Michael Cedillos: Greenberg Traurig

Michael CedillosI focus on commercial litigation, with an emphasis on banking and securities litigation, FINRA arbitrations, and real estate development and finance litigation, as well as bankruptcy litigation. I have developed these areas over time.

How has your practice evolved in the last few years?

Financial services and securities litigation have changed significantly in the last few years in light of the changing regulatory and economic climates. Real estate and real estate finance have likewise been affected. The next few years are likely to continue evolving as the state of the law becomes better mapped out.

If you could offer one piece of advice for young lawyers, what would it be?

There is no real point to rising to someone else’s bait or trying to bait someone else. If someone is proposing something unacceptable to your side, all you have to do is simply say “no.” And then repeat yourself politely if needed: “Sorry, still no.”

There are always only three alternatives when you disagree with the other side: accept the position anyway, propose a new alternative, or seek the assistance of the court.   So why bother spending time and money yelling at each other and getting distracted from the real issues in your case when you’ll always end up at one of the same three places anyway?

What’s one technological device, application or tool you could not function without?

The technology I value most in my law practice is the ability to work remotely. I could function without it; every profession functioned without it until not that long ago, relatively speaking. But, the ability to work remotely allows me to ensure that both my work and my life are properly tended to.

How has civility made a difference in your practice of law?

In my experience, professionalism begets professionalism and takes “blowhards” off their game. For example, I was once at a deposition and rummaging through a box of exhibits on the floor during a break. Opposing counsel (who was an older gentleman at least in his 70s) looked down at me and said, “You didn’t have to get down on your hands and knees for me.” I just looked him in the eye and said, “I can assure you I did not,” and went back to working with my box. After the break, we continued the rest of the deposition without missing a beat. Being able to respond civilly kept him from achieving his goal of making me uncomfortable and thereby undermining my purpose: to effectively represent my client.

What do you do for fun?

I enjoy spending time with my husband, family and friends – and on occasion reading a good book for fun (rather than work). I also recently took up golf again and found it much more relaxing than when I first took lessons back in high school. Maybe I needed to be busier in order to truly appreciate leisure.


Prior to joining Greenberg Traurig, Michael R. Cedillos clerked for the Honorable Noël Anketell Kramer of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. She graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 2008.

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