Michelle was admitted to the California Bar in June, 1979. She is a full time mediator following a 30-year litigation
career, handling all aspects of employment, business, insurance and personal injury cases. She received an "AV" rating
and "Premier" status from Martindale-Hubbell Directory of Lawyers. Michelle is a member of ABOTA, a fellow of the College
of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and a Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators (IAM). She is a past
President of the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA), past Chair of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA),
and past Chair and lawyer representative (two terms) of the Central District Delegation to the Ninth Circuit Judicial
Conference. She is a frequent author and speaker on employment, litigation and ADR issues. Michelle has also received
many honors and recognitions including "Employment Trial Lawyer of the Year," Orange County Trial Lawyers, and one of
The Daily Journal "Top 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California", "Top Female Litigators", "Top Labor and Employment
Lawyers", as well as one of "California's Top 50 Neutrals". She has been named as one of California's "Super Lawyers,"
2004-2016, and was inducted into the Western State University College of Law Hall of Fame.
I thought Michelle did a great job on this case. The settlement in this case was fair. I thought she did a great job establishing trust and rapport with my client, which,
of course, is very important. I think the most important things in any case are knowing the relevant facts and law, and clearly and simply articulating to the parties the
strengths and weaknesses of their case; that's what I try to do in communicating with my client before a mediation, and she does that very well.
- Attorney on an employment sexual harassment dispute
I wanted to express my gratitude to Michelle. Her persistence and patience was extraordinary,
particularly in the face of difficult personalities. I will be glad to keep her in mind for future cases.
- Attorney, Orange County, CA
I have nothing but the highest praise for Michelle and how she conducted the mediation. Her approach was
among the best mediation experiences I have ever had. We look forward to using her services in the future.
- Attorney, Los Angeles County, CA
Michelle was great at making my client at ease which helped open the door to understanding the downside of our case. She was
also tenacious in getting a settlement and when her mediator’s proposal failed she dived into the problem and saved the settlement.
- Attorney on an employment wrongful termination dispute
I loved Michelle's down to earth personality and her ability to present facts/scenarios that are
negative to the client in a way that is matter of fact, but not condescending, so the client does not
feel attacked. It is one of the reasons I keep coming back to work with her.
- Attorney, Los Angeles County, CA
Understood the legal issues completely. Helped our client understand the legal process + risks.
- Attorney on a civil rights dispute
Ms. Reinglass was particularly helpful by calculating damages and presenting to opponent. I believe that helped close the deal.
- Attorney on an employment/discrimination/wage & hour dispute
Thank you so much for all your work on this case. It was so very appreciated. I felt you did a wonderful job managing the sensitivity of the allegations and the facts of the case.
- Attorney on an employment sexual harassment dispute
Trial Attorney, Law Offices of Michelle A. Reinglass, Specialized in all areas of Employment, Civil, and Business litigation (1979-2010)
Part Time Mediator and Arbitrator (2001-2010)
Instructor, Professional Responsibility, Western State College of Law (1991)
Education & Professional Affiliations
J.D., Western State University College of Law (1979)
B.S.L , Western State University (1978)
Distinguished Fellow, International Academy of Mediators (2013-Present)
Fellow, College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, (2006-Present)
Board Member, California Employment Lawyers Association (1998-2009, Chair 2005-07)
Member, American Board of Trial Advocates, Orange County Chapter (1997-Present)
Member, Orange County Bar Association (1979-Present); Member of Board (1983-94), President (1993)
Member, Orange County Trial Lawyers (1987-Present)
Member, Federal Bar Association, Orange County Chapter (member for over 20 years)
Member, former board member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Orange County Chapter (member for over 20 years)
Member, State Bar of California
Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
Member, Southern California Mediation Association
Committee Member, Judicial Council's Committee on Access and Fairness
Committee Member, Federal Court Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Committee
Committee Member and Chair, Federal Court Magistrate Judge Evaluation Committee
Past President, California Association of Large Local Bar (CALB) and Chair of Bench Bar Coalition
Past Lawyer Representative (2 terms) and Chair (1994-1995), 9th Circuit Judicial Conference, C.D. Cal.
Achievements & Awards
Ms. Reinglass was named by Los Angeles Magazine as one of California's "Super Lawyers", 2013-2015, in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Michelle has received many honors and much recognition including admission to ABOTA, and in 2006 was inducted as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.
She was inducted into the Western State University College of Law, Hall of Fame in 1993.
She received the Anti-Defamation League "ADL" Jurisprudence Award, 1997
She has been named Business Trial Lawyer of the Year, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, October 1995, "Lawyer of the Year", Orange County Women Lawyers, 1996, and "Employment Trial Lawyer of the Year", Orange County Trial Lawyers, 2004.
She received the "Women of Achievement" Award from the American Association of University Women ("AAUW"), 2005
She was recognized by The Daily Journal as one of the "Top 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California" in 2001, one of the "Top Female Litigators" in 2002-2005 and 2009, one of the "Top Labor and Employment Lawyers", 2009-2010, as well as one of California's Top 50 Neutrals, 2012-2013.
Ms. Reinglass has for several consecutive years made it to the list of "The Best Lawyers in America" by Best Lawyers, including "Orange County Best Lawyers Employment Law - Individuals Lawyer of the Year" for 2012.
