Hon. Michelle R. Rosenblatt (Ret.)

Profile

Hon. Michelle R. Rosenblatt (Ret.) mediates, arbitrates and is available to act in the capacity of a private judge and discovery referee on a wide range of civil cases. As a mediator, Judge Rosenblatt helps the parties settle their disputes through a combination of her thorough preparation, legal knowledge, extensive experience, intellect, calm approach, patience, persistence and low-key, empathetic personality. Since retiring from 23 years as a judge and joining ADR Services, Inc. in 2016, Judge Rosenblatt has established herself as a go-to neutral who has the work ethic, personality, tenacity and ability to resolve matters that are both factually nuanced and legally complex.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • FEHA cases involving discrimination on the basis of disability, race, gender identification, national origin and age; harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual assault; whistleblower retaliation; Wrongful Termination
  • Wage and Hour violations, including allegations of misclassification
  • Business litigation, breach of contract and business torts, including contract interference and theft of trade secrets
  • Insurance litigation, including coverage; bad faith; billing fraud; qui tam litigation
  • Real Estate, Landlord-Tenant, Habitability
  • Legal Malpractice, Medical and Dental Malpractice
  • Personal Injury and Product Liability, including catastrophic injury and Wrongful Death
  • Civil Rights
  • Construction Defect

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Neutral, ADR Services, Inc., September 2016-Present
Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court, April 1996-July 2016
Judge, Los Angeles Municipal Court, January 1993-April 1996
Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, 1980-1993
Lowder & White, A Professional Law Corporation, 1978-1980
Law Offices of Richard G. Sherman, 1977-1978

AWARDS AND HONORS

Pearl S. Vogel President’s Award, Valley Community Legal Foundation, 2016
Los Angeles Superior Court Certificate of Achievement, 2016
California Judges Association, President’s Resolution, 2016
Judge of the Year, San Fernando Valley Bar Association, 2007
Los Angeles Superior Court Executive Committee, three separate two-year terms
Southwestern Law School Law Review, Note and Comment Editor

EDUCATION

Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Mediating the Litigated Case, 2015
Southwestern Law School, J.D. 1977
University of California Los Angeles, B.A. cum laude, 1974

ASSOCIATIONS

California Lawyers Association (formerly California State Bar) Employment Section, Litigation Section
Association of Business Trial Lawyers
American Bar Association
Los Angeles County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
California Judges Association
Valley Community Legal Foundation, Board Member 2000 – 2016
Anti-Defamation League, Pacific Southwest Region Board Member

CONTINUING EDUCATION AND ARTICLES

ABA Panelist on the Use of Experts Pretrial
Course presentations on Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Wheeler-Batson Motions
Guest Lecturer at Straus Institute Mediation Course
CAALA Panelist for Specialty Credits session on Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession
Recent articles include “Are you (truly) ready for trial in PI Department 1?”, The Advocate (July 2017), and articles in The Bench

BIOGRAPHY

Judge Rosenblatt facilitated numerous settlements and presided over numerous jury and bench trials during her tenure on the bench. During her years presiding over an unlimited civil court in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Judge Rosenblatt handled a variety of civil case types, including sexual harassment and sexual assault; racial and disability discrimination; gender orientation harassment; wrongful termination; wage and hour violations including misclassification cases; business disputes, both breach of contract and business torts, including theft of trade secrets litigation; real estate actions; complex personal injury/product liability and wrongful death, including helicopter, bus and truck accidents; legal, medical, and architect malpractice; construction defect; habitability cases; clergy sexual molestation cases; civil rights/police misconduct; and ADA cases. While presiding over an unlimited jurisdiction civil court in the Burbank Courthouse, Judge Rosenblatt also oversaw a variety of personal injury, legal and medical malpractice cases.

Judge Rosenblatt began her career in 1977 as an associate in small firms handling criminal appeals, juvenile delinquency adjudications, and civil litigation. She joined the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in 1980 where she handled over 200 jury trials, including as a designated sexual assault prosecutor, a trial attorney in the Career Criminal Division and a trial attorney in the Organized Crime and Anti-Terrorist Division.

