For two decades, Mr. Colton has been a preeminent lawyer’s professional liability (“LPL”) defense attorney serving the California Central Coast tri-counties (Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo). He is a Certified Specialist in Legal Malpractice Law, certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, and the only such certified specialist currently practicing lawyer defense in the tri-counties Central Coast.

Mr. Colton is frequently chosen directly by lawyers and law firms under the “choice of counsel” provision in their professional liability policies which generally allow insured attorneys to select or have input regarding the selection of defense counsel appointed by their carrier.

Mr. Colton’s practice is focused on lawyer and law firm professional liability defense and claim avoidance/ethics counseling, insurance bad faith defense, and business, commercial and corporate litigation in the state and federal courts throughout California. He regularly defends lawyers, law firms, and other clients in civil matters involving claims of professional liability, breach of fiduciary duty, malicious prosecution, fee disputes, and other tort and contract-based claims. Mr. Colton also counsels lawyer clients and their insurers in claim avoidance, claim repair, conflicts, and other lawyers’ professional responsibility issues, and is a frequent lecturer on those topics at continuing education and risk management programs, both open and for private law firm seminars and retreats, sponsored by various LPL carriers as well as county and specialty bar associations.

Michael A. Colton

C.V. for Michael A. Colton

Michael A. Colton

C.V. for Michael A. Colton

  • ●Certified Specialist in Legal Malpractice Law, Certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

    ●The ONLY lawyer defense Certified Legal Malpractice Law Specialist based in and serving California’s Central Coast

    ●The ONLY Central Coast Professional Liability-Defense lawyer consistently honored as a Southern California SuperLawyer

    ●Founding Chair, Lawyer Defense Committee, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel

    ●Board of Directors, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel

    ●Prime Member for Santa Barbara, Association of Defense Trial Attorneys

    ●Master, William L. Gordon (Santa Barbara) Chapter, American Inns of Court

  • ●Board of Directors, Santa Barbara Women Lawyers Foundation

    ●Past President (2007), Santa Barbara County Bar Association

    ●Member of the California Bar since 1978

    ●Admitted to practice in all U.S. District Courts in California (Central, Northern, Eastern and Southern Districts)

    ●J.D. 1978, University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law ● Order of the Coif ● California Law Review

    ●A.B. 1974 with Honors in Politics, University of California at Santa Cruz



825 Jennings Avenue
Santa Barbara, California 93103


Phone: (805) 455-4546
Fax (805) 965-9623


Santa Barbara County Superior Court:

Santa Barbara (Anacapa Division)
1100 Anacapa Street,
Santa Barbara, CA 93121-1107
(805) 882-4520

Santa Maria:
312-C East Cook Street
Santa Maria, CA 93456
(805) 614-6414

Ventura County Superior Court:

Ventura County Superior Court
800 South Victoria Avenue
Ventura, California 93009
(805) 289-8525

San Luis Obispo County Superior Court:

San Luis Obispo County Superior Court
1035 Palm Street
San Luis Obispo, CA, 93408
(805) 781-5677

San Luis Obispo County Superior Court (Paso Robles Branch)
901 Park Street
Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 237-3079