Michael Levy, Secretary

Sacramento
  • Appointed by the State Bar of California
  • Current Term Extends through June 30, 2021

Michael Levy, the Secretary of our Commission, is Deputy General Counsel for Litigation at the California Department of Insurance.  There he supervises the five litigation teams that handle producer licensing and discipline, enforce the Unfair Insurance Practices Act against insurers, approve property and casualty rates under California Proposition 103, and enforce the Insurance Frauds Prevention Act against those employing “runners, cappers, or steerers” to generate claims, or submit false claims for insurance benefits or health-care services. 

In addition to the Department of Insurance, his 19 years in the public sector include service as Secretary and Chief Counsel of the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, Chief Counsel of the California Energy Commission, General Counsel at the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, and Senior Staff Counsel at the State Water Resources Control Board. Before his governmental service, Mr. Levy worked in private practice for nine years in San Francisco, where he handled complex litigation, appeals, estate planning, and probate administration.

Mr. Levy has litigated or supervised many significate cases, including, Mercury Ins. Co. v. Lara (2019) which affirmed a $27.6 million penalty against Mercury for violating Proposition 103 by allowing agents to charge fees above approved rates;

·         PacifiCare Life and Health Ins. Co. v. Jones (2018) which upheld key provisions of the Insurance Commissioner’s Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations, including the Commissioner’s authority to impose penalties on an insurer every time it commits an “act” violating the Unfair Insurance Practices Act, rather than requiring a showing that the insurer’s unfair acts were part of a general business practice; and

·         People ex rel. Wilson v. Bristol Myers Squibb (2016), which resulted in the negotiation of a 30 million dollar settlement with a company charged with giving doctors illegal kickbacks to prescribe its drugs;

Mr. Levy is an active volunteer in the legal and local community.  In addition to now serving as our Secretary, he served two terms as a Supreme Court appointee to the State Bar Trustees Nominating Committee and has devoted years of service to the Sacramento County Bar Association, where he served as President in 2011.  He has also held several appointments as a Judge Pro Temp of the Sacramento Superior Court, and is an Appellate Mediator for the Third District Court of Appeal.

Mr. Levy graduated from the University of San Diego’s School of Law and went on to receive a Master of Laws, cum laude, in Environmental and Natural Resources law from The Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Davis.