Michael Nebenzahl is a seasoned litigator with 40 trials to verdict, and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). His practice focuses on the defense of high stakes personal injury litigation matters involving wrongful death, catastrophic injuries, emotional injuries and brain damage.

Michael has built his practice over the last two decades handling cases for public entities such as cities, school districts, utility companies and transportation agencies. He defends claims of dangerous conditions of public property, claims of liability stemming from the wrongful conduct or negligent acts of employees, and claims in defense of employment related matters. These defenses range from roadway design, to the protocols and practices for maintaining streets, sidewalks, and infrastructure, to urban forestry, as well as termination and/or discriminatory employment related matters. While he knows that a bell can't be un-rung, Michael takes great pride in understanding how and why any incident occurred and spending much time, effort and analysis in providing advice to his clients on how to prevent future harm.

One of Southern California's most experience and well-regarded trial attorneys, Michael has been representing clients such as the City of Beverly Hills for over two decades, and his defense verdict for the Rose Bowl in a 2008 brain damage case resulted in being named to the Daily Journal's List of Top Ten Defense Verdicts.

Representative Experience

Representative Trials - Liability Issues

  • Dangerous Condition of Public Property (roads, alleys and sidewalks)
  • Whistle Blower/Wrongful Termination
  • Elder Abuse – physical harm on a bus
  • Auto v. Auto (auto v. fire truck, auto v. bus)
  • Assault and Battery

Representative Trials - Damages Issues

  • Wrongful death
  • Brain damage
  • Blindness
  • Catastrophic bodily injuries
  • Broken bones/torn ligaments/herniated disks

Dangerous Conditions of Public Property

  • Defended an internationally known and local historical site against claims of defective design and code violations causing blindness and brain damage. This trial resulted in a defense verdict.
  • Defended City against claims that a major intersection, which coincided with the entrance to a world-class and celebrity-known hotel, was defectively designed causing catastrophic injuries. Using detailed plans from the intersection designed, obtained summary judgment based on a design immunity defense.

Assault and Battery by Public Employee

  • Defended a municipal transit authority against claims of elder abuse and severe battery resulting in a shattered life. Presenting a solid defense, exposing the fabrications of the evidence and the true limit on the damages incurred, the verdict resulted in 1% of the amount sought.

Employment Disputes

  • Defended a utility company against claims of wrongful termination arising out of whistle-blowing and the failure to promote a senior executive who claimed retaliation for refusing to participate in illegal activities. After a two-month trial, obtained a defense verdict.


  • Loyola Law School  (J.D., 1983)
  • University of California at Santa Barbara  (B.A., 1978)

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1983

Court Admissions

  • United States District Court, Central District of California

Professional and Community Activities

  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Southern California Association of Defense Counsel

Professional Recognition

  • Daily Journal, February 2009 - Top Ten State Defense Verdicts of 2008 (Moralez v. Rose Bowl Operating Company, City of Pasadena, GC039128)