Michael J. Trotter

Founding Partner


Professional Recognition


Michael J. Trotter grew up in Orange County.   After graduating from Mater Dei High School, he attended Georgetown University graduating with a B.A.in History and Political Science in 1985.   He then went to University of Southern California Law School from which he graduated in 1988. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1988. From 1988 to 1993, he was an associate with Baker, Silberberg & Keener, and then a partner from 1993 to 1994.   In 1994, along with Richard D. Carroll and John C. Kelly, he founded Carroll, Kelly & Trotter

Mr. Trotter has been engaged in over 100 jury trials, and in excess of 50 binding arbitrations. He has focused his practice in medical malpractice, pharmacy malpractice, elder abuse, products liability, and medical devices. Mr. Trotter is on the trial panel for Adventist Health, Beta Healthcare, CAP/MPT, CNA, Dignity Health, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, Hudson, Kaiser Permanente, Norcal Mutual Insurance Company, ProAssurance, The Regents of the University of California, The Doctors’ Company, Sedgwick CMS, St. Joseph Health System, Prime Healthcare, Christian Brothers and Gallagher Bassett.   He has general liability experience representing a major ladder manufacturer, a manufacturer of hand-held saws, and a manufacturer of raw silicone.

He has achieved the rank of Diplomate with the American Board of Trial Advocates and is also a member of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, California Medical Legal Committee and International Association of Defense Counsel.   Mr. Trotter has earned an AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which ranks him at the highest level of legal ability and ethical standards. He is also a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, which is considered the preeminent trial lawyer organization in the country.

Mr. Trotter has defended healthcare providers in several class actions, including the Breast Implant, Rezulin, Phen-Fen, Quinine litigation, and Talc litigation. He has been featured numerous times in Verdict magazine “Name of the Game”  , and in the Los Angeles Daily Journal “Litigator Profile.” He was Verdictum Juris’ 2000 “Defense Trial Lawyer of the Year.” In 2005, he was featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the “Top 10 Medical Malpractice Defense Attorneys in Southern California.” He was selected as a “Super Lawyer” from 2005 to 2018.   Mr. Trotter was voted by his peers as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” from 2005 to 2018. In 2014, he was selected by his peers as “Lawyer of the Year.” He has been an invited speaker at many professional organizations on topics of Risk Management, Consent, Trial Advocacy, etc. Mr. Trotter practices out of both the Long Beach and San Diego offices.

Mr. Trotter lives in Rossmoor with his wife, Mary, and four children, ages 19 to 29 years old. In his free time, he enjoys running, golf and Mater Dei football.

Our Firm Has Been Recognized in the Following Rating Services & Publications:

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