Overview

Michael R. Watts is an accomplished litigator who focuses his practice on defending claims of wage and hour violations, wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, leaves of absence violations and assisting employers with sensitive investigations.

Mr. Watts began his legal career as a Judge Advocate in the United States Army. In the army, he served as a prosecutor for two years, where he investigated and prosecuted violent and white collar crimes, including a high-profile attempted murder case. He also taught hundreds of classes on the law of armed conflict, rules of engagement and the use of force.

After leaving the Army, Mr. Watts became a Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service assigned to the Los Angeles Field Office. He participated in numerous bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering investigations, and developed significant expertise in asset forfeiture and money laundering investigations. As a protective agent, he participated in protective operations for the president, vice president, presidential candidates, and foreign dignitaries.

Mr. Watts then returned to the army on active duty as a supervisory attorney, where he oversaw all legal operations for a large unit at the 101st Airborne Division. He is currently a Lt. Col. in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where he serves as the chief prosecutor for the second largest unit in the United States Army Reserve.

While attending law school, Mr. Watts received the Constitutional Law Award and participated in the Public Defender’s Externship and the Mediation Clinic.

Mr. Watts is an active scuba diver, and actively trains in various martial arts.

Representative Matters

  • Recently represented a government agency in a 37-year wrongful imprisonment case, negotiating a settlement for a fraction of the amount demanded where plaintiffs were seeking between $1-2 million per year of incarceration when other government agencies settled for millions, even before they were sued.
  • Obtained summary judgment in publicized case where plaintiff sought $27 million in damages for unlawful search and seizure allegations.
  • Assisted numerous military personnel with various issues, including successfully defending personnel during security clearance revocation proceedings and appearing before the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA).

Practice Areas

News & Publications

Events & Speaking Engagements

Mr. Watts is a frequent presenter for clients and industry organizations.  Sample presentations include:

  • California State Sheriff’s Association, 2017
  • Ontario Police Department
  • Orange County Sheriff’s Department

Education

J.D., University of Tennessee
B.A., with Honors, Washington University in St. Louis

Admissions

  • 2016, California
    2005, Tennessee

Languages

  • German
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