Michael W. Bien

Michael W. Bien

Attorney Profile

Top Rated General Litigation Attorney in San Francisco, CA

Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP
 | 50 Fremont Street, 19th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415-433-6830
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2006, 2008 - 2017
Licensed Since: 1981
Practice Areas:
  • General Litigation (20%),
  • Antitrust Litigation (20%),
  • Intellectual Property (20%),
  • Appellate (20%),
  • Civil Rights (10%),
  • Constitutional Law (10%)
Attorney Profile

Michael W. Bien of Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP concentrates his practice on constitutional and civil rights law, complex commercial litigation in trial and appellate courts, antitrust, intellectual property and attorneys' fees disputes. He was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2013-2015 for Commercial Litigation.  The Daily Journal selected Mr. Bien for its Top 100 list of California's Leading Attorneys for 2010, 2013 and 2015.  Mr. Bien has been recognized as a leading expert in complex institutional reform litigation. Mr. Bien was honored with a 2010 CLAY award (California Lawyer Attorney of the Year) by the California Lawyer magazine and by the San Francisco Recorder Newspaper as Attorney of the Year for his work as co-lead counsel of the legal team that prevailed at trial in the California prison overcrowding litigation.  The decision was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court in May, 2011, in the landmark decision, Brown v. Plata. He has previously received awards for outstanding advocacy from the California Coalition for Mental Health in 2003 and the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice in 1994. Mr. Bien previously was a partner in the San Francisco office of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, where he worked from 1980 through 1990. Mr. Bien received his J.D., cum laude, from Northwestern University in 1980 and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Brandeis University in 1977.

About Michael Bien

Admitted: 1981, California

Professional Webpage: http://rbgg.com/attorneys/partners/michael-w-bien/

Honors and Awards:

  • The Brandeis Justice League and the Louis D. Brandeis Legacy Fund for Social Justice of Brandeis University presented Michael Bien and his co-counsel, Jane Kahn, with the Brandeis University Alumni Activist Award on October 17, 2011 for their work on behalf of prisoners with mental illness.  Mr. Bien and Ms. Kahn also presented the Joshua A. Guberman Lecture., Alumni Activist Award, Brandeis University, 2011
  • The American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, ATLA) presented the Leonard E. Weinglass in Defense of Civil Liberties Award at its Convention in New York City on July 11, 2011 to Mr. Bien, and his co-counsel, Donald Specter, for their work on the California Prison Overcrowding Case, Brown v. Plata.  "For more than two decades, Mike Bien and Don Specter have been tireless advocates for those victimized by life-threatening civil rights violations, thus defending the rights of all Americans," said AAJ President C. Gibson Vance., Leonard E. Weinglass in Defense of Civil Liberties Award, Amereican Association for Justice, 2011
  • Northwestern University School of Law and the Student Funded Public Interest Fellowship Program selected Mr. Bien as one of three attorneys "for their outstanding contributions to public sevice and the legal community.", Public Service Award, Northwestern University School of Law, 2010

Verdicts and Settlements:

  • On Monday morning, May 23, 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a historic 5-4 opinion in Brown v. Plata, affirming in its entirety the January 2010 decision of a special three-judge court.  The three-judge court ruled that California’s state prison system must bring its extreme overcrowding under control in order to allow medical and mental health staff the ability to provide minimally humane care to prisoners. Opinion and analysis RBG, led by Michael Bien, represents the class of all California state prisoners with severe mental illness in the Coleman v. Brown litigation, which was combined with another civil rights case, Plata v. Brown, for trial of the overcrowding issues.  RBG, with Paul Clement of Bancroft LLC, and Ashley Parrish of King & Spalding, briefed the case at the Supreme Court on behalf of the Coleman class.  The Prison Law Office briefed the case for the Plata class. Public safety issues have been at the forefront of the litigation both during the 2008-2009 trial and at the Supreme Court.  Law enforcement officials from many states joined with the prisoner plaintiffs in urging the Supreme Court to affirm the three-judge panel’s findings that extreme prison overcrowding itself threatens public safety, and prevents California from adopting proven alternatives to prison overcrowding that have been shown to improve public safety. The Supreme Court’s opinion in Brown v. Plata received front page media coverage and wide editorial page support in major publications around the nation.  In 2013, California filed a new appeal with the Supreme Court and sought a stay of the three-judge court's order requiring additional population reductions.  Plaintiffs' counsel successfully defended the three-judge court's orders, when the Supreme Court first denied the stay and then dismissed the State's appeal for lack of jurisdiction. , 2011
Office Location for Michael W. Bien

50 Fremont Street
19th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105


Michael W. Bien:

Last Updated: 11/3/2016

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