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Of Counsel

Michael D. Early joined Kelly, Hockel & Klein in April 2007. He was formerly a shareholder in the Litigation Group at Steefel, Levitt & Weiss. While at Steefel, he chaired the Litigation Group from 1999-2001, was a member of the firm's Management Committee from 2001-2003.


Mr. Early received his B.A. from Stanford University in 1980 and his J.D. (cum laude, Order of the Coif) from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1983. While at Hastings, he was a Writer and Articles Editor for the Hastings Law Journal.


Mr. Early is a member of the State Bar of California and is admitted to practice law in the United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Southern and Central Districts of California, as well as the Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals.


Mr. Early's practice encompasses a variety of subject matter areas, including lender liability/banking, securities, employment, real estate and construction litigation. In addition to first chair jury trial experience, Mr. Early has extensive arbitration experience in securities, employment and construction cases. He has also represented clients pro hac vice in antitrust, business tort, contract and lender liability litigation in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

Litigation Achievements & Successes

  • Employment/Securities
    Credit Suisse v. Grunwald, 400 F.3d 1119 (9th Cir. 2005) 1934 Exchange Act preempts California's ethics standards for arbitrators (briefed and argued in district court and on appeal)
  • Real Estate/Land Use
    Citizens to Enforce CEQA v. Rohnert Park, 131 Cal.App.4th 1594 (2005) City's Memorandum of Understanding with Indian Tribe not a "project" under CEQA (briefed and argued in superior court; briefed on appeal)
  • Employment
    O'Connor v. The Clorox Company, English Circuit Docket No. 00-3856 (July 26, 2001) Upholding rejection of self-publication doctrine under Arkansas law (briefed and argued in district court and on appeal)
  • Lender Liability/Real Estate
    Acequia, Inc. v. Prudential Insurance Company, 226 F.3d 798 (7th Cir. 2000) Lender's application of land sales to debt not in violation of Bankruptcy Plan or prior settlement agreement (briefed and argued in district court; briefed on appeal).

Affiliations and Memberships

  • California State Bar
  • San Francisco Bar Association