Aaron M. May is a founding partner of Halpern May Ybarra Gelberg LLP. Mr. May focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, and internal corporate investigations. He has tried numerous jury and bench trials, in federal and state courts. Mr. May has never lost a trial in which he was lead counsel. The Daily Journal has named Mr. May one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California.
Mr. May was recently selected by the State Bar of California to conduct an independent investigation of the State Bar’s handling of disciplinary complaints against Tom Girardi and Mr. Girardi’s influence at the State Bar, which resulted in the publication of the “May Report.” The State Bar explained that “Mr. May was chosen for his expertise, experience, and impeccable credentials.”
Previously, Mr. May was an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles. In that capacity, he led some of the largest fraud investigations in the region and prosecuted individuals and corporations for sophisticated federal financial crimes, including health care fraud, false claims, securities violations, criminal trademark and counterfeiting, tax violations, money laundering, and loan fraud. At the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he held several leadership positions, including the office’s Securities Fraud Coordinator, Financial Institution Fraud Coordinator, and Procurement Fraud Coordinator. In these positions, he coordinated criminal prosecutions with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and other federal and state law enforcement agencies. Mr. May has also held Top Secret and SCI-level security clearances, which allowed him to work on matters pertaining to national security. This depth of experience on the prosecutorial side informs every aspect of his current defense work.
Mr. May previously spent six years as a litigator at Munger, Tolles and Olson LLP. While there, he handled a wide array of complex civil litigation in disputes involving contract, trademark, tort, securities, malpractice and constitutional claims in state and federal courts across the country.
Mr. May began his legal career as a law clerk, first for the Honorable W. Matthew Byrne in the Central District of California and then for the Honorable Raymond Fisher in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. May received his J.D. from Stanford Law School, graduating second in his class and Order of the Coif. He completed his undergraduate studies at Brown University, where he received a B.A. in Public Policy and a B.S. in Environmental Science with honors and graduated magna cum laude.
Mr. May is a Board Member and the Former President of the Housing Rights Center, the nation’s largest nonprofit, civil rights organization dedicated to promoting and securing fair housing. He is also a Board Member of the Inner City Law Center, whose mission is to serve the poorest and most vulnerable residents of Los Angeles. Mr. May is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Litigation Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, American Bar Association’s National Financial Institution Fraud sub-committee, and Federal Bar Association.
He is admitted to practice law in California and before the United States District Courts for the Northern, Central, Eastern, and Southern Districts of California, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Ninth Circuit and Federal Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.
In Private Practice:
As a Federal Prosecutor: