Michael K. Brown



  • University of San Francisco School of Law, 1982, J.D., Topics Editor, University of San Francisco Law Review, 1981 - 1982
  • Georgetown University, 1978, A.B.

Professional Admissions / Qualifications

  • California

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court
  • U.S. District Court - Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court - District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Tenth Circuit

Michael is the former chair of the firm's multidisciplinary Life Sciences Health Industry Group, comprised of more than 250 professionals. He joined Reed Smith in 2003 as part of the firm's combination with Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May. From 2003-2006, he served on Reed Smith's firmwide Executive Committee.

Michael's litigation and trial practice focuses on complex product liability and commercial matters, including class actions, Multi-District Litigations (MDL), mass torts, and claims for unfair competition and false advertising under state consumer protection statutes. Michael's clients include, among others, Medtronic, Inc., C.R. Bard Inc., Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co. Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, and GlaxoSmithKline, Inc. (GSK).

Currently Michael is National Coordinating and Trial Counsel for C. R. Bard Inc. in the In re Kugel Mesh Hernia Repair Patch Litigation, which is the subject of federal Multi-District proceedings in the District of Rhode Island, and Coordinated State proceedings in the Superior Court of Rhode Island. He also represents C.R. Bard in the Pelvic Mesh Litigation and litigation involving Bard's Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters. He represents GlaxoSmithKline in the Avandia litigation as well.

Michael represents Medtronic, Inc. in litigation involving a variety of its products, including the Infuse Device, Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs), pain pumps, neurological devices and insulin pumps. He is actively involved in defending Medtronic's Infuse Bone Graft device.

In addition, Michael has been National Coordinating and Trial Counsel for Pfizer, Inc. in the In re Mirapex Products Liability Litigation MDL involving a drug to treat Parkinson's disease. He was Co-Liaison Counsel for Merck in the California Vioxx Litigation, and a member of the National Trial Team for 3M in the Silicone Gel Breast Implantation Litigation. He has been a Faculty Member at the IADC's Trial Academy at Stanford University.

Named a BTI Client Service All-Star for 2014, Michael has been listed in Lawdragon's 500 Leading Lawyers in America and Best Lawyers in America. He has been consistently named by Chambers USA and Legal 500 and the International Who's Who of Product Liability and Life Science Lawyers as one of the "Leading Lawyers" for product liability. In August 2010, Law360 named Michael one of the "10 Most Admired Product Liability Attorneys." In 2008, he received Reed Smith's Shaw's Lion Award, given annually to the firm's outstanding lawyer over the previous year. In 2010, The American Lawyer named Reed Smith as the Litigation Department of the Year for Product Liability. 

Michael has testified more than a dozen times before legislative and other committees concerning proposed legislation involving protective orders and confidential settlement agreements, summary judgments, unfair competition statutes, electronic discovery, and other issues. He has worked with a coalition of businesses to oppose bills that would have eroded protection for confidential and proprietary information as well as bills that would have given prosecutors and private plaintiffs a "disgorgement of profits" remedy in cases involving California Business and Professions Code sections 17200 et al, and he was a member of the Civil Justice Working Group providing assistance to then-governor-elect Schwarzenegger's transition team. He was also actively involved in working on reform efforts involving section 17200, particularly Proposition 64, which was enacted by California voters November 2, 2004.

Employment History

  • 2003 - Reed Smith
    • Chair, Life Sciences Health Industry Group (2008-2010); (Co-Chair 2011)
    • Member of the Executive Committee (2003-2006)
  • 1982 - Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May (combined with Reed Smith in 2003)
    • Member of the Executive Committee (1991-2002)
    • Chair of the Complex Litigation Practice Group (2002)
    • Managing Partner of the Los Angeles office (1991-1994)
    • Chair of Los Angeles Commercial Litigation Group (2000-2001)
    • Chair of Los Angeles Product Liability Group (1996-2000)

Honors & Awards

  • Named BTI Client Service All Star, 2014
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America
  • Listed in Lawdragon 500
  • Listed in Chambers USA (Band 1)
  • Listed in Legal 500 (Leading Lawyers)
  • Listed in Who's Who of Product Liability and Life Science Lawyers

Professional Affiliations

  • Defense Research Institute (DRI), Drug, and Medical Device Steering Committee (2011-2014)
  • Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL) (Los Angeles Chapter) (2000-2004)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC); Vice-Chair, Drug, Device and Biotech Committee (2000-2002, 2004- ) Legislative Judicial and Governmental Affairs Committee (2000-2005)
  • Product Liability Advisory Council, Member


Michael serves on the Board of Counselors of the University of San Francisco School of Law and is a past member of the Board of Governors of the University of San Francisco Law Society. Michael and his wife Martha reside in La Canada Flintridge, California, and have three children.