Michael Traynor Profile

Michael Traynor

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Areas of Speciality

  1. Appellate Litigation
  2. The First Amendment
  3. Restitution and Remedies
  4. The Conflict of Laws


  1. University of California, B.A. (Economics), 1955
  2. Harvard Law School, J.D., 1960

Memberships & Affiliations

  1. President Emeritus of the American Law Institute
  2. Past President of the Bar Association of San Francisco


  1. Honorary LL.D., University of South Carolina
  2. Distinguished Service Award, American Law Institute
  3. Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences
  4. Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  5. Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  6. John P. Frank Award, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


Michael Traynor, senior counsel, consults about strategic directions and opportunities for clients and Cobalt. Although semi-retired, he participates occasionally in counseling and briefs on various issues including restitution and remedies, the conflict of laws, and the First Amendment. He also contributes to professional publications.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit honored him with its John P. Frank Award, which recognizes a lawyer who has “demonstrated outstanding character and integrity; dedication to the rule of law; proficiency as a trial and appellate lawyer; success in promoting collegiality among members of the bench and bar; and a lifetime of service to the federal courts of the Ninth Circuit.”

Michael currently serves on the boards of the Developmental Studies Center; the Berkeley Community Fund; and Heyday as well as on various advisory groups including the Earthjustice Council, the National Wildlife Federation’s President’s Advisory Council, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Advisory Board. He also contributes to professional publications (his list of publications and selected speeches is linked here).

Michael is an honorary life trustee of Earthjustice and currently serves on its Council as well as on the Environmental Law Institute’s Leadership Council and the advisory boards of Sustainable Conservation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Our People

Tsan Abrahamson | Marc Roth | Travis Manfredi |Michael Traynor | Angelique Tremble | Jessica Tam | Greg Soltys | Norma Black | Noemi Zieman

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