• Available in Los Angeles, All of California
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments


Michael D. Young, a former employment, intellectual property and business litigator and mediator with the national firm Alston & Bird, has been mediating cases since 1989. Building off of his extensive litigation experience, and his training through the nationally acclaimed Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine Law School, Mr. Young assists parties resolve contentious and complex civil disputes, often in creative and innovative ways that the parties themselves had not previously considered. Mr. Young has extensive experience both litigating and mediating all varieties of employment, intellectual property, and business disputes, including class actions and single-plaintiff matters. On the employment side, these have included wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, disability, public policy, wage and hour, and misclassification disputes, among others. On the IP side, Mr. Young had handled disputes over trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, patents, and restrictive covenants. In addition, in his 25-plus year legal career, Mr. Young has mediated, litigated, and tried hundreds of disputes involving unfair competition, antitrust, and environmental issues (including CERCLA and RCRA cases), among other complex business disputes. Attorney's have praised Mr. Young's creativity and doggedness. Said one attorney following a difficult employment mediation: "Your ideas were very creative, and your no-nonsense approach was exactly right for this case. I've been in over 200 mediations from all perspectives, but the job you did this week really stands out." Commented another: "Mike was very effective in building credibility with both plaintiffs and the defense in an emotionally charged case involving several plaintiffs. He was able to get to the heart of the issues and put the parties on a path to resolution while giving everyone an opportunity to be heard. His tireless follow up and accessibility was crucial to the resolution of the case." Said a third: "I have used mediators for over three decades, and Mike came up with approaches, ideas, and solutions that were new to me. That mediation was a success because Mike Young refused to let it fail."



Mike was very effective in building credibility with both all sides in an emotionally charged case involving many parties. He quickly zeroed in on the heart of the issue while giving everyone a chance to be heard. He then set the stage for the path that ultimately led to resolution. I would not hesitate to recommend Mike and will certainly use him in the future.
- Attorney, Orange County, California

Mike got quickly up to speed on a year-long settlement process an hour after stepping in. He did a great job.
- Attorney, Santa Ana, California

Mike handled a large group of attorneys with very different positions very well.
- Attorney, Los Angeles, California

Mike was able to overcome strong emotions and animosities that had prevented the resolution of this dispute. Throughout the process he was calm and professional; and he was able to keep the parties focused on making progress in the negotiations. I would gladly use Mike Young as a mediator again.
- Attorney, Irvine, California



Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Civil Litigation Trial Attorney in California since 1985, with emphasis in employment, intellectual property, business, commercial, environmental, and other civil disputes (Alston & Bird; Weston Benshoof, Rochefort, Rubalcava & MacCuish; Los Angeles, CA)
  • Mediator since 1989 and Chair, Neutral Services Department of Weston, Benshoof
  • Adjunct Professor, USC Law School, Negotiation and ADR Processes for nearly a decade

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D. University of Southern California Law School (1985)
  • B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara (1981)
  • Strauss Institute For Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law, Mediation and Negotiation Training (1995-96)
  • Dispute Resolution Services, L.A.County Bar Assn., Mediation Training (1989, 1991, 1994)
  • Negotiation Strategy Institute, Negotiation Training (1996)
  • International Academy of Mediators, Continuing Education, Annually
  • Distinguished Fellow, International Academy of Mediators
  • California State Bar ADR Committee (2006-2010)
  • Former Co-Chair, ABA Intellectual Property Law Section, Trade Secrets SubCommittee
  • Former Chair, ABA Intellectual Property Law Section, Mediation Sub-Committee
  • USC Law School Annual Fund Executive Committee (1985-Present)

Achievements & Awards

  • Mr. Young has been named "Super Lawyer" for ADR, Employment, and Intellectual Property every year since 2004.
  • Additionally, he has written numerous articles on ADR for Dispute Resolution Magazine, California Lawyer, LA Daily Journal, The Advocate, California Law Business, Alternatives, and many more.
  • Mr. Young was an adjunct professor of law in Negotiation and ADR processes at the USC Law School for nearly a decade.

