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About me

 “Fighting for the Underdog”


The theme of my life has been a determination to fight for the underdog. My work is a natural extension of that theme, and fulfills me every day. I value hard work above most other things in my life. I love my work and often find myself preoccupied with how to fix a client's problem or how to fix ERISA on a larger scale. Helping clients with disabilities became a personal mission of mine after seeing my father, a disabled veteran, struggle to work and support his family while dealing with the consequences of debilitating medical conditions. I like to think I got from him my strong work ethic, compassion, and desire to serve.  I also value taking advantage of every opportunity for personal growth, and am always looking for a way to become a better person. For fun and relaxation, I enjoy the ritual of exercise in the mornings so that I can come into the office with a clear head and ready to face the challenges that may lie ahead. At the end of the day, I love to catch up with friends during my commute home, then I look forward to seeing the smiling faces of my two kids when I pick them up from school.  Spending the dinner hour and evening with my family brings out the best in me. Impromptu entertaining of my friends is a frequent occurrence in my house, and I am loving this stage in my life where everything outside of work revolves around my children and other activities that I enjoy. In addition to fighting for my clients, I volunteer with the Federal Bar Association, the Workers' Rights Clinic, and the AIDS Legal Referral Panel. I hope to show my kids by example that giving to others is the best way to lead a life of fulfillment.



Practice areas


  1. Employee Benefits: 100%
    11 years, 100 cases

Attorney endorsements

5 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Julian Mark Baum

    Michelle and her partner are among the elite in this specialized practice area. Highly skilled and knowledgeable. In the California federal ERISA bar, both Michelle and Cassie (individually and together) are well-known and highly-respected. I refer potential clients to them with complete confidence.


    Julian Baum Employee benefits Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Brent Dorian Brehm

    I have known Michelle for my entire career. She is a smart and tireless advocate for those in need. A superb lawyer.


    Brent Brehm Employee benefits Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Springer & Roberts LLP

