Michael A. Farbstein

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney in San Mateo, CA

Farbstein & Blackman
 | 411 Borel Avenue, Suite 425
San Mateo, CA 94402
Phone: 650-554-6200
Fax: 650-554-6240
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1982
Practice Areas:
  • Business Litigation (20%),
  • Employment & Labor: Employee (70%),
  • General Litigation (10%)
Attorney Profile

Michael A. Farbstein is one of the principal attorneys at Farbstein & Blackman. A highly regarded civil trial attorney and working out of the firm's office in San Mateo, California, he represents individual and business clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in cases involving labor and employment law, business disputes, professional liability defense, and plaintiff's personal injury litigation. Admitted to practice in California, Mr. Farbstein is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, and Central Districts of California and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Mr. Farbstein represents employers exclusively in a wide variety of matters. These have included allegations of discrimination under state and federal laws, wage and hour claims, wrongful termination and other acts of retaliation, and Family and Medical Leave Act matters. Mr. Farbstein also provides advice and counsel to these clients with regard to social media policies, risk management, the preparation of manuals and handbooks, and severance negotiations. His professional liability caseload has included defending claims of malpractice against lawyers, accountants, and real estate and insurance executives.

Mr. Farbstein's other litigation experience includes business torts, breach of contract, and claims brought by clients who have suffered economic and noneconomic losses due to the negligence or recklessness of other parties. His successful track record in all of these endeavors have earned him the high regard of his fellow attorneys, including an AV Preeminent* peer review rating through Martindale-Hubbell and a "Superb" peer review rating through Avvo. Mr. Farbstein has also been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America. A 1978 recipient of a Bachelor of Arts from Santa Clara University, Mr. Farbstein obtained his legal education at the Santa Clara University School of Law and was awarded his Juris Doctor in 1982.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Business Litigation (20%): Trade Secret, Non-Compete Agreements

Employment & Labor (70%): Employment Law - Employee, Wage & Hour Laws, Whistleblower, Sexual Harassment, Labor Law

General Litigation (10%): Litigation

Focus Areas

Trade Secret, Non-Compete Agreements, Employment Law - Employee, Wage & Hour Laws, Whistleblower, Sexual Harassment, Labor Law, Litigation


Selected to Super Lawyers for 12 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2019

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About Michael Farbstein

Admitted: 1982, California

Professional Webpage: http://farbstein.com/bio-maf/


  • Best Lawyers in America, 2015
  • Avvo 10.0 (superb)
  • Northern California SuperLawyer, 2008-2015 
  •  AV (very high to preeminent), Martindale Hubbell Peer Rating, 1991
  • AV rating, Martindale Hubbell, 1992

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Member, Bench-Bar Committee, San Mateo County Bar Association, 2008
  • Chairperson. Labor & Employment Section, San Mateo County Bar, 2005
  • Lecturer, Employment Law, Menlo College Professional Studies Program

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Central Peninsula Church
  • Former Chairperson, YoungLife Mid-Peninsula RegionPresident, Former President, San Mateo High School Drama Boosters
  • San Mateo County Bar, Labor & Employment Section Chairperson 2000-2005 San Mateo County Bar, member, Bench/Bar Committee 2008

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Adjunct Professor, Employment Law, in the professional studies program at Menlo College


  • Recent verdicts and decisions of note: Executive Director v. Non Profit (defeated $1.5M employment claim in arbitration by former executive director against a major nonprofit corporation); Fellini v Prometheus, et al (obtained a $3,84M verdict vs. State of California, plus $3.75M settlement against other defendants in wrongful death action); Wagner v Houdini's Magic Shop (defeated class certification in wage/hour case, affirmed on appeal); Rosen v Anagnostou (defeated fraudulent transfer claim at trial), Bloom v. Claimetrics Management LLC (defense of executive employment contract claim, verdict under plaintiff’s last settlement demand); Solorio v City of San Jose, (obtained verdict for plaintiff in civil rights action over wrongful incarceration); Doe v Roe Accountancy Corp. (obtained $2.5M settlement in tax malpractice case); Cappa v CrossTest, et al (rep. defense/cross complainant, employment/trade secrets, defense verdict/recovery on cross complaint for injunctive relief); American Mortgage Network v Loancity, et al (rep. defense/cross complainant, 6wk jury trial regarding alleged unlawful recruiting, plaintiff verdict reversed on appeal, end result: $0 for plaintiff, $100,000 recovered on cross complaint); Martinez v Terix (rep. plaintiff, wage and hour claim, full recovery after trial, including penalties and attorneys fees).  Other settlements of note:  Plaintiff: $850,000 (tax professional negligence); $510,000 (sexual harassment), $1,000,020 (personal injury), $500,000 (business litigation over software fees), $750,000 (wrongful death); Defense: many settlements in employment, personal injury and professional liability claims.

Educational Background:

  • University of Santa Clara, JD
  • University of Santa Clara, B.A.  General Humanities

Industry Groups

  • Employment And Litigation Sections Of The California State Bar
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Office Location for Michael A. Farbstein

411 Borel Avenue
Suite 425
San Mateo, CA 94402

Phone: 650-554-6200

Fax: 650-554-6240

Michael A. Farbstein:

Last Updated: 5/16/2019

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