Expert Profile

Michael Traynor
Chair of the Council and President Emeritus
American Law Institute

Michael Traynor is Chair of the Council and President Emeritus of the American Law Institute. He also is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit awarded him its outstanding lawyer award, given in the name of John P. Frank. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley (Economics) and the Harvard Law School and received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of South Carolina in 2007.

A former Chair and President of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (now Earthjustice), he also has served on nonprofit boards, including the Environmental Law Institute and the RAND Institute for Civil Justice. He is a frequent contributor to professional publications and speaks and serves on panels on varied subjects.

As an adjunct lecturer at the law school at the University of California at Berkeley, he taught Remedies (1982-89) and Conflict of Laws (1996-98). He recently retired from his firm, lives in Berkeley, California, and serves on the board of the Berkeley Community Fund.

Michael Traynor's discussions:

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Steven Kelman Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government
Henry Farber Princeton University
Amy Resnick The Bond Buyer
Nick Taylor American Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA, When FDR Put the Nation to Work
Stuart L. Brown National Institute for Play
Gwyneth Cravens Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy

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  • Risk and Legal Fear in Schools
    With Lenore Skenazy, Frederick Hess, Megan Rosker, Walter Olson, and Nancy McDermott. Start date: June 5