top of page
James I. Michaelis


Jim Michaelis retired in October 2020 after 54 years in law. 


A member of the California State Bar since 1966, Jim was rated "AV Preemenint 5.0" by Martindale-Hubbell. 

He was the founding partner of Michaelis, Montanari, & Johnson. In 1962, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Stanford University. In 1965, he graduated from Berkeley Law of the University of California.

From 1966 to 1968, Jim was a captain in the United States Army, stationed in West Germany. In 1968, He began the practice of law as a Deputy District Attorney in Sacramento, California, where he gained extensive jury trial experience.


He specialized in the defense of aviation accidents since 1972. Jim represented Certain Underwriters of Llyod's of London against SPACEHAB arising out of the Space Shuttle Columbia accident of 2003.

He was on the advisory panel of the Stanford on the Moon project. Jim was a member of the Defense Research Institute, the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar, and an Associate Member of the Organization of Flying Adjusters. He was the past President of the Los Angeles chapter of the Aviation Insurance Association.

In 1977, Jim obtained a single-engine land private-pilot certificate from the FAA. He has been an avid non-technical mountain climber, who has reached the summits of Mt. Rainier, Hood, Shasta, Langley, Whitney, and Nob Hill.

bottom of page