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Michelle Q. Carter













Practice Areas: Labor Law; Employment Law; Business Litigation; Contract Negotiation; Nonprofit Organizations Law; Tax Exempt Organizations


Admitted: 1996, California; U.S. District Court, Northern District of California; U.S. District Court, Central District of California; and U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit


Law School: Hastings College of the Law, University of California, J.D., 1996

College: University of California at Los Angeles, B.A., Anthropology, 1991


Member: San Francisco Bar Association; American Bar Association (member, Advisory Panel, Committee on Nonprofit Organizations); State Bar of California (member, Labor and Employment Law Section, Business Law Section).


Biography: Phi Delta Phi; Extern to the Hon. Robert L. Dossee, California Court of Appeal, 1st Appellate District; Teaching Assistant, Torts, Hastings College of the Law, 1994-1995; Speaker, Liability Issues for Non-Profit Organizations, 2001; Contributor, ABA Equal Pay Act Report, 2005-2009


Languages: English, French


Professional: With 20 years of experience, Michelle has extensive expertise in all of the varied aspects of employment law. She has helped numerous clients navigate the various and potentially costly minefields of the employment arena, including categorization of workers as independent contractor vs. employee and classification of employees as exempt vs. non-exempt, where a mistake can lead to damaging, time-consuming and widespread repercussions. She handles cases from start to finish, including drafting pleadings, conducting discovery, engaging in settlement negotiations, and preparing for and conducting trials, arbitrations, and administrative proceedings. Michelle is also experienced in all aspects of civil appeals. She particularly enjoys performing legal research and looking for novel ideas and approaches to the problems that arise for her clients. In addition to handling numerous labor and employment law disputes for both plaintiffs and defendants, Michelle is knowledgeable in advising clients on labor and employment law policies and practices, such as review and drafting of employment agreements, as well as preparation and review of employee handbooks. Michelle has familiarity with all aspects of family and medical leave requirements, as well as accommodation of employee disabilities. She has provided sexual harassment training to employees and management, and has the skills to conduct comprehensive internal investigations of employment-related complaints.


In addition to her work on labor and employment law matters, Michelle also acts as in-house counsel for Telecom Asset Management LLC, a telecommunications consulting firm, providing advice on all aspects of the business, including contract drafting and review. Finally, Michelle has experience advising individuals on setting up non-profit and tax-exempt entities, as well as providing existing entities with legal advice. She has worked as local co-counsel with other attorneys and law firms, both in-state and out-of-state, and appreciates the professional interaction and collaborative aspects of this work.


Michelle always strives to provide the best representation possible, and focuses on not only the legal aspects of the matters she handles, but also on the practical and real-world aspects and possible repercussions. She has helped many satisfied clients over the years, including obtaining verdicts in excess of $1,000,000 for plaintiffs, as well as defense verdicts for employers. Some of her recent projects include judging in the finals of the National Law School Mediation Competition, reviewing an employment contract for the potential Chief Marketing Officer of a large multi-national company, obtaining a wrongful termination verdict for the plaintiff in a trial in Fresno, aiding in the collection of a large judgment obtained for a client, handling labor commissioner proceedings regarding unpaid wages, drafting non-disclosure and agency agreements, updating an employee handbook for a Unionized restaurant employer, and successfully negotiating settlements of various employment and commercial disputes. References will be provided upon request.


Personal: Michelle was born and raised in San Francisco. She attended the Thacher School in Ojai, California, and then attended U.C.L.A., before returning to San Francisco for law school. She currently lives in the Noe Valley/Glen Park area of the City. In her free time, Michelle enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, including skiing, camping, fly fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. She has a Hanoverian-Thoroughbred mare named Phinale who lives in the wine country, and whom she enjoys visiting whenever she can find the time (which is not as often as she would like). Like the rest of her family, Michelle enjoys travel, and has visited numerous places throughout the world. She enjoys good food and wine, as well as music and art, and always enjoys a good book. Michelle's undergraduate degree is in anthropology and archaeology, and she still takes an active interest in developments in both of those fields.