Saturday May 18th 2024

Michael A. Vacchio



Professional Background and Accomplishments 

Mr. Vacchio has significant experience beneficially representing clients in all stages of the adversary process including negotiation, litigation, mediation, arbitration, bench trials, jury trials, and appeals. His practice historically has focused on general business and commercial litigation, and trial work. Mr. Vacchio has a solid background in environmental litigation, CERCLA, RCRA, Clean Water Act, and the California equivalents, in both private party and government enforcement matters (administrative, civil, and criminal). 

Mr. Vacchio is also experienced in White Collar criminal matters such as internal company investigations and the attendant follow-up proceedings including Grand Jury investigations, as well as criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement proceedings in all types of business and commercial contexts. He has substantial experience in complex commercial litigation including contract disputes, business torts, fraud claims, real estate cases including disclosure frauds, trade secret disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, construction defect matters and product liability claims. 

Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Vacchio has represented clients in a variety of industries, including a publicly traded aerospace company and a geothermal energy producer in federal and state investigations and prosecutions for the alleged illegal storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous wastes (rocket fuel and geothermal filters). He represented a Fortune 500 paper recycling company in a grand jury investigation and avoided indictment in a Clean Water Act case that involved the illegal dumping of more than 2,500 tons of waste in protected wetlands. Mr. Vacchio also represented a secondary smelter metals recycling facility in a criminal prosecution charging multiple counts of workplace exposure violations. He has represented various commercial transportation entities in criminal oil spill prosecutions and similar Hazmat matters, as well as defending statutory violations such as excess weight per axle, improperly secured loads, improper placarding, improper loading of incompatible materials, weights and measures violations, failures to comply with the DMV and CHP Pull Notice Program, and hours of service violations. 

Publications and Speaking Engagements 

  • Rules for Cannabis Growers Should Benefit the Environment” Marijuana Venture Magazine, November 2018
  • Invasion of the Computer Snatchers” Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, March 1997, Vol. 20 No.1 (Featured Cover Article, republished with permission in The Federal Lawyer, June 1997,  Vol. 44 No.5)
  • CHALLENGES FACED BY ENVIRONMENTAL AUDITORS: Confronting the Incentives and Disincentives of “Voluntary” Disclosures Under the New U.S. EPA and Cal/EPA” 
  • Environmental Auditing and Self-Policing Policies - - Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t (Maybe!) . . . . , Speaker, 18th Annual Enforcement Symposium sponsored by Cal/EPA and the California Air Resources Board, 1996 
Other Professionals

Areas Of Practice

  • Business Litigation
    • Complex Contract Disputes
    • Real Property Disputes
  • Tort Litigation 
    • Intellectual Property
    • Product Liability
    • Personal Injury
  • Environmental Litigation and Compliance
    • Clean Water Act and Stormwater
    • Soil and Ground Contamination
    • Regulatory Compliance
  • Transportation and Logistics
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Casualty Claims 
  • Construction Litigation

Awards and Distinctions

  • Highest Martindale-Hubbell “AV” Peer Review Rating for preeminent legal abilities and professional ethical standards (since 1998)

Reported Opinions

  • Ajida Technologies, Inc. v. Roos Instruments, Inc., 87 Cal. App. 4th 534 (2001)
  • PSC Geothermal Services Co. v. Superior Court, 25 Cal. App. 4th 1697(1994) (Co-wrote all briefs, name not included for internal reasons)


  • Whittier College, BA, with honors, Social Sciences, 1980
  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, JD Cum Laude, 1983
    • Thurston Society, Order of the Coif

Admissions and Memberships

  • The State Bar of California, 1983 
  • All United States District Courts in California
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • California Lawyers Association
    • Litigation and Environmental Sections
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • Litigation and Environmental Sections
  • Italian American Lawyers Association 
  • National Italian American Bar Association 
  • Whittier Area Chamber of Commerce 
Other Professionals
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