Legal Experience

  • Intellectual Property
  • Employment (including Class Actions and single Plaintiff)
  • Complex Business/Commercial
  • Environmental (including Toxic Tort, CERCLA, RCRA, CWA)
  • Restrictive Covenants
  • Unfair Competition
  • Antitrust
  • Multi-Party and Multi-Interest Disputes

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases



  • Unfair Business Practices/Mortgage Industry: Dispute between State, a number of banking entities, and a number of service entities, all arising out of the banking crisis of 2008. The mediation involved facilitating settlement negotiations between and among a variety of related and contentious interests over a lengthy period of time.

Consumer Class Action

  • Unfair Competition: Class action by consumers and unfair competition claims by competitors, alleging a consumer product manufacturer wrongfully represented its product to be free of a toxic chemical.


  • Commercial case involving a non-profit's allegations that a former executive director embezzled and breached its fiduciary duties to the organization.
  • Trademark infringement case involving alleged counterfeit goods, alleged wrongful take-down notices to major online marketplaces, and alleged damages from online marketplace's failure to promptly reinstate vendor.
  • Family Business Dissolution: One brother brought claims against his other two brothers over the ownership of a family business upon the passing of their elderly father.
  • Warranty/Contract: Claims were made by a solar panel producer that the parts used in the production of the panels were not made to specification.
  • Construction: The prime contractor and subcontractor had what would have been a routine dispute over payments to the sub...had the sub not withdrawn its mechanic's lien, allegedly due to the misrepresentation of the owner of this low income housing development.


  • Fraud/Business Torts: The parties, former agent/principal, were accusing one another of all manner of business and personal torts, among other misdeeds. One party accused the other of misappropriating over a half million dollars; while the second accused the first of breaching various contracts and other informal promises.


Construction Breach Of Contract

  • Construction claim regarding the demolition and removal of concrete in a substantial public project. Claims were complicated by the lack of a formal written agreement, contradictory testimony regarding the nature and scope of the agreement, and contradictory evidence on the quality of the work completed. Settlement was achieved prior to full discovery being undertaken.

Construction Defects

  • Construction: Arbitrated a dispute between the owner of an iconic restaurant and the contractor who had constructed an addition regarding the scope and quality of the construction work.

Construction Delay Claims

  • Construction: Dispute between owner and project manager regarding costs, delays and alleged defects in the construction of food processing facility. Insurance issues existed in the background which needed to be resolved in the process.



  • Plaintiff, claiming he was unable to attend training meetings across the country as a result of his disability, brought a wrongful termination action after he was terminated for missing the meetings. He later asserted that he had discovered that the employer had secretly redacted certain incriminating emails in an attempt to hide the employer's knowledge of the employees claimed disability.

Breach of Contract

  • All four employees of a small office left together and opened a competing office, servicing the same clients. The owner of the business sued the four employees for breach of loyalty, breach of duty, breach of contract, interference with contract, and other business torts. The owner also sued the employees and the competitor for trade secrets misappropriation, conspiracy, and other related claims. The mediation involved addressing the complex legal issues, competing damages models, and substantial emotion.
  • Breach of a Marvin Agreement: The parties had been engaged in a long-term romantic relationship, though had never married. When the relationship ended, one party sued the other for financial support, alleging the existence of a so-called Marvin Agreement, a promise to provide financial support similar to the rights given a spouse. Adding to the factual complexity was the procedural posture of the dispute. By the time the parties reached mediation, a default judgment had been entered for millions of dollars, and the court was considering a motion to vacate the judgement.


  • A minority doctor at a hospital brought claims for institutional racism, alleging that she had been forced to endure decades of racially motivated harassment and unfair treatment at the hands of administrators and other doctors.
  • A pregnancy discrimination/wrongful termination lawsuit against a local sports store was resolved with monetary and non-monetary.

Hostile Environment

  • A female employee alleged she was compelled by her boss to exchange sexually explicit "selfies"; the boss, whose employment was subsequently terminated, contended the relationship was consensual. The employer claimed lack of knowledge and immediate investigation and appropriate discipline.

Wage and Hour

  • Wage and hour case arising out of misclassification claims and alleged failure to pay overtime, among other issues. The defendant cross claimed for patent infringement.
  • Plaintiff alleged misclassification in the healthcare industry of certain nurse practitioners.