She has been named by Los Angeles Magazine as one of California's "Super Lawyers", 2004-2012, including top 100 lawyers in Southern California, top 50 Women Lawyers and top 50 from Orange County.
All types of disputes related to Employment Law, including but not limited to Sexual, Racial and other forms of Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation, Wage and Hour, Wrongful Termination, ERISA, Prevailing Wage
Breach of Contract
Serious injury matters with high emotional content
Real Estate and Business Commercial Disputes, including non-compete and unfair business practices.
Very challenging high profile (media) case, volatile with inflammatory personal allegations and salacious details publicized about
each other. Not only factually disputed, legal & insurance coverage issues.
A D A
Plaintiff was highly emotional; terminated after 2 months allegedly due to a disclosure that she has to take a
strong narcotic drug daily for a long ago serious injury. Defendants claim termination was due to performance but there were
no supporting documents. Termination was after plaintiff had a medical procedure and took time off to recover. Case
settled in mediation.
Disability discrimination Employment case involving a long term employee, who was terminated after being released from medical
leave of absence, following a tragic accident while driving the Company truck, causing a fatality. Company cited financial issues and lack of work as
reasons for layoff and plaintiff alleged disability discrimination. High emotions on both sides coupled with residual issues from the accident.
Whistle-blower case under LC 1102.5 involving 4-year Employee of public entity, laid off in a Reduction in Force a few months after sending
written complaint to management about perceived illegal actions by supervisor, affecting matters of public interests. Defendant contended the RIF was legitimate
and impacted several people, not just Plaintiff. Plaintiff contended his RIF was pretextual and constituted retaliation for his complaints. Settled in mediation.
10 year employee alleged disability discrimination when terminated upon return to work following surgery/medical leave. Employer
accused Plaintiff of altering time records; Plaintiff asserts it was directed by manager to compensate her off-clock unpaid time.
3 sides including Nurse vs. Medical company which terminated her she says based on pretextual grounds, and Doctor who made discriminatory race/origin comments
against her. She alleged Hospital retaliated for her complaint about Doctor's discriminatory racial/origin comments. Doctor accused Nurse of making discriminatory statements; Dr. also
filed a regulatory agency complaint against Nurse's license. Doctor cross-complained against Medical Company, Plaintiff, and several colleagues, alleging tort and B&P Code claims,
after disciplinary action was initiated against Doctor for the racial/origin comments. Highly emotional matter.
Multi-party, joint employer/employment discrimination case. Disparate financial status of each defendant with facts disputed, credibility issues, and strong emotions. Mediation went until early hours of the night before settling.
EWT and Discrimination
4 plaintiff case: Case started as class action which was certified, then de-certified. Plaintiffs then had to
file individual actions, approximately 150 employees in various individual cases. This is the "C.D.Cal" case (and it's under the
CD Cal program-free settlement officer case.) Plaintiffs work for a multinational media company as technicians and allege unpaid
meal and rest breaks and off clock time.
PAGA/W&H/CLASS ACTION & individual case (1102.5, WT, Retal, Disability Discrim.)
Very challenging sexual harassment involving multiple layers of entities, financial/bankruptcy prospects and more during mediation.
3-plaintiff sexual harassment case. Defendant's financial issues complicated settlement discussions. There were
a lot emotions from both sides and all sorts of twists and turns arose throughout the day.
Sexual Assault case by a lead co-worker/supervisor.
Challenging sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment allegations against Doctor by employee assistant. Lots of legal issues and arguments,
credibility contest and cultural issues making an appearance in the mix.
Wage and Hour
Multi- Plaintiff case; women raised gender bias and retaliation claims arising out of dress/grooming policy; they also along with other plaintiffs raised
W&H claims that they were denied meal and rest breaks. Company strongly denied and cited to legal precedent for their policy.
9 plaintiff employment case involving whistle blowing regarding high profile issues with a financial business.
Settled in 13+ hours, a multi-party joint employer (employment Wage & Hour) case involving 24-hour residential caretaker, with complex issues, unique facts, and high emotions.
Joint Employer (staffing agency and assigned employer) case; Complex issues with regard to each "employer's"
legal obligations, so had to mediation not only between the plaintiff and defendants, but among the defendants as well. Have
experience mediating many of these cases, each presents its own challenges.
Transgender discrimination case. Plaintiff just finished her transition to being female after working for
Defendant for several years. New manager not comfortable with her transition. She alleges that he treated her differently,
then she was written up several times and fired. Another issue was that the Employer places staff at facilities, so Defendant
had a legal argument that they were not liable at all.
Housing discrimination; severely disabled tenant requiring use of wheelchair and caretaker, forced eviction
after leak caused damage, Landlord ordered tenants to vacate; Plaintiff unable to find accommodations, Eviction and stress
exacerbated medical condition.
Non-standard personal injury case with additional new and rare medical conditions (e.g. CRPS) being alleged years after accident. Complex matter with multiple tens of doctors, hundreds of medical reports and documents.
Serious injury case resulting in a broken femur and hip, with intramedullary rod fixation after being knocked down by heavy self-closing door to bathroom in a food establishment.