I am the go-to attorney for retail and consumer product companies facing advertising, consumer, privacy and employment class actions.
Michelle is chair of Cooley’s elite class action practice and serves as the go-to attorney for retail and consumer product companies facing consumer class actions involving advertising, consumer, privacy and employment laws. Michelle has defended leading companies in 150+ consumer class actions and has obtained success at all stages of litigation.
Michelle’s representative clients include Ann Inc., BevMo, Condé Nast, Charlotte Russe, Cole Haan, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fifth Generation, Gap, Google, Guess, J.Crew Group, Living Social, Living Spaces, Nike, Nintendo, Payless ShoeSource, Provide Commerce, Sony, Stein Mart, Swarovski, Talking Rain, The Children’s Place, The TJX Companies, The Yankee Candle Co., Tiffany & Co., Time, and the University of Southern California.
Michelle represents several Kardashian-Jenner brands, and she recently won a high-profile jury trial in Los Angeles, successfully defending the Kardashian-Jenner family against claims brought by a plaintiff seeking more than $100 million in damages for allegations of defamation and intentional interference with the plaintiff’s E! network talent agreement.
Michelle’s class action experience includes:
- California class actions brought under the state’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act regarding collection of personal information.
- Nationwide and California class actions alleging false and deceptive advertising under California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition Law and False Advertising Law
- Nationwide and California class actions alleging product defects asserting various claims for breach of express, implied and statutory warranties, as well as false and deceptive advertising and unfair competition
- Class actions alleging violations of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
- Privacy litigation, including suits brought under the federal Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) and California’s “Shine the Light” law
- Nationwide gift card class actions brought under the federal Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, as well as federal and state-specific class actions brought under various state gift card laws
- Wage-and-hour class actions brought under federal and state law involving overtime calculation, exempt classification, meal and rest periods, vacation policy, unlawful deductions from wages, and employment applications, as well as federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and California Private Attorneys General Act actions
- Federal and state class actions brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Michelle has provided extensive counseling and represented numerous retailers in 50+ class actions brought under the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act. She led the team that obtained a major victory for companies doing business in California with the first published appellate court decision in a class action where the court ruled that the statute did not apply to return transactions and had a one-year limitation period. In another class action under the act, Michelle successfully led the team that obtained a federal court decision holding that plaintiffs are not entitled to a jury trial. She also led the team that defeated class certification in a case brought against Nike that alleged violations relating to the collection of customer information. On behalf of BevMo, Michelle successfully obtained the dismissal of a class action alleging violations of the Song-Beverly Act in relation to items ordered online. On behalf of the Gap, Michelle argued before the California Supreme Court in a class action regarding the types of personal information covered by the statue.
Michelle has extensive experience litigating cases styled as nationwide product defect class actions that assert various claims for breach of express, implied and statutory warranties, as well as false and deceptive advertising, and unfair competition on behalf of consumer product companies. Notably, in several matters for Sony, she led teams that obtained dismissal of all claims with prejudice.
Michelle also has defended privacy class actions. She obtained the dismissal of class actions alleging violations of California’s “Shine the Light” law brought against Condé Nast, Hearst and Time. On behalf of StubHub, she led the team that defeated class certification in one of the first Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act cases filed against an online business. She also secured the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s affirmance of the dismissal of a class action brought against Sony entities related to the VPPA.
Michelle has extensive experience with the TCPA, and regularly counsels clients on the statute and defends them in related class actions. In addition, she has in-depth knowledge of nationwide and state gift card laws and frequently defends her clients in class actions asserting violations of those laws.
Michelle has experience coordinating California class actions and practicing before the federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, and she has successfully moved to transfer and centralize a number of class cases for a variety of clients, including TJX, Payless ShoeSource and LivingSocial.
She also has handled a large number of public access cases under the ADA and counseled clients on a number of ADA-related issues.
The Daily Journal twice listed Michelle as one of the Top 100 Women Litigators in California. She was ranked as a leading business litigator by Southern California Super Lawyers, a leading class action/mass torts lawyer by San Diego Super Lawyers, and a leading litigator by Benchmark Litigation. Best Lawyers recognized Michelle in its Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action – Defendants and Commercial Litigation categories, and named her Lawyer of the Year in Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants.
Prior to attending law school, Michelle worked as a financial analyst with Loral Aeronutronic.
University of San Diego School of Law
JD, 1995, magna cum laude
California State University, Long Beach
BS, 1991, Finance with a minor in Economics, magna cum laude
Admissions & credentials
Supreme Court of the United States
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
All California Federal and State Courts
All Massachusetts Federal and State Courts
Rankings & accolades
Legal 500 US: General Commercial Disputes and Product Liability, Mass Tort And Class Action - Defense: Consumer Products
Chambers USA: Litigation: General Commercial – California: San Diego (2023)
Southern California Super Lawyers: Business Litigation
Best Lawyers: Commercial Litigation , Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions
Best Lawyers: Lawyer of the Year for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants
Benchmark Litigation: Future Star
Daily Journal: Top 100 Women Litigators in California
Benchmark Litigation: Litigation
San Diego Super Lawyers: Class Action
Memberships & affiliations
San Diego County Bar Association