In addition to her courtroom duties as a judge, Hon. Michelle R. Rosenblatt participated in numerous Superior Court, California Judicial Research and Education, and California Judges Association committees. Notably, during her judicial career she was elected to the Los Angeles Superior Court Executive Committee for three separate two-year terms; served as the Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Judicial Outreach Committee; served on several California Judicial Research and Education committees; co-chaired the Los Angeles Superior Court Civil Education at Lunch program; taught classes to judges both statewide and for the Los Angeles Superior Court Judges; served on the board and as Vice-President of the California Judges Association; served for five years as Editor-in-Chief of the California Judges Association magazine, The Bench; and served for two terms as President of the California Judges Foundation.

Representative Cases

Business

  • A business development company sued a 501(c)(3) religious organization and the gurus who ran the organization for breach of contract for failure to pay its fees and other business torts.
  • A corporation owning a supermarket chain claimed a vendor breached its contract by delivering seafood that was non-merchantable. It therefore refused to pay for the product that was delivered. Vendor claimed that the product was edible and within the guidelines set forth by the supermarket chain for the product, and that the supermarket chain should pay for the product delivered as provided in the contract.
  • Plaintiff brought a fraudulent transfer action against a debtor and his relatives who transferred real property to a relative for no consideration within days of a pending trial in the underlying fraud case.
  • A pre-litigation dispute in which a transportation company alleged that the company who sold the product and with whom it had an exclusive contract violated the contract by transporting some of the product itself, a material breach.
  • Dispute between members of a Masonic Lodge and a non-profit benefit corporation alleging trespass for entering the Lodge and taking funds and items that belonged to the corporation and breaching their fiduciary duty to the corporation.
  • An expert witness claimed a litigant with whom he contracted to provide services failed to pay the majority of the billed expert fees. The litigant claimed the fees were unreasonable.
  • A horse trainer alleged the Defendant horse owner failed to repay fees for training and rent, while the horse owner claimed she offset what she owed the horse trainer for repayment of a personal loan. The two parties formerly were close friends; the horse trainer disputed the loan and claimed it was a gift.
  • Dispute regarding money owed for services between importer and company that picks up and stores cargo.
  • Dispute over a contract between a video company and a movie studio to make the
    studio’s movies available for its customers via authorized networks at U.S. airports.
    In this action brought by the studio for failure of the video company to make its
    second payment to plaintiff studio, the video company alleged frustration of purpose
    because the agreement contemplated that the video company would enter into a
    joint venture with a wireless network to provide movie streaming at airports, but no
    authorized networks would enter into an agreement with the video company.
  • Action for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and conversion.
    Plaintiff companies wanted to sell electronic products to Wal-Mart but were not
    “approved vendors”. Defendant company, an “approved vendor”, agreed to be the
    middleman. The agreement was for plaintiffs to ship goods from China to defendant
    company, who would in turn ship them to Wal-Mart. Defendant’s principal also
    promised to use his best efforts to obtain “approved vendor” status for Plaintiffs.
    Plaintiffs alleged that within months, defendant company and its principal forwarded
    only a portion of the Wal-Mart payments to Plaintiffs, keeping millions of dollars
    belonging to Plaintiffs. Further, Defendant principal made no effort to obtain
    approved “vendor status” for Plaintiff companies. Defendants filed a cross-complaint
    for breach of a joint venture agreement, breach of express and implied warranties
    and breach of express oral and implied contractual indemnity.
  • Action for breach of contract, false promise, unfair business practice and quantum
    meruit seeking recovery by a law firm of fees it alleged it earned in connection with
    plaintiff’s representation in multiple lawsuits of defendant surgery centers and
    individual with ownership interests in the surgery centers. The gravamen of the suit
    was whether individual defendants should be held liable for the obligations of the
    surgery centers based upon a theory of alter ego liability.
  • Action for breach of contract and for recovery of reasonable fees in quantum meruit
    brought by an attorney against his former client. The client signed a written retainer
    agreement to have the attorney represent him in an arbitration before FINRA against
    a stock brokerage for breach of fiduciary duties related to investment advice and its
    trading practices regarding the client’s positions in certain stocks and securities.
    Plaintiff alleged that the client refused to cooperate in his representation, refused to
    pay the expert costs, and following the Award, contacted the brokerage’s counsel to
    demand that they send the Award directly to the client in an attempt to circumvent
    his counsel and to prevent the attorney from receiving what he was due under the
    contingency fee agreement.
  • Breach of contract in the purchase of domain names.
  • Action for breach of written contract brought by the assignee of a closing car
    dealership against defendant car broker alleging failure to pay for forty-three used
    cars.
  • Dispute between Plaintiff concrete company and the project manager regarding who
    should bear responsibility for payment of concrete materials delivered to a school
    district construction site after concrete manager served a stop notice on the school
    district and claimed some of the lien releases were forged by the contractor who
    abandoned the project.
