Biographies

Michael Garey Balmages

Email Address: balmages@oc-mediation.com

Michael Garey Balmages has practiced law in Orange County for over 43 years. He specializes in business and employment litigation and mediation. He has represented plaintiffs and defendants in all phases of business and employment litigation and also spent over five years as in-house General Counsel for Ocean Pacific Sunwear, Ltd.
 

Mr. Balmages is a 1972 graduate of U. C. Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and started his practice with the Orange County office of Kindel & Anderson, working in their business department. In 1977 Mr. Balmages left K & A to form his own firm in Tustin, which specialized in landlord-tenant and business litigation matters with and emphasis in employment law. In 1984 Mr. Balmages merged his firm with the Irvine firm of Corbett, Steelman & Davidson to become Corbett, Steelman, Davidson & Balmages and continued his emphasis on employment matters. Mr. Balmages left Corbett Steelman in 1988 and went "in-house" to become General Counsel of Ocean Pacific, then the world's largest seller of surf and beach apparel. At "Op" Mr. Balmages was in charge of Op's intellectual property, drafting and negotiating its license agreements and other contracts, managing its litigation and all other general counsel activities. When Op was sold in 1993, Mr. Balmages returned to private practice as a sole-practitioner and in 2005, along with Doug Davidson, formed Balmages & Davidson. Upon Mr. Davidson's retirement at the end of 2013, Mr. Balmages became the principal of Balmages Law Office.
 

In addition to his private mediation practice, Mr. Balmages serves as a mediator for the Orange County Superior Court Civil Mediation panel and the United States District Court for the Central District of California Mediation panel.  Mr. Balmages has served as a mediator and court-appointed neutral on more than 1,000 matters.

Mr. Balmages grew up in Orange County and except for his stay in Berkeley during law school he has lived in Orange County continuously since 1958.

Mr. Balmages graduated from Anaheim High School and Cal State Fullerton before attending law school in Berkeley. 

In addition to practicing law in OC, during the last 43 years Mr. Balmages has been Chair of the Orange County Democratic Party; Orange County Chair of Tom Bradley for Governor; Orange County Chair of Feinstein for Governor; a Democratic candidate for State Senator; a Bobby Sox softball coach; a Little League Coach; on the Board of Directors of the Newport Theater Arts Center; on the Board of Directors of the California Age Group Wrestling Association; President of the Canyon Freestyle Wrestling Club; President of the Foothill Wrestling Club; President of the Foothill High School Wrestling Boosters and the lead astronomer for the Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo.  Mr. Balmages is also a licensed California Real Estate Broker.

Mr. Balmages and his wife, Mary, live in North Tustin.  They have five grandchildren.