Michael Schafler focuses on high-risk matters, including the defense of criminal charges, government enforcement actions, and complex civil litigation. Michael has defended individuals in a wide array of white collar criminal and quasi-criminal matters, including securities and investment fraud, cyber-crimes, tax fraud, perjury, immigration and customs fraud, money laundering, counterfeiting, false statements, and identity theft. Michael has represented individuals and entities at all stages of federal criminal proceedings, including in both felony and misdemeanor trials, and has represented clients before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Michael has also represented clients in all manner of civil enforcement and administrative matters.
Before joining Cohen Williams, Michael was a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, one of the country’s most well-known trial firms, and a shareholder at Caldwell Leslie & Proctor, one of the most highly regarded litigation boutiques in Los Angeles.
Michael also served as a Trial Deputy in the Federal Defender’s Office, where he achieved acquittals at trial in cases charging bank robberies, drug trafficking, firearms offenses and criminal threats against federal agents. Michael also achieved successful results through creative pre-trial motions and strategic plea negotiations. And Michael achieved victories on appeal, including in a published opinion in a habeas corpus case.
Michael currently serves as Co-Chair of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference Lawyer Representatives for the Central District of California. Has been named a Super Lawyer each year since 2014. He has served as a member of the Criminal Justice Act panel in the Central District of California, during which time he has accepted dozens of appointments to represent indigent defendants charged with federal crimes. Michael also lectures and provides training on topics in criminal law including bail proceedings, criminal investigations and grand jury proceedings, cooperation with federal investigations and prosecutions, and federal sentencing and advocacy.
Michael served as a law clerk to Ferdinand F. Fernandez on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to William J. Rea on the United States District Court for the Central District of California.