Michael Devitt

Michael Devitt
Phone: (619) 260-2992
Office: Warren Hall 308D
Assistant:

Arlene Penticoff
apenticoff@SanDiego.edu
(619) 260-6843

Professor of Law; Director, Summer Law Programs Abroad

  • JD, 1984, University of Illinois
  • MA, 1981, DePaul University
  • BS, 1981, Illinois State University

Areas of Expertise

Professional Responsibility, Evidence, Military Justice, Appellate Law

Professional Experience

Professor Devitt was the managing partner of his former law firm where he practiced large-scale sophisticated civil trial work in various jurisdictions around the United States. He was lead counsel in several high-profile cases dealing with fraudulent financial reporting, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in combined recoveries. 

Devitt incorporates his extensive practical experience into the classroom. He is a frequent lecturer on evidence, expert testimony, valuation, financial reporting, accounting, litigation, ethics and other topics. He is the author of several articles and co-authored a recent book entitled Qualified Appraisals and Qualified Appraisers – Expert Tax Valuation Witness Reports, Testimony, Procedure, Law, and Perspective. In this text, Devitt provides necessary and nuanced thoughtful advice and analysis for the critical legal areas of valuations and expert reporting.    

Devitt created and supervises USD’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Clinic, where he and his students litigate real appeals from start to finish on a pro bono basis. This clinic was created to give USD students hands-on practical experience and as an outreach to the public. 

Devitt also teaches foreign exchange students and LLMC students an Introduction to United States Law course. In this course, he teaches his students a common-sense, practical approach for understanding the broad concepts and principles of the laws and legal systems of the United States.  He endeavors to instill in each student the confidence and ability to apply his or her understanding of these concepts and principles in real world situations and other classroom settings. Devitt covers and discusses the basic structure and functions of the state and federal court systems here in the United States of America. Students have the opportunity to visit actual trials in California state court. 

Devitt also directs USD’s Summer Abroad Programs in Paris and London, and is the faculty advisor for USD’s Moot Court Program. 

Devitt’s practical experience includes sitting on the board of directors and audit committee of a public company and serving as an arbitrator in both federal and state court proceedings. He also has sat on the board of directors for charitable organizations.

Honors and Affiliations

Devitt is the executive director of USD’s Appellate Clinic. He received USD School of Law's award for excellence in teaching in 2010 and 2012.

Scholarly Work

“Improper Deportation of Legal Permanent Residents: The U.S. Government's Mischaracterization of the Supreme Court's Decision in Nijhawan v. Holder” in 15 International Law Journal 1 (2013).

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