Michael A. Villa was born in Southern California and grew up in upstate New York. After graduating from Vassar College in 1980, he moved back to Southern California where he worked in the banking industry for several years. In 1984, he moved to San Francisco to attend Golden Gate University School of Law. After graduating from law school in 1987, he worked at prominent law firms in San Francisco and Oakland, specializing in insurance defense, personal injury, and business and commercial litigation.
Seeking a change from big city life, Mr. Villa relocated to Sonoma County and opened his own law office in Healdsburg in 1999. Since, his practice has focused on serving clients located primarily in Northern Sonoma County – business owners, wineries, grape growers and ranchers but, mostly, local individuals who need legal help. Needing additional space to expand, Mr. Villa moved his office to Geyserville in 2015.
An experienced trial attorney and trained negotiator, Mr. Villa is a determined and effective advocate for his clients. He understands that each client’s needs and circumstances are different and that every case presents a unique challenge. Consequently, from the beginning of every engagement, he works closely with his clients to identify their legal objectives and to devise a cost-effective strategy for achieving those objectives. In the majority of cases he handles, Mr. Villa can usually eliminate the need for protracted litigation and in many instances even the need to file suit by reaching a negotiated resolution consistent with his clients’ goals. However, if going to trial becomes necessary his clients can rely on his extensive courtroom experience to obtain a successful outcome.
In addition to his private practice, since 2003, Mr. Villa has served as a Judge Pro Tem for the Sonoma County Superior Court conducting Mandatory Settlement Conferences for cases set for trial. In 2011, in recognition of his contribution to the community and the administration of justice, the Superior Court honored him with its “Volunteer of the Year” award. He also served as a volunteer Panel Mediator for the Superior Court’s pilot No-Fee Mediation Program. Though that Court-sponsored Program ended in 2014, he continues to provide neutral mediation and case evaluation services.