Michael J. Hickman

Partner, San Diego Office


Michael J. Hickman is a partner in the Firm's San Diego office. Mr. Hickman’s practice focuses exclusively on civil litigation and trials, primarily involving consumer, business and real estate disputes, with an emphasis in litigation involving manufacturers, retailers and dealerships, as well as common interest developments. During his career, Mr. Hickman has also handled a variety of other litigation matters, including professional liability, eminent domain, products liability, intellectual property, construction defect and contested probate cases.

Mr. Hickman was lead trial and appellate counsel in Rancho Santa Fe Assn v. Dolan-King (2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 28, a leading case regarding the regulatory authority of common interest developments in California. Other important matters in which Mr. Hickman served as lead counsel include:

  • Settlement of a complex construction defect action on behalf of the plaintiff-developer for $4.3 million, representing 86 percent of the cost of investigation and repair.
  • Obtaining summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, in a complex legal malpractice action involving multiple underlying matters.
  • Receiving a voluntary dismissal during trial in favor of a defendant in an action alleging violation of subdivision view restrictions.
  • Negotiation of a high six-figure settlement for the plaintiff in a protracted unfair business practice action between two Internet companies.
  • Procuring a seven-figure settlement for the owner of a high-rise office building resolving litigation and arbitration between the owner and master tenant.
  • Obtaining a high six-figure jury verdict in an eminent domain trial, representing nearly double the final offer of the condemning agency.

Mr. Hickman has litigated numerous cases to decision, through motion practice, jury trials, bench trials, and binding arbitration, and has successfully argued both published and unpublished decisions before the California Court of Appeal. However, an important aspect of Mr. Hickman’s litigation practice involves a focus on opportunities for reasonable settlement of disputes at all stages of the proceeding, and he has represented clients in various forms of alternative dispute resolution.


While in law school, Mr. Hickman served as an executive editor of the Nebraska Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Prior to joining the firm in 1990, Mr. Hickman was an associate with the Fraser Stryker law firm in Omaha, Nebraska, and served as a Law Clerk for the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska in Lincoln.


  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of Nebraska