Spiegel Liao and Kagay, LLP

Spiegel Liao & Kagay is no longer accepting clients.  Thanks to everyone for 36 great years.
Charles Kagay continues his appellate practice through California's premier appellate law firm,
the Complex Appellate Litigation Group (
Contact Charles Kagay at or (415) 649-6700.

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Spiegel Liao & Kagay's partners, all former members of the Antitrust Section of the California Attorney General's Office, founded the firm in 1985. Both before and after entering private practice, SLK attorneys have been leaders in numerous difficult and innovative litigation and appellate matters. The principal attorneys manage their own cases, eliminating the need for junior attorneys to learn while billing the client.

MICHAEL I. SPIEGEL earned his undergraduate degree at Columbia University in 1956. In 1961, he received his J. D. from Stanford University Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review. He was admitted to the bar in 1962 and clerked for California Supreme Court Justices Dooling and Tobriner from 1961 to 1962. He is a past member (1978-1986) of the Executive Committee of the California State Bar's Antitrust and Unfair Competition Section, and a present member of the American Bar Association's Antitrust Law and Litigation Sections.

Mr. Spiegel was one of the founders of the Antitrust Section of the California Department of Justice, where he served as Deputy Attorney General and Supervising Deputy from 1963 to 1985. In that position, he took a lead role in many major antitrust cases and achieved national prominence as an antitrust attorney. He pioneered the development of modern day class action and other complex litigation.

Mr. Spiegel represented the State of California in the Western Pipe Antitrust cases; the Antibiotics Antitrust Litigation; the Western Liquid Asphalt Antitrust Litigation, MDL-50; and the Cement Antitrust Litigation, MDL-296, among many others. He has consistently been recognized by the courts and his peers as a leader in the fields of antitrust, class actions, and other complex litigation. See, e.g., In re Coordinated Pretrial Proceedings in Antibiotic Antitrust Actions, 410 F.Supp. 706, 717 (D.Minn. 1975): "Mr. Spiegel . . . [has] done an outstanding job throughout this litigation. The Court has the highest esteem for [this man] as [an] individual and as [a] litigant." He is best known for captaining the Petroleum Products Antitrust Litigation for all plaintiff states, an eighteen-year effort in a massive class action that ultimately netted over $140 million for four western states and their citizens.

In 1995, Forbes Magazine recognized Mr. Spiegel as one of the nation's 25 most successful trial lawyers. Mr. Spiegel has served as Advisory Counsel for an Independent Counsel probe of a cabinet-level official in Washington, D.C. He has been trained as a mediator and serves as an arbitrator for California State Bar and San Francisco Bar Association attorney-client and fee disputes.


CHARLES KAGAY earned his undergraduate degree, graduate degree and J.D. from Harvard University. He was admitted to the bar in 1976, and served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of California from 1976 to 1985. He is a past member of, and current advisor to, the Executive Committee of the State Bar of California's Antitrust and Unfair Competition Section.

Mr. Kagay has been certified as a specialist in Appellate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, and has been appointed to the State Bar of California's Committee on Appellate Courts. He handles appeals in all California and federal courts, particularly those involving complex or novel legal or procedural questions.

Mr. Kagay has taken a lead role in several major antitrust and class action cases, including the Petroleum Products Antitrust Litigation, at both the trial court and appellate levels. He also has served as principal attorney in several prominent appeals, including:

While still conducting his civil practice in California, Mr. Kagay served as Chief Appellate Counsel in the probes of two cabinet-level officials in Washington, D.C. He has also been called back by the California Attorney General's office as a Special Deputy Attorney General in antitrust matters, including the landmark antitrust trial in United States v. Microsoft.

In 2004, Mr. Kagay was selected as a “Northern California Superlawyer” – i.e., one of the top 3% of the lawyers practicing in Northern California, on the basis of surveys of 56,000 attorneys in that region.


WAYNE LIAO, of counsel to the firm, earned his undergraduate degree in 1972 from the University of Chicago, and his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1975 and served as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California from 1976 to 1985. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of California's Antitrust Section beginning in 1990.

Mr. Liao led the firm's defense of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission in the relocation of the National Basketball Association Clippers team from San Diego to Los Angeles, National Basketball Association v. SDC Basketball Club, Inc., 815 F.2d 562 (9th Cir. 1987). He also shouldered major leadership responsibilities in other large antitrust cases, including the Petroleum Products Antitrust Litigation. In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Liao represents a leading international financial services company in matters arising from capital investments.


BARTHOLOMEW LEE, counsel to the firm, earned his undergraduate degree from St. John's College in 1968 and his J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1971, where he was a Teaching Fellow from 1971-73. He has been an adjunct professor in Law and Economics at Golden Gate University since 1983. His legal publications include "The California Civil Code," 5 Journal of Western Legal History 13, (1992); "Hard Rock Mining and the Antitrust Laws: When Too Much is Really Too Much, Ninth Circuit Survey," 15 Golden Gate University Law Review 49, (1985), and "Eliminating Affirmative Defenses in Antitrust Treble Damages Actions: Symbolic Control, Inc. v. IBM, Ninth Circuit Survey," 11 Golden Gate University Law Review 241, (1981). His published appellate decisions include Energy Conservation, Inc. v. Heliodyne, Inc., 698 F.2d 386 (9th Cir. 1982), Liew v. Official Receiver (Hong Kong), 685 F.2d 1192 (9th Cir. 1982), and Bullock v. City and County of San Francisco, 221 Cal.App.3d 1072 (1990).

Mr. Lee’s recent litigation emphasis has been on constitutional issues, particularly property rights, discrimination, and First Amendment questions, and on RICO matters. He has also emphasized practice in mediation advocacy and has served as counsel to businesses and individuals regarding dispute avoidance and resolution, intellectual property management and defense, fine arts law, and international regulation. Additionally, he has worked on evolving health care industry issues such as restraint of trade matters involving the Federal Trade Commission and physician and hospital relations, and he has served as counsel to non-profit groups such as museums and Federal Communications Commission-regulated emergency services organizations.


DON SMALTZ, of counsel to the firm, earned his undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1958 and his J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law in 1961. He began his career serving as a Captain in the United States Army JAG Corps and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California. He capped a long and successful private practice by returning to public service from 1994 to 2002 as the Independent Counsel appointed to investigate former Secretary of Agriculture Alphonso (Mike) Espy. As Independent Counsel, he brought over a dozen criminal and civil proceedings.

Mr. Smaltz, a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, is a very successful trial attorney with extensive experience in white collar criminal defense, business litigation, and SEC and environmental litigation matters.

Mr. Smaltz is resident in the Los Angeles area.

Mr. Smaltz's reported cases include the following prominent decisions:

  • Rebel Oil Co., Inc. v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 146 F.3d 1088 (9th Cir.
  • United States v. Espy, 145 F.3d 1369 (D.C. Cir. 1998)
  • United States v. Hemmingson, 157 F.3d 347 (5th Cir. 1998)
  • Little Oil Co., Inc. v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 852 F.2d 441 (9th Cir.
  • Goldberg v. United States, 425 U.S. 94 (1976)


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