1050 Marina Village Parkway
Suite 105
Alameda, CA, 94501


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super LawyersNorthern California Super Lawyers2016
Client Distinction AwardMartindale-Hubbell2015
Volunteer of the Year AwardALRP2015
Super LawyerNorthern California Super Lawyers2015
Rising StarNorthern California Super Lawyers2014
Rising StarNorthern California Super Lawyers2013
Rising StarNorthern California Super Lawyers2012
Distinguished CELA lawyerCalifornia Employment Lawyers Association2007
Prosser PrizeN/A2005
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerRoberts Bartolic LLP2016 - Present
PartnerSpringer & Roberts LLP2008 - Present
Association namePosition nameDuration
Federal Bar Association, Northern District of California ChapterTreasurer/Secretary2016 - Present
California Women LawyersMember2013 - Present
National Employment Lawyers AssociationMember2013 - Present
Women Lawyers of Alameda CountyMember2012 - Present
Consumer Attorneys of CaliforniaMember2012 - Present
AIDS Legal Referral Panel Board of DirectorsCo-chair2011 - Present
California Employment Lawyers AssociationMember2005 - Present
American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law SectionWelfare Plans/Benefit Claims Co-Chair2014 - 2015
Federal Bar Association, Northern District of California ChapterVice President for Oakland2014 - 2015
ABA Employee Benefit CommitteeLiaison -Section's Diversity Committee2013 - 2015
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Barnes v. AT&T Pension Benefit Plan-Nonbargained Program, 273 F.R.D. 562 (N.D. Cal. 2011)N/A
Schramm v. CNA Financial Corp. Insured Group Benefits Program,718 F. Supp. 2d 1151 (N.D. Cal. 2010)Plaintiff's motion granted
Zewdu v. Citigroup Long Term Disability Plan, 264 F.R.D. 622 (N.D. Cal. 2010)Settled
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Daily JournalERISA split resolved2016
The Brief (ABA)Anatomy of a Benefit Claim - Practical Presuit Considerations and How to Ensure a Strong Record for Litigation2015
ERISA LitigationPersonal Jurisdiction and Subject Matter Jurisdiction2015
Daily JournalERISA ruling is bad news for plaintiffs, could create split2015
Daily JournalThe importance of the ban on discretion in ERISA plans2014
Daily JournalHigh court ensures continued split on ERISA remedies2014
Daily JournalPresumption of prudence is imprudent2014
ABA TIPS Health and Disability & Life Insurance Law Committee Newsletter, Fall 2014How ERISA Can Provide Equitable Monetary Relief in Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims2014
Daily JournalJustices should recognize ERISA fiduciary's continuing duties2014
Employee Benefits Law (BNA), SupplementContributing Author2014
Daily JournalCircuit changes course on ERISA2014
Daily JournalERISA defense bar: sky is not falling2013
Daily JournalLike Stealing Candy from a Baby: ERISA Offsets2013
Daily JournalOn Your Marks, Get Set, Time's Up2013
Employee Benefits Law (BNA), Third EditionContributing Author2013
Employee Benefits Law (BNA), 2013 Supp.Chapter Editor2013
2013 WL 3458161 (U.S.) (Appellate Brief)Brief of United Policyholders, as Amicus Curiae, in Support of Petitioner in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co.2013
Daily JournalHealth Plan gets a free-ride roadmap2013
San Francisco Daily JournalERISA not likely to preempt state pregnancy leave law2012
ABA Employee Benefits Committee Newsletter“Lies” My Opposing Counsel Told Me about Amara: The Perspective of a Plaintiffs’ Attorney2012
Employee Benefits Law (BNA), SupplementContributing Author2012
Employee Benefits Law (BNA), SupplementContributing Author2010
Employee Benefits Law (BNA), SupplementContributing Author2009
Employee Benefits Law (BNA), SupplementContributing Author2008
Employee Benefits Law (BNA), SupplementContributing Author2007
Employee Benefits Law (BNA), SupplementContributing Author2006
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of California - RiversideLawJD - Juris Doctor2005
University of California - RiversideEconomics/Law&Society & Political ScienceBA - Bachelor of Arts2002
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Joint Committee on Employee Benefits ERISA Litigation National Institute conferenceA Practical Guide to Ethics in ERISA Litigation2016
2016 Midwinter Meeting of the Section of Labor & Employment Law Employee Benefits CommitteeInteraction of ERISA 502(a)(3) and 502(a)(1)(B) claims2016
Joint Committee on Employee Benefits ERISA Litigation National Institute conferenceDiscovery in ERISA Litigation—FRCP 26-34, ESI, and FOIA Requests2015
Joint Committee on Employee Benefits (JCEB)Expert’s Guide to Research2015
41st Annual TIPS MId-Winter Symposium on Insurance and Employee BenefitsEmerging Issues & Litigation Relating to Life, Health, Disability and Erisa2015
2015 Annual ConventionWide World of Post-Amara ERISA Remedies2015
FBA Webinar CLE SeriesDisability Claims Under ERISA2014
American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Employee Benefits ConferenceEthics2014
2014 Annual Convention of the National Employment Lawyers AssociationERISA On The Map: Recent Developments, Hot Topics & Strategies For Success2014
Consumer Attorneys Association of Los AngelesERISA Liens2013
American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Employee Benefits CommitteeEthics2013
Mastering Veterans’ Benefits, Social Security, & Disability LawDisability Law2012
CAOC Convention 2012*E*verything *R*eally *I*sn't *S*o *A*wful - an Overview of the Current Landscape of ERISA Preemption & Remedies.2012
American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Employee Benefits CommitteeEthics2012
Mastering Social Security & Disability Law CLEDisability Law2011
American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Employee Benefits CommitteeEthics2011
American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Employee Benefits CommitteeEthics2010
American Association for Justice, Social Security Disability Law SectionAn Introduction to LTD Benefits For the Social Security Practitioner2009