MICHELLE A. REINGLASS, ESQ.

  • Available in Orange County, All of California
  • Mediation Only

Introduction

Michelle was admitted to the California Bar in June, 1979. She is a full time mediator following a 30-year litigation career, handling business, insurance, personal injury, and all aspects of employment including ADA employment/access cases, FMLA/CFRA, ERISA, prevailing wage, labor code issues, PAGA, wage and hour class actions, and more. 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 including “Top Gun Trial Lawyer of the Year”, Orange County Trial Lawyers, in both Employment and Business Litigation. She has also been recognized as 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,” 2004-2019, and was inducted into the Western State University College of Law Hall of Fame.

Specialties

Hobbies & Interests

Ms. Reinglass enjoys running, hiking, weightlifting, skiing, theater, reading, traveling and watching movies in her spare time.

Website

http://www.reinglassadr.com

Testimonials

Ms. Reinglass was excellent with my client and had a very accurate and informed read on the case at all times.
- Attorney on a Employment: Wrongful Termination matter

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

I have nothing but positive things to say about the way you handled the issues (factual and legal) during and after the mediation. As you could tell by the way you interacted with our client, he was and is very emotional and was wearing his emotions on his sleeves throughout this litigation. You addressed those emotions, fears and character issues and helped him see the true settlement value of his case, as well as helping him understand that resolving the case now would allow him to move on, into the future without carrying all the baggage from this case. I would not hesitate using you again or referring you wholeheartedly to anyone looking for a mediator in the employment/labor field.
- Attorney on an Employment Sexual Harassment Dispute

Michelle listened very well and pointed out strengths and weaknesses in our case which helped to either validate our offer or cause us to increase it.
- Attorney on an Employment Wrongful Termination matter

[She was] fantastic at the mediation! I was impressed by [her] skills and [her] ability to help us resolve both claims. I thought [she was] direct but fair. I believe both sides are happy with the resolution. I truly enjoyed the experience.
- Attorney on an Employment Wrongful Termination Matter

We all thought Michelle was terrific. Every case is different and has its own nuances, but this one required a good deal of EQ on [her] part, and [she] came through. [She] made my clients feel safe and understood, and at the end we think [her] perspective was helpful for them going forward and facilitated their putting this behind them to the extent possible.
- Attorney on a Personal Injury Sexual Assault Matter

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

Your persistence and patience was extraordinary, particularly in the face of some difficult personalities (me included). I've already sung your praises in that regard to some of my colleagues here, and I will be glad to keep you in mind for future cases. Thanks again!
- Attorney on an Employment Wrongful Termination Dispute

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Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Full Time Mediator (2010-Present)
  • Full Time Arbitrator (2010-2015)
  • 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©, including being named by Best Lawyers as the Southern California Employment Law - Individuals “Lawyer of the Year”, in 2012, 2016, and 2018.
  • She has been named as one of Southern California's "Super Lawyers", 2004-2019, including top 100 lawyers in Southern California, top 50 Women Lawyers and top 50 from Orange County.

Legal Experience

  • 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
  • Class Actions
  • Breach of Contract
  • Housing Discrimination
  • Civil Rights
  • UNRUH Act
  • Serious injury matters with high emotional content
  • Real Estate and Business Commercial Disputes, including non-compete and unfair business practices.
  • Business/Contractual

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases

Business/Commercial

A.D.A Act

  • Employment case brought by very short term employee, with allegations of disability discrimination, Failure to engage in the interactive process, failure to provide reasonable accommodations and Wrongful termination in violation of public policy.
  • Settled Disability & Wrongful termination case involving employee on lengthy medical leave of absence. Raised legal issues relating to what is reasonable accommodation in lengthy leaves.

Contractual

  • Buyers of a manufacturing business claimed misrepresentations in disclosures at time of sale, and withheld information. Pre litigation settlement, resulted in deal for seller to buy back the business, including compensation for additional manufacturing eqpt.

Employment

Breach of Contract

  • Business & employment: Breach of contract; employment contract; Wage & Hour; and related business claims.

Discrimination

  • 10-year employee alleged disability discrimination when terminated upon return to work following surgery/medical leave. Employer accused Plaintiff of altering time records, which Plaintiff disputes, and alleges off the clock time.
  • 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.
  • Employment claims of Race, Disability, Gender Discrimination and Retaliation, Equal Pay Act claims plus Wrongful Termination, brought by African American woman.
  • Employment disability and race/ethnicity discrimination claims plus wrongful termination claims.
  • Complex employment disability discrimination case with failure to engage in interactive process and failure to provide reasonable accommodations claims to long term employee injured on the job. Entailed analysis of ability to perform essential functions of jobs and employer's obligations when dealing with union employees and seniority rights.
  • Woman claiming gender discrimination due to lack of facilities for women in an industrial worksite.
  • Employment case involving disability discrimination, plus failure to engage in the interactive process and failure to accommodate, and wrongful termination case involving long term employee who took a medical leave of absence.
  • Employment Contract involving sports athlete with issues of wrongful termination, contract breach, business, discrimination, fraud.
  • Settled employment case involving long term employee's claims of discrimination, harassment based on age and gender, plus 1102.5 retaliation for testimony given.

