Michael Ermer is the Managing Partner of the Newport Beach office of Irell & Manella LLP. Mr. Ermer specializes in complex business cases, including intellectual property litigation, trade secret litigation, insurance coverage litigation, securities litigation, real estate and construction litigation. He has a vast range of experience in business litigation, having litigated cases involving patent infringement claims, intellectual property license agreements, theft of trade secret claims, trademark infringement and copyright claims, securities claims, antitrust investigations, business torts, contract disputes, class action disputes, wrongful termination and other employment claims, administrative law claims, insurance coverage claims, environmental claims, construction defect and delay claims, real estate disputes and white collar criminal claims. Mr. Ermer has also assisted in the mediation of several types of cases, including patent infringement cases.

Mr. Ermer is consistently recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer and was named one of the Top 50 Orange County Super Lawyers in 2012 and 2013. 

In addition to his practice, Mr. Ermer maintains an active pro bono practice and currently serves as Chair of the firm's Pro Bono Committee. Under his leadership, the firm revamped its pro bono program, resulting in a dramatic increase in pro bono hours and attorney participation and numerous awards including the 2013 California State Bar President's Pro Bono Award, the 2013 Century City Bar Association Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year Award and the 2013 Public Law Center Law Firm of the Year Award, among others. He currently serves as the president of the Board of Directors for the Public Law Center, Orange County's primary pro bono legal provider, and was recently appointed to the California State Bar's Justice Gap Task Force. Mr. Ermer is also a member of the Orange County Bar Association Diversity Task Force.

Maintaining family and business ties to the Midwest, Mr. Ermer is a co-owner of a nationally known blues and jazz club in St. Louis.

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Representative Matters

  • Successfully represented a foreign company as plaintiff in a securities fraud case in Florida involving violations of Florida’s blue-sky securities fraud statute, obtaining summary judgment and a resulting damages award of over $35 million.
  • Successfully represented Acano Limited, a privately held company based in London, that provides collaboration software and hardware in its $700 million acquisition by Cisco, including obtaining Department of Justice antitrust division approval for the transaction.
  • Successfully represented several high technology companies in the biotechnology, semiconductor and hard-drive industries in intellectual property disputes. 
  • Successfully represented multi-national investment company in $50-million dispute over investment in energy technology.
  • Successfully represented a policyholder in trial and through appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, resulting in over $30 million in coverage for a claim involving the largest PCB contaminated site in the United States. 
  • Multiple successes in obtaining preliminary and permanent injunctions in trade secret cases and has coordinated criminal prosecution of defendants.
  • Obtained summary judgment in various cases, including several wrongful termination disputes with summary judgment upheld on appeal. 
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction against the California Department of Corporations concerning invalid regulation of escrow agents. 
  • Won dismissals of federal court litigation and antitrust investigations in cases involving satellite television decryption technology. 
  • Successfully represented a professional football franchise, major real estate developers, airlines, and a number of other businesses and individuals in a wide range of disputes.
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Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • "Implementing A Trade Secrets Protection Program," (June 2011)
  • "E-Discovery," Moderator, Continuing Education of the Bar (2006)
  • "Expert Witnesses: Procedures, Discovery and Trial Issues in California," Panelist, Lorman Educational Services (2005)
  • "Trade Secrets," American Bar Association's 20th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference (2005)
  • American Bar Association Spring 2000 Title Insurance Claims and Litigation Seminar, Speaker (March 2000)
  • "The Discovery and Admissibility of Electronic Evidence," Continuing Education of the Bar (1999)
  • "Preparing for, Taking and Using Depositions" Continuing Education of the Bar (several in 1997 and 1998) 
  • "Protecting Trade Secrets Before and During Litigation," Continuing Education of the Bar (1997)
  • "The Do's and Don'ts of Experts and Demonstrative Evidence," Presenter, Third Annual California Environmental Trial Academy (1996)
  • "The Trial of an Environmental Insurance Case," Presenter, Chicago Bar Association (1995)
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Professional Activities

  • Member, Orange County Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Member, American Intellectual Property Law Association
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Bar & Court Admissions

  • 1983, California
  • 1984, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • 1985, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • 1993, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • 1993, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • 1995, U.S. Supreme Court
  • 2002, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • 2006, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit