Home Attorneys Michael Freedman

Michael Freedman | Partner


Michael G. Freedman is an experienced trial lawyer and former federal prosecutor who vigorously defends clients against criminal charges in state and federal court and in related civil litigation. He has been practicing criminal law for nearly a decade and has won accolades from judges and peers for his trial skills. Michael also has won numerous appeals, including reversing lengthy sentences, drawing on his experience as a law clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

From 2016 to 2020, Michael served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California, where he was lead and co-lead counsel on eight trials and a multitude of investigations. Before the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he worked at leading defense firms Bird Marella and Riordan & Horgan.

As a prosecutor and defense lawyer, Michael has handled cases in the following areas: mail, bank, and wire fraud; health care fraud, kickbacks, and the False Claims Act; hazardous waste and environmental regulations; bribery; identity theft; elder and dependent abuse; medical board proceedings; money laundering and structuring; drug trafficking by gangs, mafia, and cartels; cannabis, bitcoin, and the dark web; opioids and counterfeit pharmaceuticals; sex offenses and human trafficking; national security threats; firearms offenses; college disciplinary proceedings; and non-profit regulation. He is well-versed in every step of criminal procedure, including electronic surveillance and wiretaps, grand jury proceedings, bail, trial and evidentiary hearings, plea bargaining, sentencing, asset forfeiture, and appeals and habeas review.

Michael is actively involved in a variety of legal and community organizations. He serves as National Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section’s White Collar Crime Committee and is a member of the Federal Bar Association and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has spoken on and moderated numerous panels and written many articles on various topics in criminal law and trial practice. Michael has also served on the Bet Tzedek New Leaders’ Council, the Jewish Federation’s Legal Division, and the Board of Governors of UC Hastings, where he obtained his juris doctorate, cum laude. Before law school, Michael obtained a Master’s degree from Harvard University in Middle Eastern Studies and graduated phi beta kappa and magna cum laude from UC San Diego with honors in history.


University of California, Hastings College of the Law | J.D. - 2011

Harvard University | A.M. - 2008

University of California, San Diego | B.A. - 2005

Case Results
Federal Criminal
As a defense lawyer:
  • Convinced prosecutor to drop human trafficking charges against client and obtained no prison time
  • Obtained probationary sentence for corporation and individual owner charged with endangered species act violations
  • Represented numerous individuals at highly regulated companies in grand jury investigations, leading to no charges being filed
  • Represented client facing child pornography charges, ultimately leading to no federal charges
  • Represented entertainment company and executives in sensitive grand jury investigation, no charges filed
  • Successfully moved to suppress voluminous evidence unlawfully seized from business of client facing money laundering charges
  • Represented witnesses in bank fraud and health care fraud investigations
  • Represented individual in contempt action brought by FTC
  • Quashed subpoena to art gallery in forfeiture proceeding
As a prosecutor:
  • Tried seven-week Mexican Mafia and MS-13 conspiracy case
  • Lead counsel in week-long healthcare fraud trial
  • Tried individual for threatening assassination of presidential candidates
  • Tried case involving massive counterfeit pharmaceutical operation using fentanyl imported from China
  • Resolved felony hazardous waste case against corporate defendant
  • Successfully tried numerous firearms cases
  • Led numerous investigations of health care fraud, kickbacks, and violations of the False Claims Act
  • Led investigations of doctors, pharmacists, and other medical professionals for opioid diversion
  • Led money laundering investigations, including on dark web and involving Bitcoin
  • Resolved numerous cases of bank fraud and identity theft
State Criminal and Related Proceedings
  • Won client’s release on bail following multi-witness evidentiary hearing in fraud prosecution
  • Member of trial team that won dismissal mid-trial of charges against licensed nurse
  • Convinced district attorney to drop charges against physician accused of unlawful practice of medicine
  • Represented college student facing disciplinary proceedings after being attacked by another student; won settlement from college
  • Advised court-appointed receiver of cannabis dispensary
  • Represented owners of a non-profit charity investigated by state attorney general; no charges filed
  • Member of pro bono team that ultimately won client’s release and overturned conviction and lengthy sentence for material support for terrorism
  • Represented pharmacist in license revocation proceedings
  • Overturned client’s twenty-year federal sentence on appeal, convinced district court to impose far lower sentence on remand
  • Won published opinion overturning lengthy sentence improperly imposed on law enforcement defendant
  • Won published opinion interpreting pleading standards under Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure
Civil Litigation
  • Defeated writ of attachment and then won full dismissal from federal court of $6 million contract claim against apparel manufacturer
  • Won anti-SLAPP motion, full dismissal of fraud lawsuit, and attorney’s fees on behalf of large national bank
  • Successfully represented hotel designer in partnership dispute arbitration proceedings
  • Won $100,000 award of back wages from Labor Commissioner
  • Represented plaintiff corporation in trade secrets lawsuit
  • Represented national industrial manufacturer in multi-million dollar breach of contract claim against longstanding supplier