Michael Adamson
Associate
Los Angeles Office Phone: (310) 789-3187 Email Download vCard Print Bio to PDF
Education

Duke University School of Law
(J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, 2016)

BYU (B.S., Accounting, 2011)

Judicial Clerkship

Honorable Gerald B. Tjoflat, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Michael Adamson
Associate

Trial lawyer Michael Adamson represents and has secured victories for his clients in a diverse set of commercial disputes, including class action, patent, trade secret, unfair competition, environmental torts, and breach of contract suits. His clients range from industry leaders to small businesses and classes of individuals. Michael has litigated in federal and state courts across the country and outside of court in mediations and arbitrations. His financial and accounting background has enabled him to develop and implement strategies that benefit his clients’ business and financial goals, in addition to vindicating their legal rights.

Legal Victories

Industry Titans

Michael served as counsel for American multinational energy corporation, Chevron, in a complex contractual dispute regarding oil production and gas balancing. Michael developed significant theories of breach, identified experts, and worked with them on their reports in the lead-up to mediation and arbitration. Prior to arbitration, Michael helped achieve a business solution to the dispute on favorable terms for Chevron.

Michael has also served as counsel to Wyle Labs, a subsidiary of science, technology, and engineering company, KBR, in a trade secrets case filed by Positron Systems. Michael played an essential role in developing legal defenses that hadn’t been asserted by prior counsel. By the end of the four-week trial, the Court had struck most of the damages, and the jury had rejected the most significant remaining claims. Through post-trial briefing, Michael helped defeat some of the jury’s few unfavorable findings. The case ultimately settled for a tiny fraction of the tens of millions in damages asserted – a knockout win for Wyle.

Repeat Clients

Michael defended cybersecurity company, Bitdefender, in a patent infringement case with millions of dollars at stake. Michael argued claim construction, led all aspects of discovery, and took and defended key depositions in multiple countries around the world, eliciting critical testimony. The case settled on favorable terms for Bitdefender. Because of his excellent work on this matter, Michael was again hired by Bitdefender to defend it in a consumer class action that asserted claims under California’s Unfair Competition Law. In the early pre-discovery stages of the case, Michael played a key role in a mediation, including drafting the mediation brief, which resulted in a favorable settlement for Bitdefender.

Current Litigation

Michael is currently leading efforts for the firm on several important putative class actions.

In Advance Trust & Life Escrow Services v. PHL Variable Life Insurance, Michael represents plaintiffs who are asserting breach of contract claims related to PHL’s increase of cost of insurance rates on universal life insurance policies. Michael leads the day-to-day aspects of this case and has scored several wins for the putative class, including defeating a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, getting appointed as interim class counsel despite an earlier-filed case, and successfully arguing a major discovery dispute. He leads discovery efforts and has taken every deposition in the case.

In similar matters, Iwanski v. First Penn-Pacific Life Insurance Co. and TVPX ARS Inc. et al. v. Lincoln Nat’l Life Ins. Co., Michael represents a putative class of thousands of insurance policyholders who are asserting breach of contract claims against major insurance companies that failed to reduce cost of insurance rates to reflect improvements in mortality rates, as the contracts require. Michael is again running all day-to-day aspects of these cases, including offensive, defensive, and expert discovery, and has won multiple key discovery motions.

Michael is also again counsel for Chevron – this time in a portfolio of cases around the country involving states and municipalities asserting claims related to climate change.

Background

Michael joined Susman Godfrey after clerking for Judge Gerald Tjoflat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He received his law degree from Duke University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University where he studied accounting and later became a Certified Public Accountant.

Before law school, Michael worked in Washington, D.C. as a legislative aide for the Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, specializing in tax, banking, and financial policy.

Honors and Distinctions
  • Duke Law Journal, Executive Editor
  • Top 5 Percent of Graduating Class
  • Governing Faculty Award for Excellence in Business and Finance Law
  • Order of the Coif
  • Dean’s Award
  • Former Member of the Board of Directors, Vaccine Ambassadors
Articles

Earned Income Tax Credit: Path-Dependence and the Blessing of Undertheorization, 65 Duke L.J. 1439 (2016)

Professional Associations and Memberships

State Bar of California

State Bar of New York

Eastern District of New York

Southern District of New York

Experience

Certified Public Accountant.