Michael G. Balmages, Esq. is an accomplished mediator and discovery referee with extensive experience as a trial lawyer, general counsel, and transactional lawyer. As a mediator and as a neutral, he has had great success in helping litigants resolve their disputes in more than 1,000 cases. His friendly nature and ability to find common ground both contribute to his easy rapport with litigants and their attorneys, while his determination to get cases settled is evident at each hearing. He is committed to exploring every option available to the parties to develop creative solutions to dispute resolution.
Mr. Balmages’ mediation experience is supplemented by his broad experience as a civil litigator, corporate general counsel, and transactional attorney. He has tried over 75 cases, taken more than 1,000 depositions, and negotiated and drafted more than 1,000 contracts. He has extensive experience with business entities, including the formation, dissolution, and merger of such entities, and the negotiation and drafting of numerous contracts and deal documents. Mr. Balmages has been rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell for over 30 years.
PRIVATE PRACTICE TRIAL AND LITIGATION EXPERIENCE
MEDIATION AND DISCOVERY REFEREE EXPERIENCE
As a private mediator, Mr. Balmages has settled over 400 cases, specializing in business, employment, and real estate disputes. He has also conducted over 200 mediations for Superior Court and Federal Court ADR programs. He was Chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s ADR Section for 2016 and served as Vice-Chair for 2015. He has also been appointed as discovery referee in more than a dozen Superior Court cases.
As a neutral Mr. Balmages has settled:
Hundreds of business litigation cases, including breach of contract, unfair competition, business dissolution, trade secrets.
Dozens of employment cases, including FEHA, wage and hour (classification, minimum wage, overtime, meal and rest periods), harassment, discrimination, disability.
Numerous cases involving claims against municipalities and other governmental agencies.
Many IP cases involving trademarks and copyrights.
Dozens of Americans with Disability Act cases.
Dozens of slip and fall cases.
Dozens of auto v. auto/pedestrian cases.
Numerous medical/dental/professional negligence
Numerous eviction cases.
Numerous foreclosure cases.
GENERAL COUNSEL EXPERIENCE
EDUCATION, BAR ADMISSIONS, AND PROFESSIONAL LICENSES
Mr. Balmages is admitted to practice in California and before the United States Supreme Court; the Ninth Circuit; and the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California.
Mr. Balmages is a licensed California Real Estate Broker.
Mr. Balmages is a frequent speaker and lecturer for California Continuing Education of the Bar, the Orange County Bar Association, and various other professional groups. He remains available to give MCLE-qualified presentations to professional groups through ADR Services, Inc., a State Bar certified MCLE provider.
Mr. Balmages and his wife, Mary, have three children and eight grandchildren. Mr. Balmages has lived in Orange County since 1958. He is the lead astronomer for the Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo.
Tel: (949) 863-9800
Michael G. Balmages, Esq.
Mediator • Arbitrator • Discovery Referee