- Yale Law School (J.D.)
- American University (B.A., International Studies, summa cum laude)
Law Clerk to the Honorable Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court of the United States
Law Clerk to the Honorable Alex Kozinski, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Michael Gervais is a skilled and accomplished trial lawyer who represents both plaintiffs and defendants in all types of high stakes commercial litigation. Gervais has amassed an impressive collection of litigation victories and favorable settlements for clients who vary from Fortune 500 industry leaders to classes of unfairly treated plaintiffs in several national high-profile lawsuits.
Gervais worked alongside Managing Partner, Neal Manne, Partner Lexie White, and Partner Joseph Grinstein representing a class of indigent misdemeanor arrestees pro bono in a landmark case to challenge the money bail scheme in Harris County, Texas. Along with Civil Rights Corps and the Texas Fair Defense Project, Gervais’s work helped secure a sweeping preliminary injunction from a Houston federal judge, who struck down Harris County, Texas’ money bail system. The decision focused national attention on the countrywide practice of jailing poor people because they are unable to afford bail when arrested for minor offenses and has been covered by national outlets such as The New York Times, The Houston Chronicle, and Lawdragon. In the first year in which the injunctive relief was in effect, more than 12,000 people were released from jail.
In another high-profile class action, Gervais worked alongside Partners Kalpana Srinivasan, Steven Sklaver and Steve Morrissey representing Flo & Eddie, members of the 1960’s rock group The Turtles, in addition to a class of copyright owners in a case against Sirius XM. In this landmark case it was established under California law, that these owners of sound recordings from before 1972 have the exclusive right to perform those recordings. Under a groundbreaking settlement, Sirius XM agreed to pay at least $25.5 million (over $16 million after fees and expenses) and royalties under a 10-year license that is valued up to $62 million (over $41 million after fees and expenses) as compensation for publicly performing without a license Pre-1972 sound recordings. The settlement was approved by the Court, and has received widespread media coverage from publications such as The New York Times, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Law360, Rolling Stone, Variety, Reuters and Managing IP.
Additionally, Gervais won a complete dismissal for energy company, Vitol, of $10 billion antitrust case filed in federal district court in Miami by a litigation trust asserting claims against numerous defendants on behalf of a Venezuelan national oil company. Gervais’ firm, Susman Godfrey, was tapped to take the lead in briefing and arguing the motion to dismiss for the multi-party joint defense group. This win was reported on by Wall Street Journal and Law360. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision in 2021.
Most recently, Gervais was appointed by the court to serve on the Steering Committee to represent plaintiffs in a Biometric Information Privacy Act class action MDL against TikTok and its parent company. In April 2021 Gervais and co-counsel asked the Court to approve a $92 million litigation-wide settlement. In October 2021 U.S. District Judge John Lee granted Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary approval of the deal. If fully approved, this would end the 21 proposed class actions and mark one of the highest privacy-related settlements in the country.
U.S. Supreme Court Roots
Before joining Susman Godfrey, Gervais served as a clerk at both the Supreme Court of the United States and in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. These experiences have given him a unique perspective and a valuable background that supports the success he brings his clients in federal, district and state courts as well as in arbitration and at every level of litigation.