  • Action for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, quiet title and fraudulent transfer in
    connection with a partnership agreement in which each partner accused the other
    of confiscating business inventory, conversion of partnership assets and retaining
    partnership income.
  • Action for misappropriation of trade secrets in which plaintiff graphic design and
    marketing company alleged that after it terminated defendant’s employment as a
    graphic designer, defendant was hired by one of plaintiff’s clients to maintain the
    website he had created for them and that while working in the new position,
    defendant published images he created while working for plaintiff, which he stole
    from plaintiff, and over which plaintiff had a proprietary interest.
  • Action by an insurance provider whose agents sell life insurance policies and
    annuities against an independent agent alleging that the agent sent by email
    unsolicited deceptive advertisements. When the insurance provider terminated the
    agent, he sued the provider and hired a public relations firm to send emails to people
    working in the insurance industry about his lawsuits and the injustices he claimed to
    have suffered. Plaintiff alleged the header information or subject line on the emails
    contained false and misleading information.
  • Action for breach of contract and common counts against a defunct corporation and
    its principal on an alter ego theory and cross complaint for breach of implied
    warranty of merchantability, negligent misrepresentation and unfair business
    practices where the parties entered into a series of transactions for the purchase of
    fabrics and garments that defendants refused to pay for, claiming some were not
    delivered and others were defective.
  • Action for breach of subcontracts for maintenance, repair and facility modification
    of statewide buildings in which the defendants asserted as a defense that the
    plaintiffs were required to have a valid contractor’s license to perform the majority
    of the work and since they did not, that plaintiffs were not entitled to be paid for the
    work.
  • Action followed the foreclosure of a partially completed condominium construction
    project after default on a construction loan. One dispute was over the right to the
    settlement proceeds as between the purchaser of the condominium project at a nonjudicial
    foreclosure and the original investors following the settlement of a lenderliability
    lawsuit between the bank that issued the real estate loan and the
    condominium developer whose condominium project went into foreclosure
    allegedly due to misdeeds by the bank. Another dispute was whether there was an
    oral agreement between the condominium developer and the purchaser of the
    project not to interfere with the foreclosure or challenge title to the property.
  • Action for damages for breach of contract and fraud against several limited liability
    companies, corporations and an individual on an alter ego /single enterprise theory
    brought by a developer of a makeup line who sold her interest in her limited liability
    company to a corporation which defaulted in its payments.
  • Action brought by a producer against his financial manager and an attorney for
    breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud, legal malpractice and declaratory relief
    contesting their right to profits made by defendants in connection with real estate
    investments made by limited liability companies in which they were both managers
    and investors. The primary dispute concerned the legal interpretation of the terms
    of distribution of proceeds upon sale of an asset or dissolution, as set forth in the
    written operating agreements.
  • Action brought by a legal fees auditor for payment of disputed fees billed for
    conducting a review and analysis of legal fees and expenses invoiced by law firms in
    a major litigation with the defendant company.
  • Action brought by a manager of recording artists against a photographer for breach
    of a contract to provide photographs from a celebrity shoot in exchange for publicity
    and promotion on social media.
  • Consumer class action against a motorcycle dealership asserting illegal business
    practices and seeking restitution and injunctive relief for motorcycle customers to
    whom the dealership allegedly sold motorcycles not displaying the hanger tag
    containing the MSRP, the amounts charged for transportation and assembly, the
    amounts charged for accessories and the retail price, as required by the Vehicle
    Code.
  • Action by an investor for breach of promissory note, money lent and money had and
    received against corporate entities and an individual as an alter ego in connection
    with a failed real estate project.
  • Dispute between general partners in a real estate limited partnership established to
    purchase, complete and operate a large, unfinished apartment complex following
    the death of one of the partners. Plaintiff alleged breach of contract, breach of
    fiduciary duty and financial elder abuse in the manner defendant distributed the
    proceeds upon sale of the property, in violation of their written agreement.
  • Plaintiff brought an action for breach of contract (settlement agreement) and
    negligent infliction of emotional distress following the settlement of a dispute with
    a funeral home that determined they cremated and held a funeral over the remains
    of the wrong decedent.
  • Action for breach of contract and for violation of duties as a real estate broker and
    real estate consultant under the Civil Code, brought by Plaintiffs against foreclosure
    consultants who advertised on the radio that they could get clients a loan
    modification from their lenders. After paying a non-refundable fee up front for their
    foreclosure consulting services, they told Plaintiffs to default on their loan so that
    the lender would negotiate, but Plaintiff alleges they then did nothing to assist in
    obtaining a modification, resulting in foreclosure of their home.
  • Actions under the Song-Beverly Act for failure to repair the vehicles to match the
    written warranty in a reasonable number of attempts or to promptly replace or
    repurchase the vehicles.

