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Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy has been a member of Nemecek & Cole since January 2004.

Mike was formerly a partner at Manning & Marder, Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez LLP, where he chaired the firm's Professional Errors & Omissions Department. Prior to Manning Marder, Mike spent 18 years with Haight, Brown & Bonesteel where he served as managing partner in 1994 and 1995.

Michael McCarthy is a Certified Specialist, Legal Malpractice Law, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

Certified Specialist, Legal Malpractice Law, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization


Practice Areas

  • Professional Liability Defense
  • Employment Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Personal Injury Defense


B.A., Finance, Loyola Marymount University, 1972
J.D., Valley University, 1979

Charitable Involvement

Nemecek & Cole assists the charitable efforts of the Valley Community Legal Foundation and Beverly Hills Barristers by sponsoring their fundraising activities.

Professional Activities

American Bar Association, Defense Research Institute, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, Attorneys Insurance Mutual Risk Retention Group (AIMRRG), Member Board of Directors 1993 - 1998, Professional Liability Defense Federation.

Lectures frequently to attorneys and law firms on risk retention issues and the establishment of procedures to reduce Professional Liability Claims.


California State Bar
United States District Court - Northern, Southern, Central and Eastern Districts of California


Named by his peers as one of Southern California's “Super Lawyers” from 2007 - 2015; Martindale-Hubbell AV rating.

Personal Background

Father of five daughters, one son and proud grandfather of two granddaughters.

Notable Cases / Published Decisions

  • Successfully defended law firm in three week arbitration where former client was seeking $4 million dollars arising from lost licensing revenues in underlying transaction and obtained an award of all unpaid fees on related counter-claim.
  • Successfully defended attorney and law firm at trial in claim where plaintiff was seeking in excess of $3 million dollars alleging that advice to settle underlying case for a fraction of that amount fell below standard of care.
  • Successfully defended patent attorney at trial where plaintiff was seeking $5 million dollars in damages for loss of licensing rights alleging a conflict of interest in the attorney's representation of inventor and patent licensee.
  • Successfully defended bookkeeper who was alleged to have covered up accountant's alleged misappropriation of funds of a celebrity client over a seven (7) year period of time.
  • Successfully represented law firm in a suit for fees against a celebrity client and successfully defended celebrity's malpractice counterclaim. Was awarded attorney fees pursuant to attorney's retainer agreement.
  • Successfully defended family law attorney in malpractice action where former client was seeking in excess of $3 million dollars in damages arising from an alleged unequal division of community property.
  • Successfully defended a corporation and two (2) majority shareholders at arbitration initiated by former minority shareholder who claimed he was wrongfully terminated.
  • Successfully defended accountant at trial and on appeal by individual asserting a conflict of interest and misrepresentation relating to accountant's role in the sale of business on behalf of client.
  • Successfully prosecuted copyright infringement claim at 10-day arbitration and defended related counterclaim seeking $4 million dollars in unfair competition damages.
  • Jacqueline B. v. Rawls (2021) 68 Cal.App.5th 243
  • Sprengel v. Zbylut (2019) 40 Cal.App.5th 1028
  • Litinsky v. Kaplan (2019) 40 Cal.App.5th 970
  • In re Steve Sedgwick (2016) 560 B.R. 786 [dismissal based on Barton doctrine]
  • Freedman v. Brutzkus (2010) 182 Cal.App.4th 1065
  • Westrec Marina Management Inc. v. Arrowhead Indem. Co. (2008) 163 Cal.App.4th 1387
  • Graf v. Gaslight (1990) 225 Cal.App.3d 291
  • Waxman v. Boren, Elperin, Howard & Sloan (1990) 221 Cal.App.3d 519
  • Rosenthal v. Wilner (1988) 197 Cal.App.3d 1327