Michael Holecek is a litigation associate in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where his practice focuses on complex commercial litigation both in the trial court and on appeal. He has first-chair trial experience and has successfully tried to verdict both jury and bench trials. He has also argued numerous appeals to the California Court of Appeal, including Rodriquez v. Menjivar, 243 Cal. App. 4th 816 (2015), and Jaime G. v. H.L., 25 Cal. App. 5th 794 (2018), in which he obtained complete reversals of adverse trial court rulings for his client, in published opinions. He has also authored articles on appellate procedure, civil discovery, corporate appraisal actions, data privacy, and bad-faith insurance litigation.
Recent appellate matters include:
- Daimler AG v. Bauman (U.S. Supreme Court 2014): Unanimous decision reversing the Ninth Circuit and holding that it violates due process to exercise general personal jurisdiction over a foreign corporation based on the in-State activities of a corporate subsidiary.
- The Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles (U.S. Supreme Court 2013): Unanimous decision rejecting a putative class representative’s attempt to evade federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 by use of a stipulation purporting to limit classwide damages.
- Hollingsworth v. Perry (U.S. Supreme Court 2013): Landmark 5-4 decision holding that proponents of California’s ban on same-sex marriage did not have standing to appeal the district court’s order invalidating the ban.
- ev3 Inc. v. Lesh (Delaware Supreme Court 2014): Unanimous decision ordering a new trial and reversing the jury’s $250 million verdict against our client.
- In re DFC Appraisal Action (Delaware Supreme Court 2017): Unanimous decision reversing Court of Chancery’s appraisal valuation.
- Williams, et al. v. Yamaha Motor Co., U.S.A. (9th Cir. 2017): Unanimous decision affirming dismissal of a consolidated putative nationwide class action lawsuit brought by dozens of plaintiffs alleging fraud and concealment claims under numerous consumer protection and warranty laws. Mr. Holecek represented Yamaha in both the district court and the Ninth Circuit.
- Helped secure complete reversal in the California Court of Appeal of summary judgment and an attorneys’ fee award worth nearly $70 million, in a cross-border dispute involving the children of a Hong Kong billionaire.
- In re Facebook (D.C. Ct. App. 2018): Unanimous reversal of trial court order requiring social-media companies to divulge private electronic communications under the Stored Communications Act.
- Kramer v. Toyota Motor Corporation (9th Cir. 2016): Unanimous decision affirming summary judgment for auto manufacturer in alleged product-defect lawsuit.
- Helped obtain unanimous reversal of $58 million attorneys’ fee award on behalf of a major retailer in the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
- Kamzan v. McGovern (Cal. Ct. of Appeal 2014): Unanimous decision affirming spousal support order and domestic violence restraining order in favor of client. (Mr. Holecek presented oral argument.)
- Rodriquez v. Menjivar (Cal. Ct. of Appeal 2015): Unanimous published decision reversing denial of domestic-violence restraining order and setting important new precedent regarding what constitutes domestic abuse in California. (Mr. Holecek presented oral argument.)
- Jaime G. v. H.L. (Cal. Ct. of Appeal 2018): Unanimous published decision reversal child custody order and setting important new precedent regarding when a trial court can grant trial custody to a proven domestic abuser. (Mr. Holecek presented oral argument.)
- Nancy Julieta Lee R. v. Juan Antonio V. (Cal. Ct. of Appeal 2017): Unanimous decision reversing child-custody order. (Mr. Holecek presented oral argument.)
- Lugo v. Corona (Cal. Ct. of Appeal 2019): Unanimous published decision reversing trial court’s denial of domestic-violence restraining order and setting important new precedent regarding the overlap between criminal and civil protective orders. (Mr. Holecek presented oral argument for the California Women’s Law Center).
Recent trial experience includes:
- Favorable jury verdict resulting in no award of compensatory damages in a complex fraud and civil conspiracy action brought by the California Insurance Commissioner, a case in which plaintiff sought an award of $4.3 billion. Poizner v. Altus Fin., S.A. (C.D. Cal. 2012).
- Represented Aetna in a four-week jury trial in California state court in 2016. The jury awarded Aetna $37.4 million against a group of 10 defendants – individuals and surgery centers – who had conspired to create and run a sophisticated insurance fraud scheme. The jury found in Aetna’s favor on all causes of action and awarded the full amount of damages requested.
- Retained by product manufacturer to handle federal Lanham Act trial following an adverse, eight-figure jury verdict after initial trial in 2012. Secured exclusion of all damages evidence on the eve of the retrial, which resulted in a judgment in favor of our client on all of plaintiff’s claims.
- Complete defense victory for international insurance company after a binding arbitration on a $96 million claim brought by the West Virginia Investment Management Board.
- Helped defeat class certification in a nationwide putative class action brought by medical providers against an insurance company in New Jersey federal court.
- Obtained domestic violence restraining order for client after bench trial. (Mr. Holecek served as co-lead trial counsel.)
- As a volunteer prosecutor for Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, obtained a unanimous jury verdict on behalf of the City in prostitution-solicitation trial. (Mr. Holecek served as lead trial counsel.)
In 2017, Mr. Holecek was selected by the Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation as a 2017 HALO Award winner for his work on behalf of domestic-violence survivors. He was also honored as a winner of Gibson Dunn’s Frank Wheat Memorial Award for his commitment to pro bono work.
Mr. Holecek serves on the Board of Directors of Family Violence Appellate Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free legal representation to domestic violence survivors.
Mr. Holecek earned his law degree with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School in 2011. While at Chicago, he was a member of the University of Chicago Law Review. Mr. Holecek was runner-up in the Hinton Moot Court Competition and winner of the Karl Llewellyn Cup and the Thomas R. Mulroy Award for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy. He was a Kirkland & Ellis Scholar and was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Mr. Holecek graduated magna cum laude from Rollins College in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Fine Art.
Before attending law school, he founded and served as Managing Director of ERA Real Estate, the second largest residential real estate network in the Czech Republic.
Mr. Holecek is admitted to practice in the State of California.