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Civil Rights

  • Civil rights action in which plaintiff, the parent of a driver being detained by police in
    front of his home, involved himself in the situation although the police warned him
    not to interfere. Plaintiff alleged that the police subjected him to excessive and
    unreasonable force causing physical injury and intentional infliction of emotional
    distress.
  • Civil rights action brought against a city challenging the legality of a detention of a
    homeowner during the service of a search warrant, and alleging assault and battery
    by a police officer.
  • Disputes seeking statutory damages against restaurant owners for Americans with
    Disabilities Act of 1990 violations involving accessibility to bathrooms, admittance of
    service animals, and parking areas.
  • Journalist alleged that a law enforcement agency confiscated first amendment protected material necessary to his livelihood by falsifying a search warrant issued by a judge.

Construction Defect

  • Homeowner claimed construction defect and disgorgement for contracting without a license where homeowner claims that a flooring contractor acted as a general contractor and did not complete the work in a timely manner. Flooring contractor cross-complained for defamation, breach of contract, indemnity and contribution by sub-contractors, and asserted that it acted as a construction manager only as well as a licensed flooring contractor, not as a general contractor.
  • Construction defect, including allegations of breach of contract, misrepresentation and construction defect by the homeowner, breach of contract by the general contractor against homeowner and for indemnification by the subcontractors.
  • Breach of contract and construction defect in connection with a home remodel.
  • Dispute over payment for the construction of a 23-unit condominium project.
    Plaintiff contractor corporation claimed outstanding payment on original contract
    and for change orders; developer limited liability company claimed the work was
    untimely, did not conform to the contract, incurred unwarranted costs and lost
    profits.
  • Construction defect action brought by a homeowner for negligence, products liability
    and breach of implied warranty against a hardwood floor manufacturer, an installer
    and surety for defective hardwood flooring and negligent installation of the
    hardwood floors.
  • Dispute by homeowners with the contractor who built and sold them their home,
    alleging negligence in construction resulting in movement of the foundation and
    damage to the interior and exterior of the home. The homeowner as well as the
    defendant contractor also alleged negligence against the geotechnical engineer, the
    civil engineer and the architect.
  • Action for breach of contract brought by Plaintiff against defendant architect.
    Plaintiff purchased land and hired Defendant to furnish a design, construction
    documents, bidding and negotiations and construction administration for a singlefamily
    dwelling. The first phase involved preparation of construction documents
    acceptable to the city building department. Plaintiff alleged he timely paid, but
    defendant did not meet deadlines or perform satisfactorily so that plaintiff was
    unable to get his permits. Their dispute led to a repudiation of the contract by
    Plaintiff and a delay of over a year, allegedly resulting in a substantial decrease in
    value of the property, increased cost of construction and loss of use damage.