Wage Hour Class Action

  • Class action misclassification case involving the trucking industry, questioning the use of independent contractor drivers and helpers, asserting wage and hour violations, and raising PAGA claims.
  • Three consolidated class actions alleging various wage and hour violations, the application of meal and rest policies pursuant to collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) that may or may not be compliant with Brinker and the applicable wage orders, alleged wage statement violations, and donning and doffing issues.
  • Complex wage and hour class action in the airline industry resolved after two mediation sessions. The first session was designed to identify the primary issues in dispute and then develop an efficient and directed exchange of information related to those key issues. The second session was used to settle the case.
  • Action for PAGA penalties based on claim that employer was required to reimburse for "home office" expenses associated with employees working from home.
  • Class action wage and hour dispute involving a manufacturer and a staffing company over meal and rest breaks, with possible cross claims against a payroll company for wage statement violations. There were two sets of plaintiff's attorneys represented overlapping plaintiffs, which lead to some additional mediation activities between counsel.

Wrongful Termination

  • Employment Arbitration: Plaintiff employee claimed she was wrongfully terminated for refusing to undergo a drug test that the employer claimed was necessary.


Entertainment Issues

  • Entertainment dispute between producers of a horror film, with allegations of fraud, collusion, conspiracy, and theft of funds. Underlying the conflict was a separate dispute between former members of one of the entities arising out of one party's efforts to eject another member from the company.


Environmental Issues

  • Air/Public Policy: The dispute involved the ability of a municipality to impose employment regulations on truckers as part of a clean-air regulation.
  • Groundwater Contamination: A county water district was involved in a longstanding lawsuit against approximately 50 defendants whose historical operations were alleged to have contributed to massive soil and groundwater contamination.

Govt./Public Agency

Public Policy

  • Consumer Protection: Alleged violations of a consumer protection statute by a global technology company.


  • Civil Rights/County: Claims by foster children against County for alleged abuse by foster parents. Mediation involved life plans and negotiations with County Board of Supervisors.
  • Freeways/Public Policy: Resolve dispute over the construction and widening of a freeway.

Intellectual Property

General IP

  • Utilizing co-mediation, successfully resolved a complex copyright infringement matter involving famous characters
  • Trademark infringement case involving the conflict between federal trademark registration rights and earlier state statutory and common law trademark rights.

IP Copyright

  • Publishing Industry: Major textbook publishers brought claims against alleged infringers who were allegedly unlawfully selling counterfeit product in Asia.
  • Music Industry: A dispute involving a major record label that claimed the defendant individual was unlawfully reselling certain musical recordings.
  • Copyright/Business Dispute: Business partners in a business psychology consulting business separated and both began utilizing the business method and written copyrighted materials. The ensuing dispute involved copyright issues over the rights to use the written materials, along with business dissolution and employment issues.
  • Photography: Copyright case brought by photographers over the alleged wrongful use of their images.
  • Sculptures: Disputes over the rights to publicly display large copyrighted sculptures and other artwork outside of commercial buildings.

IP Patent

  • Computer Technology: A dispute over a systems patent involving computer technology had been in litigation for some time before coming to mediation
  • Medical Devices: A dispute arose between a doctor/inventor of specialized surgical tools and the company that had purchased the right to patent and commercialize the inventions.
  • Design Patent: Owners of a design patent covering wheels brought a claim against an alleged infringer.
  • Method Patents: Patent disputes concerning an on-line marketing tool brought against worldwide consumer companies
  • Other Utility Patents: Utility patent for exercise equipment
  • Other Utility Patents: Utility patent for swimming pool equipment
  • Other Utility Patents: Utility patent for underwater equipment
  • Other Utility Patents: Utility patent for security
  • Other Utility Patents: Utility patent for recreational devices

IP Right Of Publicity

  • Misappropriation of Likeness: A model accused a web designer of surreptitiously maintaining a website of the model's photographs, including nude photographs, and charging the public a subscription fee for access.

