Profile photo of Michael Mortenson, Partner at Mortenson Taggart LLP

University of Virginia (B.A. Government and Foreign Affairs, 1999)

Case Western Reserve University School of Law (J.D., 2006)

President, Student Bar Association

Ault Mock Trial Team

National Moot Court Team

Best Lawyers in America (2024 Edition)

Southern California Super Lawyers, “Super Lawyer,” Business Litigation 

Southern California Super Lawyers, “Rising Star,” Business Litigation  

“2023 Legal Visionary,” Los Angeles Times Magazine

Top 100 Verdict in California, Top Verdicts Magazine

State Bar of California

U.S. District Court for Central District of California

U.S. District Court for Northern District of California

U.S. District Court for Southern District of California

U.S. District Court for Eastern District of California

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Roe v. Rivian Automotive, LLC (C.D. Cal)—Successfully defended Rivian Automotive against class action claims, obtaining full pretrial dismissal of all claims on a successful motion to dismiss. 

Bingham v. Scott (San Bernardino County Superior Court) – Won $3.2 million verdict following 3-week jury trial in San Bernardino Superior Court as plaintiff in fraudulent inducement, conversion and financial abuse action.  

Confidential Plaintiff v. Western Digital (JAMS Arbitration) – Obtained summary judgment for defendant Western Digital and obtained award of attorneys’ fees and costs in breach of contract arbitration action. 

Gonzalez v. Ford Motor Co. (C.D. Cal.) – Prevailed on all claims against Ford Motor Company in lawsuit brought in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, obtaining dismissal at the pleading stage of CLRA and UCL claims and then winning summary judgment on the remaining Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act claims.

Nunez vFord Motor Co. (C.D. Cal.) – Prevailed on motion for summary judgment dismissing all claims brought against Ford Motor Company.

Garza v. Ford Motor Co. (C.D. Cal.) – Won summary judgment for Ford Motor Company in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California based on argument that the plaintiff should be judicially estopped from pursuing her claims.

Glen Doherty v. Rutherford Insurance (S.D. Cal) – Represented estate of ex-Navy SEAL tragically killed in action in Benghazi, Libya against the CIA’s exclusive Defense Base Act insurance provider for breach of fiduciary duty, resulting in a favorable settlement. 

Travis Mathew v. Travis Matthew Johnson (C.D. Cal) –Defended founder of Travis Mathew golf apparel brand against trademark infringement and breach of contract claims resulting in favorable settlement.

Jane Roe v. Shady Canyon Golf Club (Orange County Superior Court) –Successfully defended prestigious golf club against sexual harassment, discrimination and battery claims, resulting in favorable pretrial resolution of all claims.

California Alliance of Child and Family Services v. Allenby (9th Cir.) – Obtained “precedent setting” ruling following appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in litigation brought against the State of California by California foster group homes arising out of the underfunding of foster care group homes under the Child Welfare Act

MGA vMattel (C.D. Cal.) – Secured dismissal of RICO claims brought against senior secured lender of international toy manufacturer in U.S. District Court for Central District of California.

Michael is a founding partner of Mortenson Taggart Adams LLP.  He is an experienced trial lawyer who represents and advises Fortune 500 companies, innovative startups, emerging middle market companies, and high-profile individuals, as both plaintiffs and defendants, in complex, high-stakes matters in federal and state courts throughout the country.  

Michael’s trial practice focuses primarily on business litigation, entertainment law, consumer litigation and employment litigation. Michael regularly handles matters involving fraud, breach of contract, breach of warranty, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, products liability, whistleblower actions, discrimination, and retaliation for clients in various industries including automotive, technology, manufacturing, alternative energy, private equity and sports and entertainment.  Michael’s work has been featured in various media outlets including The Washington Post, Fox News, ABC News, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, and Law360 among others.  Michael has been recognized by Top Verdicts for winning one of California’s top 100 jury verdicts in 2019, and he has repeatedly been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Michael’s clients include iconic Fortune 500 companies such as Ford Motor Company and Western Digital, innovative startups such as Rivian Automotive and Bubs Naturals, emerging middle market companies including Valta Energy, and sports and entertainment companies including Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu and Angelus Entertainment, among others. 

Michael also devotes a substantial amount of his time to pro bono work.  Among his many successful outcomes over the last decade, Michael represented the family and estate of U.S. Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, who was killed in the Benghazi terrorist attacks, against the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department, which resulted in modifications to CIA and State Department policies regarding contractors killed in action, and against the Defense Base Act insurance broker for breach of fiduciary duty that resulted in a favorable settlement.  Michael also represented California’s foster care children in a suit against the State of California for violating the Child Welfare Act, which resulted in hundreds of millions of additional dollars spent to care for California’s most vulnerable children. California Lawyer Magazine touted this victory as “precedent-setting.”

Before founding Mortenson Taggart Adams LLP, Michael was the Chair of Consumer Litigation at Stradling, Yocca, Carlson & Rauth, and before that was a partner at Baker Hostetler LLP.  

Michael lives in San Clemente with his wife, two children, and two rescue dogs.

Mortenson Taggart Adams has proven their ability time and time again to achieve exceptional outcomes in complex matters.  Their approach is bespoke to each matter, but always effective, efficient and client-focused.  They are a strategic business partner that we rely on constantly to achieve our short and long-term goals.

Andrew Gahan, General Counsel, Valta Energy

Mortenson Taggart Adams’ legal expertise has helped us successfully navigate a high-profile lawsuit in federal court and perhaps most importantly, helped a fledgling startup get on sturdy ground.  Regardless of the curveballs that may be thrown at us, we know that Mortenson Taggart Adams has the experience and expertise to successfully handle it.

Sean Lake, Co-Founder, Bubs Naturals