Certified Appellate SpecialistCo-Chair, Appellate Practice GroupReal Estate and Land Use
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Los Angeles Direct: 310.312.4185 General: 310.312.4000 Fax: 310.312.4224
University of Southern California, LL.M., 1968 (in real property).
Yale University, Graduate Law School, 1968. Ford Fellow for work in Urban Law.
University of Southern California, Graduate Law School, 1967.Title Insurance and Trust Company Fellow for work in Real Property Law.
Washington University School of Law, J.D., 1967.
Brandeis University, 1964.
Michael Berger is one of California’s preeminent appellate lawyers and is co-chair of Manatt’s Appellate Practice Group. One of the top land use and condemnation lawyers in the United States, his appellate cases have involved planning, zoning, eminent domain, various kinds of business litigation, landslides, contract, due process, equal protection, defective construction, nuisance, insurance and environmental law.
Mr. Berger has argued four cases before the United States Supreme Court, as well as cases before appellate courts throughout California, numerous federal courts of appeal and other state supreme courts. He is also the frequent author of amicus curiae briefs in various appellate courts, particularly the U.S. Supreme Court, pressing client interests in important pending cases.
Amicus Curiae Matters
Recipient of Brigham-Kanner Prize from William & Mary Property Rights Project, for 45 years of practice and scholarship aimed at upholding the rights of property owners.
Recipient of Crystal Eagle Award from Owners’ Counsel of America for 40 years of protecting and advancing the rights of private property owners in the courts.
Recipient, Distinguished Alumni Award, Washington University School of Law, 2008.
Named Best Lawyers® 2016 Los Angeles Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law “Lawyer of the Year."
Named Best Lawyers® 2012 Los Angeles Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law “Lawyer of the Year."
Named by Los Angeles Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine as one of Southern California’s Super Lawyers 2004-2008, the Best Attorneys in Southern California, and one of the "top 100" in that survey.
Named one of The Best Lawyers in America, 2006-2016 (eminent domain and appellate law).
Named as one of the "Lawdragon 3000 Leading Lawyers in America," 2006.
Named by California Lawyer as one of California’s "Lawyers of the Year," 1998.
Named by Los Angeles Business Journal as one of 100 most prominent business attorneys, 1995.
Recipient of Harrison Tweed Award for Special Merit in Continuing Legal Education, for career contributions to post-admission legal education, American Law Institute – American Bar Association, 1989.
Contributing occasional author, column on land use law for the Los Angeles Times, Aug. 1991-present.
Contributing author, monthly column: Takings and Land Use, for Los Angeles Daily Journal and San Francisco Daily Journal, Jan. 1991-present.
Contributing author, column on property law for the California Real Estate Journal, Jan. 1998-present.
Contributing author, column on property law for The Nation’s Building News (published by the National Association of Home Builders), December 1993-present.
“Strong and Informed Advocacy Can Shape The Law: A Personal Journey,” 4 The Brigham-Kanner Property Conference Journal 1, 2015.
Co-author, “Why Land Use Lawyers Care About the Law of Unmanned Systems,” Zoning and Planning Law Report, June 2014.
Author, “The Ripeness Game: Why Are We Still Forced To Play?” Touro Law Review (vol. 30, no. 2), May 2014.
"What Is Fairness, Anyway?" Planning, October 2006, p. 12.
Co-Author, "Shell Game! You Can’t Get There From Here: Supreme Court Ripeness Jurisprudence in Takings Cases at Long Last Reached the Self-Parody Stage," 36 Urban Lawyer 671, 2004.
Co-Author, "To Steal or Not to Steal? That is the Question," 55 Land Use Law & Zoning Digest 13, November 2003.
"What’s ‘Normal’ About Planning Delay?" in ABA Taking Sides on Taking Issues: Public and Private Perspectives, Chapter 11, (Roberts, ed.), 2002.
"The Shame of Planners," 54 Land Use Law & Zoning Digest, no. 6, p. 6, June 2002.
"Vindicating the Rights of Private Land Development in the Courts," 32 Urban Lawyer 941, 2000.
"Supreme Bait & Switch: The Ripeness Ruse in Regulatory Takings," 3 Wash. U.J.L. & Policy 99, 2000.
Admitted to practice in California and Missouri. Member, United States Supreme Court Bar, United States Claims Court Bar, Ninth Circuit Bar, Eighth Circuit Bar, Seventh Circuit Bar, Sixth Circuit Bar, Fourth Circuit Bar, Second Circuit Bar, First Circuit Bar, Federal Circuit Bar.
Certified Specialist, Appellate Law, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.
Member, State Bar of California; Member, Appellate Courts Committee, 1978-1982; Chair, 1981-1982; Member, Condemnation Committee, 1985-1988.
Member, California Academy of Appellate Lawyers; President, 1980-1981.
Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, 1997-present.
Member, American College of Real Estate Lawyers, 1988-present.
Member, Center for American and International Law; Member, Advisory Board, Municipal Legal Studies Center, 1989-present; Vice-Chair, 1998-2004; Chair, 2004-present.Adjunct Professor of Law, LL.M. program in Real Property Development, University of Miami School of Law, 1996-present.
Member, Owners Counsel of America.
Member, Advisory Board, California Land Use Law & Policy Reporter.
Member, American Bar Association; Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Sections; State and Local Government Law.
Speaker, "Annual Takings Review," National Association of Home Builders LANDS Housing Law CLE and Roundtable, Washington, D.C. April 14, 2016.
Panelist, “A Banner Year for the Fifth Amendment,” 28th Annual Land Use Law & Planning Conference, January 31, 2014.
"Course of Study in Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation," ALI-ABA, Coral Gables, FL, February 2011.
"American Property Rights and Land Issues Debate," American Planning Association, San Antonio, TX, April 2006.
"Takings, Eminent Domain, and the Attack on Redevelopment," UCLA, January 2006.
"Recent State and Federal Case Developments," ALI-ABA, Inverse Condemnation and Related Government Liability, Washington, D.C., April 2004.
"Is the Supreme Court Really Different?" Los Angeles County Bar Association, Appellate Courts Committee, Los Angeles, CA, March 2004.
"Supreme Court Decisions and Their Impact on the Appraisal Profession," "Complex Appraisal Issues Raised By Current Land Use Trends," Appraisal Institute, Appraisal Litigation Practice and Courtroom Management, Sacramento, CA, April 2003.
"Protecting Property Rights in a Regulatory Era," Georgetown University, Annual §1983 Civil Rights Litigation Seminar, San Francisco, CA, May 2001.
"Advanced Land Use (Planning and Regulatory Issues)," International Council of Shopping Centers, 2000 U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, Orlando, FL, October 2000.
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