About Mike Marrinan
Mike Marrinan is a civil rights attorney in private practice in San Diego, focusing on police misconduct and civil rights.
Mike began his career as a trial attorney with Defenders Inc., the equivalent of a public defender office, from 1980 – 1985. This is where Mike honed his trial skills, handling hundreds of criminal cases, including all types of serious felonies, from robberies and sex crimes to fraud and murder.
Many of Mike’s most memorable trials were cases where his clients had been beaten or abused by police officers, yet were inevitably charged with crimes such as assault on an officer and resisting arrest. Mike took many of those cases to trial, often resulting in acquittals for his clients.
In 1985, Mike entered private practice and joined noted civil rights/criminal defense attorney Tom Adler, who was one of the very few attorneys in San Diego handling police abuse cases.
Commitment to Civil Rights
For over 25 years, Mike’s practice has been dedicated to representing victims of police misconduct in state and federal civil rights cases. He has handled hundreds of civil rights cases, including false arrest, excessive force, wrongful death, and unlawful searches and seizures, as well as abuses in jails and prisons, including denial of medical care and suicides. Mike has obtained more jury verdicts in favor of victims of police misconduct than any attorney in San Diego County.
In 2000, Mike obtained what was, at the time, the largest jury verdict in a police misconduct case in San Diego County history ($1.5 million, Green v. County of San Diego). In 2008, Mike teamed up with his friend and colleague, Jude Basile, and obtained a jury verdict of $7.9 million for a young man who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of police misconduct. This is still one of the largest police misconduct jury verdicts in San Diego County history (Gomez v. City of San Diego).
More recently, in October, 2020, Mike and his colleague Joseph McMullen obtained a jury verdict of $1.5 million for a young man who was falsely arrested and face-slammed onto concrete by an undercover San Diego police detective. (McNally v. Riis)
Awards & Accolades
Mike has received three Outstanding Trial Lawyer awards from Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, and was named Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2008. Mike is a graduate of the nationally acclaimed Trial Lawyers College, and has been a member of the faculty of the Trial Lawyers College for the past fifteen years.
- Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2008, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
- Outstanding Trial Lawyer, 2009, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (Gomez v. City of San Diego)
- Outstanding Trial Lawyer, 2002, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (Green v. County of San Diego)
- Outstanding Trial Lawyer, 2001, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (Sergojan v. County of San Diego)
- Super Lawyers
- Best Lawyers in America
- Best Lawyers in San Diego
- Best Lawyers in California
- National Police Accountability Project
- American Civil Liberties Union
- Trial Lawyers College
- Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
- Criminal Defense Bar Association of San Diego
- Criminal Defense Lawyers Club of San Diego
- California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
- San Diego County Bar Association
- San Diego must pay $1.5 million to man body slammed at trolley stop
- San Diego pays out $2.5M in excessive force, false arrest case involving police detective
- Jury Slaps City with $8 Million Police Misconduct Verdict
- Jury: Sheriff’s deputies used excessive force
- Former SDSU Student Wrongfully Accused of Sexual Abuse Reaches Settlement With School
- Former Chargers player accuses San Diego officers of excessive force in unwarranted arrest
- Civil-rights advocates pan police video release policy
- Witness to Police Misconduct Speaks to ACLU
- Lawsuits raise culture questions at SDPD
- Couple Win Suit Against Police in National City
Mike received a B.A. in psychology from the University of San Diego in 1976 and a law degree from USD School of Law in 1979.