EWT and Discrimination

  • 3 sides including a nurse vs. a medical company which terminated her, allegedly on pretextual grounds, and a doctor alleged to have made discriminatory race/origin comments, plus allegations of retaliation for her complaint about discriminatory racial/origin comments with counter accusations against each other. Additionally, a regulatory agency complaint was filed involving medical licenses. This was a case with a complaint and cross complaint against several different companies. Highly emotional matter.
  • Employment disability discrimination (failure to engage in interactive process; failure to accommodate) and wrongful constructive termination case involving a veterinarian.
  • Employment disability discrimination and wrongful termination case involving employee with serious medical diagnosis, yet terminated for alleged performance issues.

Hostile Environment

  • Complex, multi-year employment litigation involving failure to promote of law enforcement officers, allegations of discrimination; pension/retirement issues. Settled after multiple mediation sessions.

PAGA

  • Wage and hour violations in an individual, putative class, and PAGA case with allegations of misclassification. Company got releases from many of the employees but not all of them. Numerous legal issues raised.
  • Settled W&H individual and PAGA case for small group of members.

Sexual Harassment

  • Challenging sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment allegations against Doctor by employee assistant. Numerous disputes of legal issues and arguments, credibility contest and cultural issues.
  • Multiple plaintiff case involving same sex harassment, delving into legal issues analyzing "horseplay" and harassment.
  • Employment Sexual Harassment and retaliation claims by an employee against a manager in a restaurant/bar.
  • Multi-plaintiff sexual harassment & retaliation case with high emotions.
  • Caretaker alleged sexual assault and harassment, wage and hour labor violations, and wrongful termination, in case where every single fact was disputed.
  • Settled Pre-litigation Employment Sexual Harassment case including allegations of wage and hour violations and constructive discharge.
  • Settled employment same-sex workplace hostile work environment, sexual harassment and failure to prevent claims.
  • Settled difficult multi-faceted and multi-cultural employment case; Sexual harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, plus wage and hour claims; also fraud counter claims.
  • Settled a pre-lit employment case involving sexual harassment, retaliation, disability and wage and hour claims.

Wage and Hour

  • Multi- Plaintiff case - women raised gender bias and retaliation claims arising out of dress/grooming policy, and also W&H claims that they were denied meal and rest breaks. Company strongly denied and cited to legal precedent for their policy.
  • Residential live-in housekeeping employee brought Wage & Hour claims (factually disputed) involving unpaid overtime, minimum wage violations, missed meal and rest breaks, and related penalties, plus wrongful termination.
  • Case settled in mediation after 13+ hours. A multi-party joint employer (employment Wage & Hour) case involving 24-hour residential caretaker, with complex issues, unique facts, and high emotions.
  • A multi-plaintiff employment case involving whistle blowing regarding high profile issues with a financial business. Case was previously mediated by a different mediator.
  • Settled challenging multi-plaintiff Caretaker Wage & Hour case involving residential care employees, w/ Labor Code violations on one hand, and challenging financial situation on the other hand. Emotions very high, negotiations intense with many unique obstacles to overcome.

Wage and Hour Class Action

  • Putative Class action (Wage & Hour) with over 500 employees. Allegations of violations regarding meal and rest breaks; failure to pay wages; wage statements; 203 penalties; off the clock work, and more.
  • Settled individual portion of a PAGA/Class action, where insolvency was involved.

Whistleblower Wrongful Term

  • Whistleblower retaliation and wrongful termination claims under Labor Code Section 1102.5. A teacher was terminated from a nonprofit special school after reporting what was believed to be illegal activity.

Wrongful Termination

  • Joint Employer (staffing agency and assigned employer) case. Complex issues regarding each "employer's" legal obligations. Mediated between the plaintiff and defendants, as well as among the defendants. Have mediated many such cases.
  • Case with multiple plaintiffs with disparate claims including wage and hour, wrongful termination & constructive term, plus FEHA claims.
  • Employment Contract Breach and Wrongful Termination case. Nuanced disagreements over pay obligations and termination grounds.
  • Settled pre-lit Employment whistleblower retaliation, Wrongful Termination and FEHA disability discrimination case.
  • Settled unusual employment case involving very short-term employee claiming Wrongful termination and disability discrimination and related subclaims.
  • Settled Employment sex harassment case heavy on texts and emails, and strongly disputed legal liability.

Real Estate

Neighbor Dispute

  • Settled an emotional, hotly disputed 2-party residential property damage claims among neighbors.

Property Damage

  • Residential property damage claim between neighbors, involving allegations of damage by water. This was an emotional and contentious dispute over causation and coverage.

Tort

PI Auto

  • Personal Injury, car/truck accident with disputed injuries and treatment.
  • Non-standard personal injury case with additional new and rare medical conditions alleged, years after accident. Complex matter with multiple doctors, hundreds of medical reports and documents.
  • Personal Injury/Truck vs Car multi-party Auto accident, Catastrophic injuries; Insurance and Subrogation issues

PI Sexual Molestation

  • Allegations of sexual assault of customer at an international luxury hotel by an employee.
  • Sexual assault by a transportation company of a young woman passenger.
  • Part of several sexual assault cases involving passengers in vehicles.
  • Mediation of several separate cases involving sexual assault on a passenger.

Premises Liability

  • Serious injury case resulting in a broken femur and hip, with intramedullary rod fixation after being knocked down by a heavy door in a food establishment.

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

Sacramento

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

Sacramento Mediation