Hon. Joseph S. Biderman (Ret.)

Profile

Joseph S. Biderman is a retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge. He has over thirty-five years of legal experience as a state and federal trial attorney, corporate managing counsel, big firm and sole practitioner litigator, criminal defense lawyer and U.S. Department of Justice civil rights attorney. He has also served as a judicial officer for twenty years. Prior to his retirement in 2014, Judge Biderman served as Supervising Judge of the West District of the Los Angeles Superior Court (Malibu, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and L.A. Airport Courthouses) where he initiated the establishment of three dedicated civil settlement courtrooms. Presiding in one of these courts, he resolved hundreds of civil cases prior to retiring from the bench. Thereafter, he quickly became one of Southern California’s preeminent alternative dispute resolution neutrals. In his three years serving as a private mediator, he has mediated over 1,000 cases in numerous practice areas.

Prior to Judge Biderman’s retirement from the Los Angeles Superior Court, he developed a reputation for his intelligence and quick wit, but beyond all, his commitment to access and fairness. His diverse legal and personal background has enabled him to be an especially skilled negotiator in assisting the parties to achieve resolution in a multitude of cases.

Judge Biderman also presided over the West District’s probate calendar and handled myriad high profile trust and estate matters, as well as conservatorships, guardianships, and elder abuse actions. His warm demeanor and ability to forge communication with long-estranged family members enabled him to oversee and ultimately resolve highly emotional cases involving large asset family estates. His thoughtful sense of humor and ability to lighten the mood were appreciated by parties on both sides and assisted them in their making important decisions to move beyond the emotional aspect of the dispute. He also presided for over six years in an Independent Calendar Civil Court, handling an array of matters including real estate, professional malpractice, business litigation, personal injury, product liability, and entertainment cases.

In addition to his experience on the bench and as a litigator, Judge Biderman served as Managing Counsel of Honda North America, Inc. There he supervised outside counsel in all phases of product liability litigation from claims, pretrial, trial, to appeals. He interfaced directly with risk management and overseas corporate executives as well as individual company witnesses on each case. He has a thorough understanding of regulatory compliance, litigation, mass tort litigation practice management and coordination, and business processes. In this position, he served as a corporate representative in court matters and was a media spokesperson in high profile cases.  He coordinated the resolution of nearly one thousand cases involving all-terrain vehicles throughout the United States.

Having studied in Spain and represented many Spanish-speaking clients both in private practice and as a Deputy Public Defender, Judge Biderman was certified bilingual by the County of Los Angeles and remains very proficient in Spanish. Of mixed heritage, including Japanese American, Judge Biderman also represented clients of different Asian Pacific American backgrounds. Now, Judge Biderman continues to work with diverse minority, ethnic, and LGBTQ communities as a mediator and arbitrator.

Legal Experience

Judicial Career, Los Angeles Superior Court    1994 – 2014

Judge Biderman served as a judge at the Los Angeles Superior Court. Preceding his term as a judge, he served as a Commissioner at the Los Angeles Municipal and Superior Courts for nine years.

During his judicial career, Judge Biderman managed the Culver City, West Los Angeles, and Santa Monica Courthouses and served as Supervising Judge of the West District of the Los Angeles Superior Court in Santa Monica. He managed judicial officers in each courthouse he was in and served on many of the court’s special committees. He participated in the judicial training of over 150 judges newly appointed to the bench.

 

Private Practice    1981 – 1994

Judge Biderman began his private practice in 1985, having previously served as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. from 1981-1983 and as a Deputy Public Defender in Los Angeles from 1983-1985. He was associated with the law firm of Bryan, Cave, McPheeters and McRoberts (now Bryan Cave LLP) from 1985-1988, where he handled a variety of civil litigation matters including product liability, business, and environmental cases. He formed his own law practice in 1991 and handled general civil litigation. He later was Of Counsel to Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro (Now Pillsbury LLP) in the defense of automotive product liability matters.

 

Corporate Practice    1988 – 1991

Judge Biderman served as managing counsel at Honda North America, Inc., the North American subsidiary of a multi-national manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles, and power equipment. He managed the in-house legal department and directed staff attorneys and paralegals in numerous product liability disputes, and supervised the company’s outside counsel during major litigation cases.

