Michael W.Stevens


Michael believes that an attorney's first job is to solve problems. He loves getting to know his clients' business, and offering solutions to their employee benefits and complex litigation matters.

More About Michael

As an employee benefits litigator, Michael is keenly aware that every case he litigates for a client not only impacts the individual plaintiff, but can also become precedent for other employees and potential claimants. Thus, Michael views every case as an opportunity to be a business partner for his clients, and his goal is to always best protect their interests over the long term.

Michael's practice focuses on ERISA, and he has litigated extensively on behalf of welfare, pension, and severance plans. He is experienced in defending both single-plaintiff and class actions. His practice emphasizes protecting health and welfare plans from medical fraud, and he has both defended health care claims against lawsuits from malfeasant health care providers, and also prosecuted claims on behalf of payors.

Michael has more than a decade of experience navigating complex litigation, from pre-complaint negotiations to try to resolve disputes without litigation, through all phases of the litigation life cycle. Michael is experienced in bet-the-company litigation, where millions of dollars can be at stake.

While Michael's practice is mostly defense-side, he is also experienced in plaintiff-side work, where existing clients have unique needs requiring counsel who are already familiar with their business operations. In addition, prior to joining Seyfarth, Michael practiced antitrust and competition litigation at another large firm.

Michael brings extensive experience in case valuation and measuring damages. He understands that litigation is often a business decision, and he is skilled at preparing case assessments that measure the risk of liability, and the magnitude of damages, weighed against the prospects of future litigation. Michael has successfully resolved large cases where his clients faced eight or nine figures of damages for just pennies on the dollar. Michael has also succeeded in plaintiff-side work for health care plans, recovering large sums of money misspent by the plans' vendors.

Michael is committed to pro bono advocacy, especially in the immigration context. He has successfully achieved asylum and lawful permanent residency for LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants from Central America.

Michael believes in taking advantage of 21st century technology to ensure that clients are always up-to-date on case developments, and makes extensive use of data visualization technology to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of cases.

Michael loves that the attorneys at Seyfarth pair first-rate legal minds with a deep commitment to client service. Attorneys and staff are fully committed to community service and pro bono activity, and will often be found at a pro bono clinic or out at a charitable fundraiser in the Bay Area. They're also great fun to spend time with!

  • JD, Georgetown University Law Center

    Cum laude
    Georgetown Law Journal, executive articles editor

  • BA, University of California, Santa Cruz

    Highest honors
    Regents scholar

  • California
  • US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • US District Court, Central District of California
  • US District Court, Northern District of California