Mitchell E. Abbott is Of Counsel in the Litigation Department at Richards, Watson & Gershon and Chair of the Firm's Appellate Law Practice Group. Mr. Abbott is currently one of fewer than 300 lawyers in the state designated as a Certified Specialist in Appellate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. For more than 35 years, he has specialized in the representation of municipalities and other public agencies in a variety of cases at both the trial and appellate level, and in both the state and federal courts. He has handled many constitutional cases arising under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the federal constitution, as well as land use cases and disputes arising under the California Environmental Quality Act. Mr. Abbott has also handled litigation and appeals in public financing cases, including validation actions involving the formation of redevelopment agencies and other districts, taxpayers' actions challenging the validity and fairness of local assessment districts, and a variety of other cases involving challenges to local enactments under Propositions 13 and 218.
While at the University of Virginia Law School, he was Notes Editor of the Virginia Journal of International Law. He is a contributing author of the Continuing Education of the Bar treatises, California Civil Appellate Practice (3d ed.); California Administrative Mandamus (3d ed.); California Civil Writ Practice (4th ed.); and California Civil Discovery Practice (4th ed.). He is a consulting editor of Thomson-West’s California Civil Practice regarding governmental immunities. He has lectured widely on the subjects of appellate law, writs, Supreme Court proceedings, the Public Records Act and ethics.
Mr. Abbott is a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, is a Past Chair of the State Bar Board of Legal Specialization's Appellate Law Advisory Committee, and is a Past Chair of the State Bar of California's Committee on Appellate Courts. In 2011 he was appointed by the Board of Governors of the State Bar to a three-year term on the Board of Legal Specialization. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America
(2008-12 and 2016) and in Southern California Superlawyers (2004-12 and 2016), both in the field of Appellate Law.
In addition to his legal career, Mr. Abbott serves on the Board of Directors of The Los Angeles Conservancy, is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Congregational Foundation, and is a past Moderator of First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. He was the recipient of the Spirit of C.E.B. award in 2010 for his contribution to California Continuing Education of the Bar and was honored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation in 2011 with the Justice James A. Cobey Mock Trial Attorney Coach of the Year Award.
J.D., University of Virginia Law School
A.B., magna cum laude, University of California, Davis