more about michael
“It helps having sat in every chair around the mediation table”
– Michael Leb, Daily Journal 2018
After graduating from Michigan Law School, Michael began his career at the internationally recognized firm of Latham & Watkins. There, he handled all types of litigation with a particular emphasis on labor and employment law. He then opened his own firm, representing plaintiffs in employment cases. Later, he took his experience into the corporate world where he held executive staff level positions in labor relations, human resources, law and food processing operations for Safeway and Walmart. He also founded and led Choctál LLC, a super-premium ice cream company which sold products in upscale retail markets across the United States.
Michael’s experience as a neutral has been as diverse as his prior work experience. He has mediated and arbitrated virtually every type of matter across a broad spectrum of public and private sector businesses. His diverse and extensive work experience and dedication to preparation provide his clients with a unique and insightful perspective. Michael values the processes of both mediation and arbitration and strives to create the best environment for the parties to either resolve their dispute in mediation or have it fairly adjudicated in arbitration.
In addition to his work as a mediator and arbitrator, Michael serves as an adjunct Lecturer in Law at USC Gould School of Law and has been an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Michael is a frequent speaker on ADR, and has published many articles on mediation and substantive law issues. He serves as one of ten panelists appointed by the Board of Supervisors to the Los Angeles County Equity Oversite Panel, was appointed as a Hearing Examiner by the Los Angeles Police Commission and the City of Santa Monica, and has been selected by the City of Los Angeles as an arbitrator to rule on challenges in Neighborhood Council elections.
J.D., University of Michigan School of Law, cum laude
B.A., Yale University, cum laude in Russian Studies and Economics
MEMBERSHIPS & AFFILIATIONS
Michael also serves on the following neutral panels: American Arbitration Association (Commercial, Consumer, Employment & Labor), CA Office of Administrative Hearings, CA Public Employee Relations Board, CA State Mediation And Conciliation Service, CA Dept. of HR and CCPOA, City Of Anaheim Police Department And APA, City Of Los Angeles Employee Relations Board, Federal Mediation And Conciliation Service, National Mediation Board, and United States District Court (C. D. Cal.)