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Employment

  • EMPLOYMENT - FEHA/WRONGFUL TERMINATION
    SEXUAL HARASSMENT, SEXUAL ASSAULT, GENDER DISCRIMINATION
  • Sexual harassment, sexual battery, gender orientation harassment, racial harassment and wrongful termination case brought by five employees against an employer/ business owner who was accused of making lewd comments to his employees on a regular basis in the workplace, requiring them to attend parties outside of work, drugging one of the employees and attempting sexual contact with her, making derogatory comments about an employee’s perceived gender orientation, making racial slurs and terminating the employees who complained of his conduct.
  • Sexual harassment, sexual assault, constructive termination, failure to pay overtime, meal and rest breaks case brought by two employees of a credit card sales company alleging that their employer would make sexual comments about them, stand over them and look down their blouses, and touch them inappropriately, causing them to leave their employment.
  • Sexual harassment case brought by a current employee of a governmental agency seeking damages for emotional distress due to allegations that a co-worker touched her without consent several times and made sexual comments on a regular basis all with the knowledge and acquiescence of the employer.
  • Male corrections officer at private correctional facility claimed gender discrimination as the reason for his discharge, given that a female corrections officer who was also involved in an incident regarding a thwarted escape attempt was not discharged until after her pregnancy leave.
  • Action for sexual harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination brought by an employee alleging she complained of sexually explicit comments made by a supervisor and was terminated as a result. Defendant employer asserted it had legitimate business reason for the termination, including allegations of violation of the company’s written policy by falsifying time off requests, sending highly confidential client information to her personal email account and by bullying co-workers.
  • Action brought by a delivery driver against his employer for constructive wrongful termination in violation of public policy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent supervision and retention alleging that he was forced to quit his employment because of the employer’s continuing sexual advances and sexual harassment.
  • Action for sexual harassment in the workplace, constructive termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress in which plaintiff alleged that one of the other employees played x- rated videos on his computer in view of the plaintiff with the knowledge of the employer.
  • Action for sexual discrimination and harassment, hostile work environment and failure to prevent discrimination and harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress against a men’s clothing manufacturer who forced the salesmen and co-workers to undress in front of her in the course of trying on the clothing line, calling her and her co-workers sexual and ethnic names, asking her about her sex life and circulating a letter inferring she had sex with a co-worker.
  • Sexual harassment case brought by a current employee of a governmental agency seeking damages for emotional distress due to allegations that a co-worker touched her without consent several times and made sexual comments on a regular basis all with the knowledge and acquiescence of the employer.
  • Action against a staffing agency and a manufacturer for discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation, retaliation and defamation, alleging he was treated unfairly and singled out for tasks outside of his job function because he was homosexual.
  • EMPLOYMENT - FEHA/WRONGFUL TERMINATION
    DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION
  • Two employees claimed wrongful termination from a car dealership; one for disability discrimination resulting from PTSD and his military status and one for racial/national origin discrimination. The employer claimed that each employee was terminated for violating company rules.
  • Discrimination claim in which employee was laid off shortly after she notified her employer that she was pregnant.
  • Disability Discrimination case with a wage and hour component in which an employee of a golf course alleged she requested accomodation for a foot injury after having worked at this position for six months. She requested a temporary change of duties, but instead she alleged her hours were reduced. One day she could not work for medical reasons and could not reach her manager to explain. When she came to work for her next shift, she was terminated.
  • Disability Discrimination case in which a forklift driver alleged the company failed to accommodate his medical restrictions and retaliated against by changing his shift time and shortening his hours and then terminated for requesting work with restrictions. Defendant claimed that there was no retaliation; that there was a global company change in shift times and Plaintiff was not singled out.
  • Disability Discrimination dispute in which a delivery driver was terminated after his physician placed him on medical leave. Plaintiff also alleged wage and hour violations. Defendant alleged the employee abandoned his job.
  • Disability Discrimination disputes in which employees alleged they were terminated because they took disability leave. They faulted their employers for failing to engage in the interactive process as well as failure to rehire. The employers asserted the terminations were legitimately due to poor attendance, hours and job performance issues.
  • Employee of a retail chain alleged she was singled out for discipline and later terminated based on the employer having to accommodate her disability. The employer claimed poor job performance was the reason for the discipline and termination.
  • Disability discrimination and wrongful termination case in which Plaintiff alleged she was treated differently and in a condescending way after her injury and multiple eye surgeries for which she was required to take medical leave and have some minor accomodations at work.
  • Nurse alleged Disability Discrimination and California Disability Act violation against a medical facility for refusing to allow her to bring her service dog to work at the medical facility.
  • Action by a bus driver against her former employer for disability discrimination under the FEHA for failure to accommodate her disability. She also sued for violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act, including retaliation and termination of her employment for taking her leave of absence.
  • Action by the executive director of an organization for disability discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination after she disclosed her cancer diagnosis.
