Michael A. Hirst

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Attorney Michael A. Hirst is the founder of Hirst Law Group, P.C. in Davis, California.  Mr. Hirst was born and raised in Greenwich Village in New York City.  He was a Regents Scholar at Hamilton College ’80.  While attending law school, he was ranked number one in his first-year law school class.  Later, he was designated as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar at Columbia University School of Law ’87.  In 2005, Mr. Hirst formed Hirst & Chanler LLP, and in 2009, he founded Hirst Law Group, P.C.  Prior to starting his own firm, Mr. Hirst worked at the law firm of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown, and Enersen (now Bingham McCutchen) in San Francisco.

From there, he went on to have a distinguished 15-year career as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California.  While working for the government, Mr. Hirst served as the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Coordinator, the Health Care Fraud Coordinator, and eventually the Co-Chief of the Civil Division and Chief of Affirmative Civil Litigation, in which he supervised all civil investigations and cases brought by the office within the 34 counties in the district, including all fraud and False Claims Act prosecutions.

Described by the San Jose Mercury News as one of the “leading prosecutors in California” after only 4 years with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Hirst has received numerous awards and recognitions.  Nominated for the National Assistant United States Attorney of the Year in 2004, Mr. Hirst has received multiple sustained superior performance awards and a Director’s Award from the Department of Justice, presented by Attorney General Janet Reno.  He has received awards from other federal agencies, including Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Agriculture, and the Civil Rights Division.  Mr. Hirst received the highest award given by the Department of Health and Human Services and various awards and recognitions from the Forest Service, including from Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth, who recognized Mr. Hirst’s “tireless efforts in preparation and brilliant performance at trial.”

Mr. Hirst’s record-setting $62.55 million prosecution of Redding Medical Center and Tenet Healthcare, Inc. is the largest recovery in a medical necessity fraud case, and the largest recovery against a single hospital, in United States history.  Following that case, Attorney General John Ashcroft wrote that Mr. Hirst was an “exceptional litigator who has performed a significant public service.”  Attorney General Ashcroft stated: “The successful outcome in this case significantly advanced the Department’s efforts to combat fraudulent health care practices.”  Featured in a book about the case, Coronary (Simon and Schuster, 2007) by New York Times journalist and author Stephen Klaidman, Mr. Hirst was described as a “quiet but tough negotiator.”  Mr. Hirst has also been featured in two books by a successful whistleblower, entitled Whistleblower and Retaliation (Bay Tree Publishing 2010, 2013), in which author Amy Block Joy described Mr. Hirst as “gifted,” and stated that “[Mr. Hirst] had done brilliant work for me, for which I will always be grateful.”

Mr. Hirst’s cases have been reported on television, radio and newspapers throughout the country and abroad, including on 60 Minutes, 20-20, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, NPR, in front page stories in the New York Times and the Financial Times of London, in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, Reuters, the National Journal, the Sacramento Bee, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, and numerous other publications.

Mr. Hirst lives in Davis, California.  He teaches federal court litigation and trial technique classes at UC Davis Law School for the International Law program.