for poor performance and insubordination. The District prevailed in a three-day arbitration hearing, receiving a favorable advisory arbitration award.
Somin v. Porter (2016) Successfully obtained a three-year civil harassment restraining order in favor of community college instructor against a former student who threatened to kill her in a series of messages sent on the social media site Facebook.
G.J. v. Torrance Unified School District (2016) Litigation pertaining to alleged injuries sustained in a trip-and-fall incident at a middle school. Settled on the first day of trial for nuisance value.
El Camino Community College v. P.E. (2011) Successfully obtained workplace violence restraining order pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 527.8 against former student who sent hundreds of e-mail messages, made numerous telephone calls, and engaged in threatening conduct toward college employees.
Californians Aware et al. v. Orange Unified School District et al. (2008) 4th District Court of Appeal, Division 3, No. G038499 [2008 Cal.App.Unpub.LEXIS 7487] Appeal upholding Board of Education’s right to participate in public debate and awarding attorney fees under California anti-SLAPP statute (Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16).
Presentations and Publications
Trainer/Presenter: Discrimination and Harassment Awareness Training – El Camino College, February 9, 2017, accessible here.
Moderator/Presenter: University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Faculty Training Series – Best Practices in EEO Hiring, November 9, 2016. Presentation accessible here.
Panelist: Preparing for and Dealing with Violence Issues in the Workplace, 34th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, Presented by the National Labor Relations Board and Orange County Labor and Employment Relations Association (OC LERA), July 27, 2016, accessible here.
Trainer/Presenter: Harassment Prevention and Awareness Training, El Camino Community College, January 15, 2016, accessible here.
Trainer/Presenter: Sexual Harassment Prevention and Awareness Training, Cerritos Community College, February 24, 2014, accessible here.
Author: “Orange Unified victory benefits public,” Sacramento Bee, originally published Sunday, April 12, 2009, accessible here.
- State Bar of California
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California
- American Bar Association
- Orange County Labor and Employment Relations Association (OC LERA)
- Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity
- J.D., Chapman University School of Law, 2006
- Recipient of Dean’s Academic Scholarship
- Mock Trial Board
- B.A., Pepperdine University, Journalism, 2003
- Editor in Chief of The Graphic, student publications newspaper
- National Dean’s List