  • Plaintiff employee, who alleged his disability prevented him from sitting for more than two hours at a time, brought an action against his former employer for terminating him while he was on medical leave, failing to engage in the interactive process and failing to provide a reasonable accommodation.
  • Disability Discrimination case with a wage and hour component in which an employee of a golf course alleged she requested accomodation for a foot injury after having worked at this position for six months. She requested a temporary change of duties, but instead she alleged her hours were reduced. One day she could not work for medical reasons and could not reach her manager to explain. When she came to work for her next shift, she was terminated.
  • Disability Discrimination case in which a forklift driver alleged the company failed to accommodate his medical restrictions and retaliated against by changing his shift time and shortening his hours and then terminated for requesting work with restrictions. Defendant claimed that there was no retaliation; that there was a global company change in shift times and Plaintiff was not singled out.
  • Disability Discrimination dispute in which a delivery driver was terminated after his physician placed him on medical leave. Plaintiff also alleged wage and hour violations. Defendant alleged the employee abandoned his job.
  • Disability Discrimination disputes in which employees alleged they were terminated because they took disability leave. They faulted their employers for failing to engage in the interactive process as well as failure to rehire. The employers asserted the terminations were legitimately due to poor attendance, hours and job performance issues.
  • Employee of a retail chain alleged she was singled out for discipline and later terminated based on the employer having to accommodate her disability. The employer claimed poor job performance was the reason for the discipline and termination.
  • EMPLOYMENT - FEHA/WRONGFUL TERMINATION
    RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
  • Wrongful termination, racial discrimination and gender orientation harassment brought by an employee who alleged the supervisor referred to him on a regular basis by racial slurs and made constant derogatory remarks about his sexual orientation. Employee alleged that after he complained to the employer’s human resources department, the supervisor then wrote him up for poor work performance, which the employee claimed was pretext.
  • Action for race discrimination, harassment, retaliation and failure to investigate FEHA protected complaints by a 911 dispatcher against a city. Plaintiff alleged that supervisors treated her disrespectfully and in a demeaning manner based on her race, and that because of ongoing harassment and discrimination she was forced to quit her employment.
  • Action brought by a school principal for wrongful termination from her position due to race and to mandate the school district to reinstate her as principal for failure to comply with Education Code section 44951, which requires that the notice of termination be sent by registered mail or signed by the affected employee no later than the 15th of March preceding the following school year.
  • EMPLOYMENT - FEHA/WRONGFUL TERMINATION
    WHISTLE BLOWER RETALIATION
  • Wrongful termination, retaliation, wage an hour case brought by an employee who was a computer analyst for a large company and was terminated on the stated grounds of performance issues. The employee alleged that this reason was pretext because he was terminated right after his questions and complaints about misclassification.
  • Action for wrongful termination by a shipping clerk who alleges he was terminated for failing to follow his employer’s instructions for disposal of expired toxic and hazardous materials in a manner that violated state and federal regulations.
  • Police detective brought an action against his employer governmental entity for retaliation alleging he was not promoted or given coveted assignments because he engaged in protected activity.
  • Action for retaliatory discharge brought against an employer working on government contracts who discharged one of its scientists. The scientist alleged, among other things, that he was terminated for reporting what he believed was non-compliance with a federal statute. The company alleged that the discharge was for a proper reason and that the decision maker did not have knowledge that the Plaintiff was engaged in protected activity.
  • EMPLOYMENT - FEHA/WRONGFUL TERMINATION
    AGE DISCRIMINATION
  • Plaintiff employee brought an action for age discrimination, defamation, pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination. A videotape operator claimed he was discharged, not for sending clients the wrong tape, which he alleged was pretextual, but because a supervisor made comments about his age and because he had scheduled a three-month paternity leave, using vacation and sick time, to begin at the birth of his child.
  • Plaintiff brought an action for breach of implied contract, wrongful termination in violation of public policy, age discrimination, retaliation and unfair business practices. When he joined the company he had a three-year employment contract. Two years later, he was promoted and an addendum was added to his contract. The following year, the firm designated him a participant in the company’s long-term incentive plan. A year later, plaintiff alleges he noted illegal, fraudulent or nom-compliant conduct in accounting or reporting practices that he brought his concerns to senior management’s attention. Plaintiff alleges that after raising the issue multiple times, the company terminated his employment. The company asserted that the employment agreement was at will, that they terminated plaintiff due to downsizing, and that they did not terminate other individuals in the same or similar job category who were older than plaintiff.
  • EMPLOYMENT - WAGE AND HOUR
  • Wage and hour dispute in which a security guard sued the owner of the building for whom he provided security, as a joint employer, in addition to the security company for whom he was employed.
  • Cargo ramp agents alleged they were not provided breaks or lunch periods due to work demands.
  • Class action lawsuit brought by a certified class of plumbers against their employer for classifying them as exempt employees, for failure to pay overtime compensation and failure to provide adequate meal and rest breaks.
  • Class action lawsuit brought by a certified class of exotic dancers against a strip club for misappropriation of the dancers’ tips, misclassification and other wage and hour violations. The club required the dancers to pay the club a portion of the monies that customers paid to the dancers for lap dances, which the class alleged to be illegal under Labor Code Sections 351 and 350(e). Further, the dancers alleged that they were employees rather than independent contractors.
  • Class action brought by a certified class of insurance agents for misclassification as exempt employees and failure to pay overtime.

