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Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt

Michael T. Garone

Michael T. Garone



  • Appellate
  • Employment, Labor and Benefits
  • Labor
  • Employment Litigation

WSG Practice Industries



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

Experienced labor and employment counsel

Drawing on his litigation experience, Michael provides thoughtful and practical advice on a wide range of labor and employment issues. He has 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. He has litigated numerous cases before the National Labor Relations Board as well as other federal and state administrative agencies and courts. In addition, Michael has defended against union organizing campaigns and represented management in several highly contentious and publicly visible labor disputes. Understanding the complex facets of such disputes, Michael devises comprehensive litigation strategies that further his clients’ interests on multiple levels.

Michael has represented management in numerous discrimination and wage and hour cases in which his depth of experience is invaluable. He has 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

Michael has been a leader in Schwabe’s Appellate practice group since 2003, sharing his knowledge with clients and colleagues throughout the firm. During his 40-year career, in addition to his work before the United States Supreme Court, he has 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, Michael has argued approximately 100 cases in state and federal appellate courts. Aside from appeals involving labor, employment, and arbitration law, he has 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

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon State Courts
  • Washington State Courts
  • Oregon Supreme Court
  • Washington Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • United States Court of International Trade
  • United States District Court, District of Oregon
  • United States District Court, Western District of Washington
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Washington
  • United States Supreme Court


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

Appellate | Employment Class Action | Employment Litigation | Employment, Labor and Benefits | Labor | Non-Compete and Trade Secrets | Wage and Hour

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

  • 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.


The CDC Revises the Definition of Close Contact
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, October 2020

On October 21, 2020, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) published a new guidance for use by contact tracers that clarifies what had been a somewhat fuzzy definition of “close contact.” The new definition increases the number of individuals presumed to have an exposure to COVID-19, and will significantly affect schools and workplaces since those presumptively exposed individuals will be asked to isolate for a period of 14 days...

Additional Articles

  • The CDC Revises the Definition of Close Contact
  • The Art of Defending Against Union Slowdowns
  • Schwabe Grows its Reputation as Top Law Firm with New ‎Rankings from Chambers & Partners
  • A New Reason to Consider Mandatory Arbitration Agreements
  • Is Nothing Sacred? The NLRB Takes on Employment at Will
  • A Growing Concern for Employers: Obesity as a Disability Under Federal and State Laws
  • Navigating the Interactive Process Under the Americans with Disabilities Act


  • Crew Claim Traps for the Unwary: Minimizing Exposure from Hire to Resolution‎

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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