Michael Harbour’s practice focuses on complex business litigation, including class action defense, securities litigation, media and entertainment litigation, and intellectual property disputes. Michael also represents clients in post-trial proceedings and appeals in state and federal courts.

Prior to joining Irell, Michael clerked for the Honorable Mary M. Schroeder for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University.


  • Gerawan Farming, Inc. v. Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), 23 Cal.App.5th 1129 (2018). Secured a Fifth District Court of Appeal win on behalf of Gerawan Farming against the California Agricultural Relations Board in a 138-page published decision that dealt with many issues of first impression regarding unfair labor practices and decertification elections under California law.
  • Fowler Packing Company, Inc. v. Lanier, 844 F.3d 809 (2016). Secured reversal on appeal for plaintiffs in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a California law excluding two agricultural employers from raising an affirmative defense to wage and hour claims violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Daily Journal recognized this case as one of the “Top Appellate Reversals” of 2016.
  • Secured class decertification in a federal class action against a homeopathic and dietary supplement company alleging false marketing of a dietary supplement. The claims included unfair competition, false advertising and violations of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
  • Representing film studios in class action alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
  • Defense counsel for a technology company in various class actions alleging false advertising and securities fraud.
  • Representing a leading developer of semiconductor packaging technology in a patent licensing dispute.
  • Obtained asylum for transgender woman who had fled persecution in Guatemala.


  • "The exact nature of California's standing doctrine," Daily Journal (December 31, 2018)


Harvard Law School (J.D., 2013), cum laude

Vanderbilt University (Ph.D., 2010)

Emory University (B.A., 2004), with Highest Honors; Phi Beta Kappa


  • California, 2014
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central and Northern Districts of California, and the District of Colorado


  • Hon. Mary M. Schroeder, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit , 2013-2014
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