Who is Sydne Jane Michel?
Sydne Jane Michel got her first experience prosecuting cases when she was a law clerk for the District Attorney’s Office in 1995 while still in law school. She worked with the lead trial prosecutor in a challenging murder case that resulted in a conviction. She was assigned to that case by mentor and legendary prosecutor Stephen Kay – famous for his work prosecuting the notorious Charles Manson gang murderers.
Since then, Sydne has gained extensive and unmatched experience across both the civil and criminal legal systems that will serve her well, and that makes her uniquely qualified to serve as a judge. That’s why she has so many prestigious endorsements from across the political spectrum.
She will make a tough but fair Judge who will work tirelessly to keep society safe.
Respected by Her Peers and Endorsed From Across the Political Spectrum
In recognition of her integrity, objectivity, fairness, and exceptional legal skills, Sydne Jane Michel has been endorsed by numerous associations and individuals from across the political and professional spectrum. Sydne Jane Michel is the preferred choice of the Los Angeles Times, the Metropolitan News-Enterprise (the legal newspaper read by Los Angeles lawyers), multiple police associations, the Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles, labor groups, criminal defense attorneys, multiple prosecutors, judges, civil attorneys and others.
Sydne is highly regarded as an exceptionally well-skilled trial lawyer, a crucial skill for any judge. Sydne also has a well-earned reputation for being a tough but fair prosecutor. She is well known for her intelligence, work-ethic, commitment, dedication, high standards of excellence, and honesty. Her broad experience ranges from working with police when a case is first investigated, to filing a case in court, and handling it all the way through the court system process through trial and appeals if necessary.
Unique, Extensive, and Exceptionally Broad-Based Legal and “Real World” Experience
Very few judges have the breadth of experience across the legal system that Sydne has. That broad experience will serve her well if she is elected. She has handled thousands of criminal and civil cases, and has worked as an advocate for the underprivileged, a trial advocacy instructor, and a teacher and mentor to younger lawyers.
Sydne currently serves as a criminal prosecutor for the cities of Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach. She has been employed as a prosecutor for Redondo Beach since 2006, and as a prosecutor for Hermosa Beach since 2014. In 2009, she was promoted to Senior Deputy City Prosecutor for Redondo Beach. She manages a heavy caseload in court every day and has prosecuted thousands of criminal cases of all kinds, including serious violent crimes, sexual assault, gang crimes, and other high profile cases. Sydne has prosecuted notable sexual assault cases, including convicting a prominent South Bay physician of 18 counts of sexually assaulting two female patients.
Sydne is unique among her peers because in addition to working as a prosecutor, Sydne has also worked as a criminal defense attorney and as a civil litigator. She was employed for over ten years at one of the most respected and largest law firms in the country; Kirkland & Ellis LLP. While there she managed several legal teams handling complex civil litigation cases for clients of the law firm. In recognition of her excellent work, Sydne earned a position as a Partner of the law firm. Her time at this international law firm provided Sydne with a unique and rare range of experience, perspective and insight into all aspects of the operation of both the criminal and civil courts.
While putting herself through Loyola Law School, Sydne also worked at/clerked for the United States Attorney’s Office- Central District, and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
In addition to her legal background, after she graduated from UCLA Sydne worked as professional actress for ten years before going to law school. She appeared in independent and feature films like Carrie, Inner Space and The Killing Zone, in TV shows like Empty Nest, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Quincy, and in commercials and numerous plays.
All these varied experiences have given Sydne a well-balanced perspective on the legal and criminal justice system, and on the “real world.”
Mentor, Teacher, Community Volunteer, and Advocate for the Underprivileged
Sydne volunteered with the Teen Court Program, a program based on the philosophy that some young persons charged with a non-violent crime may benefit from a program that gives them a chance to avoid a criminal conviction. Participants perform community service, tutor other youth, participate in certain after school programs, or perform other services as their sentence. The minor’s case can be dismissed, and the minor will have no criminal conviction on his or her record, and gets a second chance if they complete the program.
Sydne served on the Booster Club Boards for the two high schools that her sons attended.
She was the Chairperson for the Palos Verdes Women’s’ Club Scholarship Committee, in charge of awarding college scholarships to high school students facing adversity and unable to afford college.
Since 1998 Sydne has been a member of both Palos Verdes Women's Club and Vistas for Children. These two charity groups focus on women and children in crisis. She has spent hundreds of hours organizing fund-raising events to raise money for women and children "in crisis."
Sydne was also privileged to be given the opportunity to provide free legal services to underprivileged clients while at the Kirkland & Ellis law firm. Because of her work there, she was promoted to head the pro bono (free legal services) program at the Kirkland & Ellis Los Angeles office. She continued to provide free legal assistance to the less fortunate and supervised other lawyers in the program.
For her efforts, Sydne was honored with a "Certificate of Recognition" by the United States District and Magistrate Judges of the Central District of California in appreciation of her work assisting with civil rights cases.
A Self-Made Career Woman and Loving Mother
Sydne Jane Michel was born in Modesto California and raised mostly in Los Angeles. She has lived in California all her adult life.
Sydne grew up in humble surroundings and overcame difficult and challenging circumstances to succeed. Her parents divorced when she was very young. Family finances were dire, and she was left largely to take care of herself. Sydne buckled down, studied hard, got good grades, and put herself through college at UCLA.
Sydne is a self-made woman who appreciates the opportunities that life offered her to overcome the challenges she faced. She believes that with hard work and tenacity people can create opportunities and make the most of difficult circumstances.
Sydne has been married to Chuck Michel for over 20 years. Together they raised their two sons.
Outstanding Educational Achievements
Sydne graduated cum laude (near the top of her class) and with honors from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
She graduated, again with honors, from Loyola Law School in 1995, and then started her legal career.