Areas of Expertise

  • Business/Commercial Contracts
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Action
  • Employment
  • Entertainment
  • Environmental
  • Insurance
  • Personal Injury
  • Probate
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Estate

Education

  • University of California Los Angeles, School of Law – J.D., 1981
  • University of Virginia – B.A. with Distinction, 1978
  • University of Barcelona, Spain – 1977
  • Occidental College – 1974-1975

Representative Cases

Business

  • Interior designer provided custom furnishings, drapery and carpets for luxury condominium unacceptable to clients
  • Credit report agency's alleged omissions, errors, and misidentifications damaging credit rating
  • Arbitration of entertainment dispute alleging breach of contract in production and financing of music video
  • Employment dispute charging violations of non-compete clause by former contract high technology employees being hired by contractor
  • Lemon law and warranty coverage arising out of automobile engine failure
  • Discovery referee for commercial litigation
  • Commercial dispute arising out of secured lending agreement with buy- sell provision upon default
  • Multi-party litigation alleging defects in design and installation of 450 windows in condominium complex
  • “Click Fraud” claim against major internet company
  • Franchise dispute between franchiser and operator of 27 fast food restaurants
  • Create confidentiality agreement following dissolution of high profile romantic relationship

view all

Civil Rights

  • Mediation over claims of police brutality and wrongful death
  • Civil rights action alleging wrongful arrest, detention, and incarceration based on racial profiling
  • Civil rights action alleging false arrest and imprisonment, refusal to return eyeglasses during entire incarceration, and over-detention
  • Civil rights action arising out of shooting death of detained person by law enforcement
  • Civil rights action alleging false arrest and imprisonment following minor’s sexual abuse and death
  • Civil rights action alleging racially motivated brutality by custody staff against inmate
  • Civil Rights class action by disabled inmates against correctional institution
  • Civil rights action involving allegations of false charges of child neglect resulting in loss of parental rights and child wrongfully falling under jurisdiction of the court
  • Civil rights action alleging unjustified shooting in plaintiff’s home resulted in his losing internal organ

view all

Consumer Class Action

  • TCPA Class Action alleging unauthorized calls for debt collection

Elder Abuse

  • Allegations of fraudulent transfers, in sale of properties and division of assets, trustee surcharges, elder abuse

Employment

  • Claim by government employee of sexual harassment by supervisor
  • Employment dispute by nanny for overtime wages
  • Employee alleged retaliatory termination for sustaining on the job injury
  • Wage and Hour mediation involving national pharmacy franchise
  • Worker claimed sexual molestation by supervisor at fast food restaurant

Entertainment

  • Entertainment action contesting calculation of compensation to television show talent based on marginally adjusted gross revenue vs. net profits
  • Presided over case involving claims that performers were induced to become intoxicated prior to signing waivers for film
  • Entertainment action involving competing writers' claims for royalty payment in production of television show
  • Entertainment action in dispute of credit rights for producer and executive producer
  • Entertainment action regarding competing claims of right to produce life story film of noted actress

Government Entities

  • Dispute over responsibility for cleanup of long dormant waste water field in industrial parcel
  • Action by homeowners against municipality for public sewage backup that flooded homes with raw sewage
  • Resolution of multi-resident and government action regarding hillside development density and grading requirements
  • Resolution of government entity's action against multiple homeowners and HOA for installation of berms to divert storm surges from ocean away from residences and interference with public beach access
  • Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act litigation alleging municipality passed zoning restriction to prevent church from opening in business district

Insurance/Bad Faith

  • Insurance coverage of upgrades to industrial billing following total loss in fire
  • Insurance bad faith dispute regarding coverage for allegations of intentional and negligent torts committed by property owner against tenants
  • Multi vehicle collision resulting in 10 fatalities with extensive insurance coverage issues
  • Construction defect and earthquake damage insurance coverage issues

Intellectual Property

  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act claims over use of architectural plans for coastal resort hotel complex
  • Mediation of patent infringement claim by large air conditioning manufacturer claiming knock-off of filter products

