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Michael C. Pasternak

Michael C. Pasternak

Santa Barbara, California

Mike Pasternak joined the firm in 2010 and has focused his practice primarily in the area of insurance coverage, handling matters for both insurer and private clients involving all manner of questions regarding the availability of coverage under a wide range of policies as applied to variety of first- and third-party claims. For insurer carrier clients, Mike provides detailed and objective, and defensible coverage opinions, drafts reservation of rights, excess, or disclaimer letters on behalf of his clients when warranted, and deals with co-carriers regarding time on risk and contribution issues. For policy-holder clients, Mike assesses insurance policies and to ensure that they obtain the maximum coverage they are entitled to under the law for an incident of loss or third-party claim. Mike frequently attends mediations and settlement conferences to assert his clients’ coverage position and Mike has successfully mediated numerous complex, high-profile, and high-exposure claims. Mike has also represented his clients in coverage litigation ranging from declaratory relief, to equitable contribution/subrogation, to bad-faith actions.

Mike’s practice also includes insurance defense and general civil litigation, and Mike has represented clients in a variety of cases ranging from personal injury, construction defect, catastrophic property damage, auto accidents, and uninsured/underinsured motorist claims. Mike offers clients representation backed by a well-researched, in-depth knowledge of the law, analysis of all practical and economic considerations in addition to the legal theories, and prompt and personal service keeping clients intimately in the loop and advised of the key issues, developments, options, and potential benefits and pitfalls of any given course of action.

Outside of his practice, Mike is also involved in the local legal community—he has served as Secretary and board member of the Santa Barbara Barristers and the editor of the "Motions" column for the Santa Barbara Lawyer Magazine, and is currently a member of the William L. Gordon Inn of Court and the Santa Barbara County Bar Association.

Mike graduated from the University of Southern California  with degrees in Psychology and Creative Writing. He received his J.D.  from the University of San Francisco (USF) School of Law. He grew up in Denver, Colorado and has lived in Santa Barbara since the fall of 2010.

Year Joined Firm

  • 2010

Areas of Practice

  • Insurance Coverage Representation and Litigation
  • Insurance Law
  • Insurance Defense
  • Personal Injury
  • Construction Defect
  • Premises Liability
  • Automobile
  • UM/UIM Coverage
  • Dog Bite
  • Toxic Exposure
  • Wrongful Death

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2010
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 2012
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 2013


  • University of San Francisco School of Law, San Francisco, California
    • J.D. cum laude - 2010
    • Law Review: University of San Francisco, Staff Member
  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
    • B.A. cum laude - 2007
    • Major: Psychology; Creative Writing

Honors and Awards

  • Pro Bono Publico Award-Outstanding Service to Community Through Voluntary Legal Assistance
  • CALI Award for Excellence, Land Use Law Arthur C. Zeif, Jr. School of Law Scholarship For Extracurricular Dedication
  • Public Interest Law Foundation Summer Grant for Internship Supporting Public Interest Law and Legal Services
  • Winner of Virginia Middleton Undergraduate Creative Writing Competition For Short Story Submission

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Santa Barbara Barristers , Board of Directors Member at Large, 2014 - Present
  • Santa Barbara Lawyers Magazine, Editor of "Motions" Column, 2011 - Present
  • William L. Gordon Inn of Court, Associate Member
  • Santa Barbara County Bar Association, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Law Clerk, 2009
  • Family Law Self-Help Center, San Francisco County, Law Clerk/Facilitator, 2008 - 2009

Pro Bono Activities

  • Volunteer Facilitator Family Law Self-Help Center, County of San Francisco, 2008 - 2009


  • Pi Kappa Phi


Minehan, McFaul & Fitch, LLP
Main Address

P.O. Box 50409
Santa Barbara, CA 93150
Phone: 805-963-8252
Fax: 805-963-8272

Secondary Address
1135 Eugenia Place, Suite C
Carpinteria, CA 93013
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