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Michael von Loewenfeldt

Successful appeals result from thoughtful, creative, and rigorous briefing

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Michael von Loewenfeldt, a partner in WVBR, regularly appears in both federal and state appellate courts, and has argued more than 40 appeals. Michael is certified as a specialist in appellate law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization and is a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers. Michael handles appeals in a wide variety of civil cases on both a fee and contingency basis. He also regularly assists parties and co-counsel with trial court motion practice, preservation of the record during trial proceedings, and presenting or resisting interlocutory writs. In addition to cases where Michael is hired as lead appellate counsel, he is frequently hired by parties or their counsel to analyze appellate strategy and to assist with appellate briefs and preparation for oral argument. Michael has also presented amicus briefs in state and federal courts on behalf of organizations and other interested parties.

Before focusing his efforts on appellate work, Michael had substantial trial court experience on both the plaintiff’s and defendants’ side of individual and class actions concerning consumer rights, employment, and insurance.  He also has significant experience with municipal liability and civil rights, defamation, wrongful death, and other forms of complex litigation.

Michael is currently the Chair of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Appellate Section, and has been on that section’s executive committee since 2018.

After receiving his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1995, Michael served as a law clerk to the Honorable Saundra B. Armstrong, United States District Court for the Northern District of California. He was also a member of the California National Guard (Mechanized Infantry) from 1987 until 1994.

Upon completion of his clerkship with Judge Armstrong, he became an associate at the San Francisco office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. Michael joined Kerr & Wagstaffe in November 1999 and became partner in February 2001. Michael worked with Kerr & Wagstaffe until December 2018, when he co-founded WVBR.

  • University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall), J.D. 1995
    Order of the Coif
  • San Diego State University, B.A., Political Science, 1991
    Phi Beta Kappa
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Supreme Court of California / California State Courts
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • California Bar Association
  • California Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  • Bar Association of San Francisco

For the Appellant

  • Husain v. California Pacific Bank, 61 Cal. App. 5th 717 (2021)
  • Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County v. Department of Finance, 59 Cal. App. 5th 166 (2020)
  • Moore v. Mars Petcare US, Inc., 966 F.3d 1007 (9th Cir. 2020)
  • Nelson v. Tucker Ellis, LLP, 48 Cal. App. 5th 827 (2020)
  • ENA N. Beach, Inc. v. 524 Union St., 43 Cal. App. 5th 195 (2019)
  • Fuller v. Dep’t of Transp., 38 Cal. App. 5th 1034 (2019)
  • Wash. State Hous. Fin. Comm’n v. Nat’l Homebuyers Fund, Inc., 193 Wash. 2d 704 (2019)
  • Advanced Bldg. & Fabrication, Inc. v. Cal. Highway Patrol, 918 F.3d 654 (9th Cir. 2019)
  • Barry v. State Bar of California, 2 Cal. 5th 318 (2017), reversing 218 Cal. App. 4th 1435 (2013)
  • People ex. Rel. Brown v. Tehama County Bd. Of Sup’rs, 149 Cal. App. 4th 422 (2007)

For the Respondent/Appellee

  • Big Sandy Rancheria Enters. v. Bonta, 1 F.4th 710 (9th Cir. 2021)
  • Verizon California, Inc. v. Board of Equalization, 64 Cal. App. 5th 1155 (2021)
  • Cty. Inmate Tel. Serv. Cases, 48 Cal. App. 5th 354 (2020)
  • Wadler v. Bio-Rad Labs., Inc., 916 F.3d 1176 (9th Cir. 2019)
  • United States ex rel. Rose v. Stephens Inst., 909 F.3d 1012 (9th Cir. 2018)
  • Sander v. Superior Court, 26 Cal. App. 5th 651 (2018)
  • Hyatt v. Yee, 871 F.3d 1067 (9th Cir. 2017)
  • Scheer v. State Bar, 819 F.3d 1206 (9th Cir. 2016)
  • Scheer v. Kelly, 817 F.3d 1183 (9th Cir. 2016)
  • Danko v. O’Reilly, 232 Cal. App. 4th 732 (2014)
  • Sander v. State Bar of Cal., 58 Cal. 4th 300 (2013)
  • Muniz v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 738 F.3d 214 (9th Cir. 2013)
  • Alexander v. Farmers Ins. Co., Inc., 219 Cal. App. 4th 1183 (2013)
  • MHC Fin. Ltd. P’ship v. City of San Rafael, 714 F.3d 1118 (9th Cir. 2013)
  • Sander v. State Bar of Cal., 196 Cal. App. 4th 614 (2011)
  • Kirkwood v. Cal. State Auto Ass. Inter-insurance Bureau, 193 Cal. App. 4th 49 (2011)
  • St. Vincent’s School for Boys v. City of San Rafael, 161 Cal. App. 4th 989 (2008)
  • Gadda v. State Bar of Cal., 511 F.3d 933 (9th Cir. 2007)

While clear and concise appellate briefs are the most persuasive part of any appeal, oral argument provides an important opportunity to directly answer the court’s questions and to emphasize the two or three most critical parts of a case. The following are examples of arguments presented by Michael in highly contested cases where the courts have made argument video or audio available on the internet.

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