Civil Litigation Profiles

Profile in Practice: Michael C. Denison

As part of CEB’s commitment to bringing together California’s legal community, our blog will post a short interview with one of your fellow attorneys.

This week, we profile attorney and one of the authors of CEB’s new Summary Judgment book, Michael C. Denison:

CEB: What is your practice area and how did you choose it?

Mike: I am a civil litigation trial lawyer, with an emphasis on business litigation and defending professional liability and civil RICO cases. Over the past thirty-five years, I have represented clients in almost every type of civil litigation. I began defending lawyers many years ago and enjoy having lawyers as clients because they understand the legal process, including the costs and risks associated with it. In more recent years, I have defended civil RICO cases, which always have unique and challenging issues.

CEB: What do you like best and least about practicing law?

Mike: My favorite parts of practicing law are being in trial and working with clients to solve their legal problems. My least favorite parts are keeping timesheets and collecting bills.
CEB: Why do you choose to write for CEB?
Mike: I enjoy writing about interesting legal issues and working with CEB has always been a pleasurable and rewarding experience. I think CEB provides a valuable service to the legal community and working with CEB gives me an opportunity to give something back to my profession.
CEB: What CEB book or program have you found most helpful in your practice and why?
Mike: Generally, California Civil Discovery Practice because discovery issues arise in most civil cases. Specifically, Wrongful Employment Termination Practice because it provides excellent guidance on wrongful termination cases.
CEB: What is the best legal tip you ever received?
Mike: In civil litigation and/or at trial, never compromise your client’s or your integrity. Most issues are negotiable; integrity is not.
CEB: How do you think the practice of law will change in the next 15 years?
Mike: In the next 15 years, I think the practice of law is going to become virtually paperless. The trend in e-filing and of scanning pleadings and evidence into law firms’ computer systems is growing and I anticipate that the time will come when lawyers will only keep in their offices hard copies of original documents that they must retain.
CEB: What is the most interesting book you have read (lately)?
Mike: Vicksburg, 47 Days of Siege by A. A. Hoehling; a history of the siege of Vicksburg during the Civil War based on letters from participants and military reports.
CEB: What is your contact information?
Mike: Towle Denison Smith & Maniscalco LLP, 10866 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 600, Los Angeles, CA 90024; (310) 446-5445;
CEB: Thank you, Mike! We are all excited about the new Summary Judgments book, available at a prepublication discount price until June 30, 2010.
Check out Mike’s guest blog post on a controversial issue relating to the defendant’s burden on a summary judgment motion next week!

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