American Law Institute

Corporate Board Elections
Internal Controls

27th September 2005
Federal Reserve Bank of New York

European Corporate Governance Institute

A free all-day conference co-sponsored by the American Law Institute and the European Corporate Governance Institute

Michael Traynor
Senior Counsel, Cooley Godward LLP
President of the American Law Institute

Cooley Godward website:

Michael Traynor is a senior counsel in the Cooley Godward Litigation department. Resident in the San Francisco office, he has been with the Firm since 1963 and served as a partner for over thirty-five years (1969-2004).

He specializes in intellectual property, business, First Amendment, and appellate litigation, in internal corporate investigations, and in product liability and risk management counseling. Varied cases at the trial and appellate level have involved him in appearances before state courts and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and also before administrative agencies and arbitrators. He is a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He also serves as a mediator for the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
Prior to joining Cooley, Mr. Traynor served from 1961 to 1963 as a deputy attorney general of the State of California, engaging in public law practice and litigation.

Mr. Traynor attended Harvard Law School, where he received a J.D. in 1960. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1955 with B.A. in Economics. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Traynor served two years in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Mr. Traynor is President of the American Law Institute .

He presently serves as an adviser for the Restatement (Third) of Restitution, and previously served as an adviser for the Restatement (Third) of Unfair Competition (1994), the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability (1998), the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Apportionment of Liability (2000), and the 1988 revisions to the Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws.

In 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit awarded him its outstanding lawyer award. The award, given in the name of John P. Frank, recognizes a lawyer who has "demonstrated outstanding character and integrity; dedication to the rule of law; proficiency as a trial and appellate lawyer; success in promoting collegiality among members of the bench and bar; and a lifetime of service to the federal courts of the Ninth Circuit."

In 2002, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences elected him a Fellow.

In 1995, the American Association for the Advancement of Science named him a Fellow “for research and publication on issues at the intersection of science and law in biotechnology, the environment, and information technology.”

Mr. Traynor is a member of the board of directors of the Environmental Law Institute, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the Developmental Studies Center. He also is a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member and past president (1973) of the Bar Association of San Francisco, a past chairman and president of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (now Earthjustice), and a past chairman and trustee of the Head Royce School.

He also served as a member of the American Bar Association Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice, the ABA Task Force on Law Schools and the Profession, the Board of Overseers of the RAND Institute for Civil Justice, and as co-chair of the Unified Environmental Statute Commission of the California Environmental Protection Agency.

He teaches periodically at the School of Law (Boalt Hall) at U.C. Berkeley (Remedies, 1982-89; Conflict of Laws, 1996-1998), and in continuing legal education programs.

Mr. Traynor is listed in the current editions of The Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in American Law.