Michael McDonald’s practice focuses on trust, estate, and probate litigation.  He represents individuals, fiduciaries, and entities in contested trust, estate, conservatorship, and elder abuse matters, vigorously advocating for their interests.

Prior to joining Higgs Fletcher & Mack, Mr. McDonald gained years of experience as an adept probate litigator.  He then shifted his practice to civil litigation, rounding out his experience.  At HFM, Mr. McDonald has resumed his practice of trust and estate litigation.

Mr. McDonald has obtained favorable results for clients in a variety of matters.  In 2018, he won at trial on all contested issues, establishing his client’s entitlement to an entire estate.  Mr. McDonald has obtained early case dismissals on grounds of failure to state a cause of action, statute of limitations, standing, and frivolousness.  He has also obtained favorable settlements for numerous clients through alternative dispute resolution.

Mr. McDonald earned his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law.  During law school, he developed his skill and passion for advocacy as Vice President of his Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Team and competing in Moot Court and Mock Trial tournaments.  Prior to law school, he earned his B.S. in Finance from the W.P. Carey School of Business and graduated from the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University, cum laude.

Mr. McDonald has served as a San Diego County Bar Association Section Leadership Committee Member and Committee Member for the online publication “For the Record.” He has been a member of the American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh Chapter, and has volunteered as a Mentor in Crawford High School’s Academy of Law.

Mr. McDonald enjoys spending his free time with his wife and their two dogs, Teemu and Belle.  He enjoys sports and is an avid Anaheim Ducks and Arizona State Sun Devils fan.  Mr. McDonald also enjoys hiking, surfing, playing golf and guitar, and honing his culinary skills.

Awards & Honors

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America© "Ones to Watch" (2023)


  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association (Formerly Section Leadership Committee)
  • American Inns of Court, Louis M. Welsh Chapter (Formerly)
  • Probate Attorneys of San Diego