Michael G. Colantuono is an attorney at Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley PC. Michael has specialized in municipal law since 1989. He is certified by the California State Bar as a Specialist in Appellate Law and is also Second Vice President of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, an association of about 100 of the most distinguished appellate lawyers in California. He has argued 14 cases in the California Supreme Court and appeared in all six of the California District Courts of Appeal, as well as trial courts around the State. He serves on the California Judicial Council’s Appellate Advisory Committee.
Mr. Colantuono has expertise in a broad range of areas of concern to local governments in California, including constitutional law, land use regulation, open meetings, elections, municipal litigation, conflicts of interest, public utilities, LAFCO issues, inverse condemnation, cannabis regulation, and a wide range of public finance issues involving taxes, assessments, fees and charges.
Mr. Colantuono is perhaps California’s leading expert on the law of local government revenues, briefing 18 cases on that subject in the California Supreme Court since 2004. The Daily Journal named him a California Lawyer of the Year in inverse condemnation law for his win in City of Oroville v. Superior Court (2019) 7 Cal.5th 1091, government’s first win in that court in this subject area in decades. California Chief Justice Ronald M. George presented him with the 2010 Public Lawyer of the Year Award on behalf of the California State Bar. Two successive Speakers of the California Assembly appointed him to the Board of Trustees of the California Bar, the state agency which regulates the practice of law in California. His fellow Trustees elected him Treasurer and President of the Bar and the California Supreme Court appointed him as Chair of the Board of Trustees.