To successfully represent a client in high-stakes litigation, I aim to develop a comprehensive ‎strategy, considering the client’s individual legal, business, and reputational interests.

How I represent clients at Schwabe

For more than 40 years, I’ve been engaged in high-level administrative, trial, and appellate litigation in multiple state and federal courts with a special emphasis on traditional labor and employment law. With extensive experience in commercial and labor arbitration, I have successfully taken two cases to the United States Supreme Court, resulting in decisions on cutting-edge issues under the Federal Arbitration Act. I was the lead attorney in complex administrative, court, and appeal proceedings leading to a multimillion-dollar verdict against a powerful maritime labor union. I also defended numerous wage and hour class action cases involving national retailers.

Experienced labor and employment counsel

Drawing on my litigation experience, I provide thoughtful and practical advice on a wide range of labor and employment issues. I have been involved in all aspects of collective bargaining, handling complicated contract negotiations and over 100 labor arbitrations, and advising on grievance issues and the requirements of state and federal law. I have also litigated numerous cases before the National Labor Relations Board and other federal and state administrative agencies and courts. In addition, I’ve defended against union organizing campaigns and represented management in several highly contentious and publicly visible labor disputes. Understanding the complex facets of such disputes helps me devise comprehensive litigation strategies that further my clients’ interests on multiple levels.

I have represented management in numerous discrimination and wage and hour cases and defended class action wage and hour and consumer lawsuits in Oregon and Washington, as well as several class action arbitrations.

Appellate practice at the highest levels

As a leader in Schwabe’s Appellate practice group since 2003, I have shared my knowledge with clients and colleagues. During my career, I have appeared and argued cases before the Oregon and Washington Courts of Appeals, the Oregon and Washington Supreme Courts, the Second, Ninth, and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. In total, I have argued approximately 100 cases in state and federal appellate courts. Aside from appeals involving labor, employment, and arbitration law, I have handled a diverse range of other appellate cases as well, including tort, product liability, real estate, commercial, election, patent, administrative, antitrust, civil rights, and constitutional law cases.


“Michael Garone and Jean Back are who I work with most. They are always on top of current ‎employment & case law decisions. They tailor their advice based on my company’s existing ‎policies, practices, and culture so that I can easily apply it to our current work environment. They ‎quickly grasp complex issues and come back with a logical solution or the right document that I ‎need for every situation. Their fast responses & expertise saves me time & based on a proven track ‎record, I am always confident I’ve got the best advice from them.‎”

-SEH America

Chambers & Partners USA, client highlights

“Michael is an excellent labor lawyer.”

“Michael is very knowledgeable and is a strategic thinker. His brief-writing skills are some of the best I have seen.”


  • Represented maritime clients regarding highly contentious labor disputes with the longshoremen’s union, which have involved several administrative hearings, lawsuits, and appeals to both the Ninth Circuit and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeals.
  • Represented major nationwide retail establishments regarding numerous wage and hour class action cases in Oregon and Washington in trial courts and on appeal.
  • Handled several appeals regarding arbitration law in both state and federal courts. Successfully represented two companies that had arbitration issues of national importance before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Successfully represented property owners with regard to important constitutional issues in appeals before the Oregon Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Authored a successful petition for writ of certiorari and was counsel of record in a U.S. Supreme Court case (Hall Street Associates, LLC v. Mattel, Inc., 2008), a case involving a legal issue of national importance in the field of arbitration law.
  • Served as a principal petition and merits brief author in a case that was accepted for review by the U.S. Supreme Court (Rent-A-Center, West, Inc. v. Jackson, 2010), involving a critical legal issue in arbitration law.


  • University of Oregon, School of Law, Juris Doctor degree (1980)
  • State University of New York at Binghamton, Bachelor of Arts degree (1977)


  • Oregon State Courts
  • Oregon Supreme Court
  • Washington State Courts
  • Washington Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of International Trade
  • U.S. District Court - District of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court - Western District of ‎Washington
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • American Bar Association Member, Litigation Section, Labor and Employment Section, Federal Labor Standards Subcommittee
  • Oregon State Bar Member, Labor and Employment Section, Past Chair


  • Selected to the Oregon Super Lawyers List, Employment & Labor (2016-2023)
  • Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America®, Labor Law and Employment Law (2010-2024)
  • Ranked for Labor and Employment Lawyers in Oregon, Chambers USA (2018-2024)

Community Activities

  • Clackamas County Children’s Commission, Board of Directors

Outside Interests

Travel, particularly to Europe, hiking, running.

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