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Insurance

  • Insurance fraud, unlawful business practice claims brought by an insurance company against a law firm alleging the unlawful practice of law by non-lawyers and capping as part of the unlawful business practice.
  • Fraudulent transfer claim brought by an insurance company against a chiropractor and his family members for transferring title to real estate to a family member in order to prevent the insurance company from collecting an anticipated judgment in a qui tam action against the chiropractor for insurance fraud and unlawful business practices.
  • Pre-litigation dispute regarding allegations of billing fraud in which an insurance company investigated a physician who takes patients on medical liens and anticipated filing a qui tam action if the matter did not resolve.
  • Dispute in which an insurance company brought a Qui Tam action against a group of medical providers who the insurance company alleged committed violations of the Insurance code in the way they billed patients with whom they had medical liens due to the patients’ involvement in motor vehicle accident litigation.
  • Action by an Insurance company against a person who was claiming coverage under
    a homeowner’s policy. The homeowner shot and killed an intruder and was
    criminally charged with homicide. Following the criminal case and a wrongful death
    action brought against the homeowner, the mother of the deceased intruder sought
    coverage from the insurance company that issued the homeowner’s policy. The
    insurance company in this action challenged the assertion that the loss was covered
    by the policy on the ground that the insurer only promised to indemnify or defend
    actions involving bodily injury caused by an accident resulting in bodily injury neither
    expected nor intended by the insured.
  • Action brought against an insurance company alleging bad faith in delaying payment
    for 14 months of underinsured motorist benefits for dental injuries sustained in a
    motor vehicle accident in which plaintiff’s teeth were knocked out. Plaintiff alleged
    he sustained emotional distress damages by reason of the delay alone as he could
    not afford to get his teeth fixed while he waited for the insurance company to pay
    the claim and he was embarrassed to leave his home or go to his job in the hospitality
    field without teeth.
  • Action brought against an insurance company alleging plaintiff’s auto liability policy
    was “uncapped” by the insurance company’s failure to accept a demand for
    settlement within policy limits or interplead, and seeking to have the insurance
    company pay the multi-million dollar judgment. The insurance company defended
    based upon the evidence that it did issue a settlement check for policy limits but
    included the hospital’s lien, and Plaintiff refused to accept the payment, making new
    demands.
  • Action by an insurance company for declaratory relief seeking a determination that
    a bar’s liability insurance policy precluded coverage for an attack by a patron that
    left a dancer with burns over forty percent of her body. The dancer sued her
    assailant as well as the bar owner, who stipulated to a $10 million judgment and
    agreed to assign its rights under the insurance policy to the dancer. The insurer
    rejected the claim and brought this action.
  • Dispute over coverage under a title policy and whether the title insurance company
    had a duty to defend its insured, the holders of the first trust deed, against the holder
    of the second trust deed and whether the denial of the request to provide a defense
    upon request was in bad faith.
  • Pre-litigation dispute regarding allegations of billing fraud in which an insurance company investigated a physician who takes patients on medical liens and anticipated filing a qui tam action if the matter did not resolve.
  • Dispute in which an insurance company brought a Qui Tam action against a group of medical providers who the insurance company alleged committed violations of the Insurance code in the way they billed patients with whom they had medical liens due to the patients’ involvement in motor vehicle accident litigation.

