Michael Vargas

Attorney, Rimon Law

LGBTQ Rights and Legal Affairs Columnist

Michael Vargas is an attorney at Rimon P.C. and a lecturer in law at the Santa Clara University Law School. Michael has a broad legal practice that mixes expertise in technology startups, securities and M&A work, corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship, and cannabis companies. At Santa Clara University, Michael teaches courses in business law and startups. Michael is also a prolific author, having published a number of legal papers and articles on topics in business law, employment law and LGBTQ rights.

Outside of work, Michael sits on a number of nonprofit boards, including the Community Child Care Council of Santa Clara County, the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley, and the Bay Area Municipal Election Committee (BAYMEC). Michael is also a former board member of the New Leaders Council Silicon Valley and the American Constitution Society Bay Area Chapter.

In 2018, Michael was elected to the Santa Clara County Democratic Party's (SCCDP) Central Committee representing Assembly District 25. In 2019, Michael was appointed to the SCCDP executive board, serving as Issues Director, and then to the California Democratic Party statewide Central Committee.

Michael graduated from the University of Southern California in 2008 with a Bachelors in Political Science. Michael received his Masters in Higher Education Administration from USC in 2010, and then his J.D. from the University of Minnesota in 2013.

Michael's expertise and interest areas include: LGBTQ rights, legal developments, economics, business and labor issues, higher education, housing policy, civil rights and local politics.

Vargas: Lessons from the Rittenhouse and McMichael trials

On Feb. 23, 2020, Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William Bryan, Jr. hunted and killed Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man out for a run in a small Georgia town. The three white men, with no evidence, believed him to be a man who broke into a nearby construction site. On Aug. 25, 2020, Kyle Rittenhouse...

Vargas: Public employees, private speech

The First Amendment guarantees the right of “free speech” to every American, however, that promise is often more secure for some than others. In Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court (in)famously held that a corporation could not be singled out as a “disfavored speaker,” but in the same opinion, the court expressly approved a...

Vargas: Reforming the recall process

With the attempted recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom now an absurdly expensive footnote in the pages of history, the question of reform looms large. Demands for reform began almost immediately, as the magnitude of the recall’s failure—and the waste of more than a quarter of a billion dollars—became apparent less than an hour after polls...