Michael Schinner

Michael SchinnerCorporate Law, Tax,
Real Property, Estate Planning


Michael has been practicing law in San Francisco for over 25 years.  After having spent the first decade of his legal career working at prominent mid-sized firms, in 1999 he followed the path of many of his start-up clients and launched his own firm representing emerging growth companies. The Firm was founded on the tenet that lawyers should provide practical, efficient, cost-effective and timely legal service.  Today, the Firm has grown to a full-service law firm with offices in San Francisco and Malibu, California.

Michael draws upon his 25 years of legal experience to assist clients in all facets of business, real estate, estate planning and tax, including entity formation, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and contract review and negotiation.  He is recognized as an authority in the area of LLCs, particularly with respect to:

  • Real estate syndicates;
  • Venture capital and investment funds;
  • Delaware Series LLCs; and
  • Family LLCs in connection with estate and asset protection planning.

Michael guides clients in all aspects of estate planning, including living trusts, irrevocable trusts, charitable trusts, and charitable giving.

Michael has successfully represented taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service, California Franchise Tax Board, State Board of Equalization, and Employment Development Department.  He has litigated matters in the U.S. Tax Court and other federal and state administrative agencies and courts.

Michael received his Juris Doctorate from University of Cincinnati in 1989, where he was a member of the Cincinnati Law Review and winner of the 1989 National Association of College and University Attorneys Annual Writing Competition.  Michael received his LL.M in Taxation from Golden Gate University School of Law in 1993, where he was a Merit Scholar.  He received his B.A. in Business in 1986 from the College of Mount St. Joseph, where he graduated sum cum laude and received the coveted Outstanding Graduate in Business designation.

Michael is certified as a Specialist in Taxation Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization (State Bar of California) (2002 – Present).

CA board of specializaiton

Adjunct Professor

Michael is a senior adjunct professor at Golden Gate University in the Masters of Law/Masters of Science (Taxation) program, where he has taught courses on S corporations and limited liability companies for more than 20 years.  He also developed and taught a course exploring legal issues in e-commerce for Golden Gate University’s MBA program.  As an instructor, Michael stays abreast of developments in the law, and uses this knowledge to help his clients implement cutting edge legal and tax strategies.

Publications & Presentations

Michael has published numerous business and tax related articles in leading law treatises and journals such as Advising California Limited Liability Companies (CEB), California Business Law Practitioner (CEB), Journal of Taxation, Journal of S Corporation Taxation, American Journal of Tax Policy, California Tax Lawyer, Commercial Law Journal, and Trademark World.

See List of Publications

Michael is a frequent lecturer on the topic of limited liability companies (LLCs) for the State Bar of California, Bar Association of San Francisco, and various tax groups throughout the State of California.

See List of Presentations

Professional Awards

Michael has been named a Super Lawyer® of Northern California nearly every year since 2004.  Only the top 5% of the lawyers in the State of California receive this prestigious designation.  He is also rated A/V Preeminent® by Martindale Hubbell, signifying that his peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence, with very high ethical standards.

Military Service

In 2003, after 21 years of military service, Michael retired honorably as a Major in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the U.S. Army Reserves. Among other responsibilities, he prepared hundreds of Wills and Powers of Attorney for deployed soldiers and their families.  He earned numerous medals and awards, including the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Platoon Leadership Development Award, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Army Chief of Staff’s award for Excellence in Legal Service.

Community Service

Nicasio Volunteer Fire Department (2015-present)

Nicasio Design Review Board (2015-present)

San Anselmo Open Space Committee (2013-2015)

San Anselmo Planning Commission (2006-2012, Chair (2009))

Interests

CrossFit (certified instructor), running, hiking, biking, swimming, basketball, gardening, foraging, amateur winemaking, and (above all) hanging out with the family, including our rescued dogs, cats, chickens, goats and pigs, on our beloved Rancho Compasión in Nicasio, California.