Michael Rubino has more than 28 years of experience in a wide variety of business litigation issues, with a specialty in real estate law. He has considerable expertise and experience in jury trials, arbitrations, mediations, and all aspects of discovery.

Mr. Rubino has litigated numerous real estate and complex commercial cases in areas that include leases, landlord-tenant issues, easements, property ownership rights, joint ventures, unfair business practices, breach of contract, business torts, and a variety of other disputes. He has successfully handled numerous commercial unlawful detainer trials. He has also negotiated numerous commercial leases, large and small, on behalf of both landlords and tenants. If necessary, he can take any case in those areas to trial.

Mr. Rubino has also defended several landowners and tenants against alleged Americans with Disabilities Act violations. He regularly works with landowners and tenants to help bring them to compliance with all the applicable laws regarding accessibility to public accommodations.

Representative Matters

Commercial Leasing and Retail

Mr. Rubino advises both landlords and tenants about commercial, industrial, and retail leasing. His expertise includes drafting the language for a lease or purchase and subsequent negotiations with other parties when necessary. His representative matters in commercial leasing include:

  • Negotiated and drafted several office building leases for a large non-profit medical corporation.
  • Negotiated and drafted several leases for public entities.

Commercial Unlawful Detainers

Mr. Rubino has successfully tried more than 50 commercial unlawful detainer trials. Some representative matters in the commercial unlawful detainer field include:

  • Won a two-week commercial unlawful detainer jury trial during which the defendant claimed racial discrimination.
  • After filing a major commercial unlawful detainer to evict an anchor tenant in a shopping center, received a settlement worth more than $3 million, paid out over a 10-year period.
  • Represented several mobile home parks in unlawful detainer actions and successfully tried dozens of cases under California’s Mobile Home Residency Law.

Property Ownership and Joint Ventures

Mr. Rubino has successfully tried several cases related to property owners and joint ventures concerning real property. Representative matters in this area include:

  • Won a five-week jury trial concerning ownership and control of 800 acres of prime forest that included hundreds of rental cabins surrounding an 88-acre lake.
  • Successfully defended a homeowner from adjoining property owner’s claims of land ownership, using recorded instruments and an agreed-upon boundary.

General Counsel

Mr. Rubino also has considerable general counsel experience, including:

  • General Counsel for a major agricultural firm in California.  He was responsible for all its day-to-day legal needs, including leases, human resources and employment issues; lawsuits in both state and federal court; and insurance claims.
  • General Counsel for a property management company, responsible for overseeing its operations and filing its commercial and residential unlawful detainer actions.

Business Litigation/Corporate Officers and Directors

Mr. Rubino has successfully tried several cases relating to officers and directors of corporations, commercial collection matters and breach of promissory notes, and has successfully defended several cases involving alleged fraud and breach of fiduciary duty against corporate officers and directors. Representative matters in the business litigation area include:

  • Successfully defended a major framing company and its corporate officers and director from claims of worker’s compensation and insurance fraud at a four-week jury trial.
  • Successfully defended corporate officers and directors from claims of negligent and intentional misrepresentation for acts taken in the course and scope of their duties.

Practice Areas

Practice Areas

News & Publications

Community Involvement

Community & Professional

For many years, he was a presiding arbitrator for the Orange County Mandatory Fee Arbitration Committee. He is also active in the Irvine Chamber of Commerce and the Orange County Bar Association, Real Estate, and Business Litigation Sections.


J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles


  • 1987, California
    U.S. District Courts, Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California
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