IP Trade Secrets

  • Trade Secret/Harassment/Misclassification/Clean Water Act: Dispute between competitors in the fabrication business, one party alleged a key employee stole trade secrets and took them to the chief competitor; the employee for his part denied the theft, and claimed he was harassed, misclassified, and constructively terminated. Clean Water Act violation cross-claims were also asserted to add to both the defendant's leverage and the complexity of the dispute.
  • Former Employee Competing/wrongful termination: A former employee in the precision instruments business was alleged to have formed a competing business while still working for the employer, utilizing the employer's trade secrets, including customer lists, business plans, and financial data; the employer allegedly learned of the trade secret theft when it was investigating the plaintiff's claims for wrongful termination based on race and gender.
  • Secret Formulas: Employer claimed former employee absconded with trade secret formulations for certain products; employee claimed to have reverse engineered his own products and the formulations were not identical.
  • Trade Secrets: Equipment used in the entertainment industry dispute over their trade secret, copyright, and contracts.
  • Trade Secrets: Arbitrated a trade secret/breach of fiduciary duty dispute between competitors (former business partners)
  • Trade secrets and breach of loyalty dispute in the cosmetics industry brought by an uncle against his nephew.

IP Trademark

  • The owner (father) of a famous trademark was in a dispute with a licensee (son) over the terms of the license, the licensee's satisfaction of its obligations to grow and promote the mark, related trademarks allegedly registered without authority by the licensee, and the future direction of the products. A multi-national corporation was purchasing the company owning the mark and exerting influence
  • Counterfeit: Counterfeit clothing
  • Counterfeit: Counterfeit consumer goods industry
  • Counterfeit: Counterfeit on-line products
  • Counterfeit: Counterfeit timepieces and other jewelry products
  • Counterfeit: Counterfeit home remodeling and decoration industry
  • Trademark/Employment: Former employee of an importing company registered under his own name the employer's trademarks in a European country, with the apparent aim of competing with the former employer utilizing identically named products. The dispute involved additional allegations of wrongful termination, breach of fiduciary duty, and usurpation of corporate opportunities.



  • Probate dispute between siblings, step-siblings, and widow/mother/step-mother over a $125 million estate being waged in over a dozen separate lawsuits, with over a dozen lawyers representing the parties. Substantial gifts, wills, trusts, tax, and probate issues.


  • Will contest with allegations of a forged holographic will, with associated claims of elder abuse.

Professional Malpractice

Professional Malpractice Legal

  • Attorney Fee Arbitration: Lead arbitrator in a fee dispute involving work by a environmental law firm to address an FBI raid of the client's mining facilities, followed by claims by the client that the legal work was below standard and overpriced.


Common Carrier

  • Airline Wrongful Death: Wrongful death claim against an airline by the daughter of a woman who witnessed her mother die on a flight

Personal Injury

  • Civil Rights/Police Dog Injury: A police dog mistook the plaintiff for a suspect being pursued, resulting in physical and emotional injuries.

Toxic Torts

  • Toxic Tort: Mediated 2200 individual cases brought by residents against local industry alleging decades of exposure to toxic chemicals. The dispute was complicated by the number of insurers and disparate insurance policies, some with and some without pollution exclusions.
  • Soil Contamination: Neighboring landowners regarding remediation costs and access to insurance, including overseeing a neutral expert cost evaluation.

Wrongful Death

  • Pharmaceutical/Wrongful Death: Wrongful death from the ingestion of a prescribed drug.

Downtown Los Angeles

601 S. Figueroa
Ste 4000
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: 213.223.1113
Fax      : 213.223.1114

Los Angeles Mediation

West Los Angeles

11601 Wilshire Blvd
Ste 2040
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: 310.442.2100
Fax      : 310.442.2125

Mediators Los Angeles

San Diego

402 W. Broadway
Ste 2400
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619.814.1966
Fax      : 619.814.1967

San Diego Mediation

Santa Ana

1851 East First Street
Ste 1600
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Phone: 714.834.1340
Fax      : 714.834.1344

Orange County Mediation

San Francisco

100 Pine Street
Ste 1950
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415.266.1242
Fax      : 415.266.1243

San Francisco Mediation


980 9th Street
Suite 2200
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916.394.8490
Fax      : 916.394.8495

Sacramento Mediation