Legal Malpractice

  • Legal malpractice action arising out of alleged inadequate and untimely bankruptcy court filings
  • Legal malpractice action brought as cross-complaint in response to action for collection of unpaid fees

Medical Malpractice

  • Medical malpractice action alleging failed carpal tunnel surgery resulting in nerve damage and functional impairment to wrist and hand
  • Medical malpractice action alleging poorly performed spinal surgery resulting in paresthesia and chronic pain
  • Medical malpractice action alleging multiple complications from cervical discectomy
  • Dental Malpractice alleging negligent performance of root canal and implants
  • Dental malpractice alleging disfigurement from drill "jumping" during root canal
  • Malpractice claims against a major hospital
  • Medical malpractice action alleging wrongful death due to physician’s
    failure to follow up with patient regarding aggressive cancer

view all

Personal Injury

  • Wrongful death of pedestrian crossing street to event venue with inadequate parking, lighting and security
  • Wrongful death of juvenile engaged in sport activity at private gym
  • Below hip double amputation in industrial meat grinder
  • Alleged sexual assault by coworker on another warehouse employee
  • Allegations of inadequate security at restaurant parking lot resulting in fatal shooting of two customers
  • Wrongful death alleged due to inadequate safeguards at oil drilling sites resulting in soil failure
  • Personal injury action by multiple plaintiffs injured in commuter train collision with tractor trailer truck
  • Wrongful death action arising out of tour bus/auto collision
  • Premises liability action alleging inadequate security at a rave party where multiple
    persons shot by patron
  • Wrongful deaths (3) action arising from collision between tractor trailer driver allegedly under the influence of drugs and workers’ pickup truck

view all

Probate, Estate & Trusts

  • Attorney's and Trustee's fees, charitable bequests to non-501(c)(3) entities, estate tax implications
  • Trust and estate contest involving issues of oil leases, multiple real estate holdings, and conflict between stepchildren and surviving spouse
  • Trust and estate contest between siblings alleging financial and physical elder abuse, undue influence to mother
  • Trust and estate contest alleging lack of testamentary capacity and due execution, undue influence, fraud and duress
  • Trust and estate action of allegations regarding sale of trustor's residence, incapacity, fraudulent transfers, and satisfaction of beneficiaries' debts to Trust
  • Estate contest regarding validity of "Purported Will"
  • Trust and Estate dispute between children and stepmother over asset
    management and trustee's fees
  • Trust and estates matter with allegations of elder abuse, conversion, deficient accountings and seeking surcharge and removal of trustee
  • Trust and Estate/Conservatorship matter with issues of elder abuse, competency, management of estate and disbursements, reimbursement demands for allegedly improper expenses
  • Trust and estates matter involving beneficiaries' dispute over validity of grant deed and prior transfers to intervivos trust
  • Trust and estate contest alleging imprudent investment in securities and challenging trustee's fees, GAL fees, division and transfer or real estate

view all

Product Liability

  • Commercial refrigerator hinge failed and door collapsed on visitor
  • Product liability action arising airbag failure causing multiple injuries to lower extremities
  • Product liability action following leg amputation in industrial trash compactor
  • Product liability action alleging non-disclosure of contents in sports drink resulted in hospitalization and neurologic damage

Real Estate

  • Neighbor dispute regarding validity, scope and details of easement for driveway between two residences
  • Real estate dispute over disclosures by listing agent
  • Multiparty real estate action regarding residential vs. commercial nuisance involving brokers, parties to sale, and owners of adjacent properties along with pending criminal charges and civil harassment restraining orders
  • Real estate litigation alleging failure to disclose that location of building in historic district would restrict ability to construct new condominium complex
  • Real estate action for specific performance of residential real estate transaction
  • Homeowner vs. HOA dispute re: conflict between CC&Rs and rights under Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Landlord tenant dispute alleging tenant's removal of improvements with cross-claims for breaches of landlord's covenants
  • Alleged slumlord conditions in 30 unit apartment building

view all

Toxic Tort

  • Multi-party asbestos and toxic exposure arbitration