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Legal Malpractice

  • Business owner accused of sexual harassment in the workplace and other employment violations filed an action against his attorneys for professional negligence in advising him not to work with his insurance company and not to accept Cumis counsel, which led the insurance company to obtain a judgment from the court that the business owner breached his insurance policy by his failure to cooperate and therefore the insurance company had no duty to defend. The judgment of the court was affirmed on appeal. The business owner, having to defend against the employment claims without insurance defense coverage, therefore asserted counsel’s advice fell below the standard of care. Defendant attorneys disagreed based upon certain information they had regarding their former client’s business practices and potential criminal liability.
  • A child sustained a head injury when hit by an automobile traveling on a dark street. Mother alleged she hired an attorney who promised that in addition to settling with the driver, he would file a claim with the city for not properly lighting the street. The attorney failed to file a government claim. Once the mother found out that no claim had been filed, the government claim was time-barred and the attorney was deceased. The child, with mother as guardian ad litem, sued the attorney’s estate and the practice administrator for professional negligence. Defendants claimed, among other things, lack of causation by the city in the underlying case.
  • Legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty action brought by the former manager
    of a country club against an attorney from whom he sought advice after the club
    offered him a demotion or, in the alternative, a severance package. When Plaintiff
    read derogatory and untrue statements made against him in a club newsletter, he
    sought the advice of the attorney to determine whether to revoke a severance
    agreement and sue for defamation. The malpractice suit alleged that the resulting
    advice and inaction of counsel fell below the standard of care and led to both the
    determination that there was no case against the country club as well as the club’s
    revocation of the severance package, causing the plaintiff damage.
  • Action against an attorney and a realtor and their corporations for fraud and
    malpractice brought by an elderly homeowner who alleged that the attorney and
    realtor claimed that they could get her a loan modification for a certain fee as well
    as funds necessary to process the modification. Plaintiff alleged that despite paying
    the amount requested, no loan modification was ever requested and that the
    attorney fell below the standard of care.
  • Action in which attorney sued his client for unpaid fees and client filed a cross-complaint for legal malpractice in advising the client to go to arbitration in the underlying action.

Medical Malpractice

  • Medical malpractice action brought against a surgeon and a hospital when a surgical
    sponge was left in a patient during surgery, causing complications.
  • Medical malpractice action brought against cardiologist over the diagnosis and
    treatment of a patient with a pacemaker.
  • Medical malpractice action brought against a plastic surgeon following breast
    implant replacement and bilateral mastopexy as a result of the patient’s
    dissatisfaction with a subsequent scar revision surgery.
  • Medical malpractice, wrongful death, battery, and intentional infliction of emotion
    distress action brought against a hospital and several physicians by the decedent’s
    heir, alleging that the doctors and staff were negligent implementing a comfort care
    treatment plan for the decedent, failed to obtain consent and fell below the standard
    of care in their treatment of the patient’s medical conditions.
  • Dental malpractice action brought against an oral surgeon alleging that the oral
    surgeon fell below the standard of care in not taking steps to determine that the
    Penrose drain he temporarily placed in the patient’s mouth, following surgery for a
    dental abscess, fell into the wound rather than out of the patient’s mouth. Following
    surgery, the oral surgeon had the patient admitted overnight to the hospital and saw
    him for follow up in his office the next day. The patient at that time reported to the
    oral surgeon that the drain was missing or had fallen out. There was no further pain
    and the patient healed from the dental surgery. However, the drain had not fallen
    out, and over time it migrated to the patient’s neck and remained there unknown to
    Plaintiff for over two years, until he later experienced pain and a mass in his neck
    which, when removed and dissected, revealed the presence of the Penrose drain.
  • Action against a dermatologist and compounding pharmacy for causes of action
    including medical negligence and strict liability for defective product after Plaintiff
    suffered permanent damage to her eyes in connection with an anesthetic applied to
    Plaintiff’s face in the course of a skin care treatment.

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Personal Injury/Products Liability

  • Wrongful death action in which decedent was struck and killed when a delivery truck backed up. The family of the decedent sought damages against the truck driver and the company for whom he worked for love, comfort and support. The company disputed negligence.
  • Plaintiff was rear-ended by a city bus and alleged soft tissue injuries and a traumatic brain injury that took an extended time to resolve, affecting her ability to do her work as head of a program at a local university. The city disputed the extent of the damages alleged.
  • Patient sued the dentist, manufacturer and supplier of a dental light that fell on the patient while in the dental chair, causing burns and disfigurement. The manufacturer accused the dentist of failing to add a safety feature sent to the dentist by the supplier on behalf of the manufacturer. The dentist claimed he never received the safety feature.
  • Following a DUI driver causing a fatal crash with an Access van, insurance company filed an interpleader action regarding the full policy limit. The claimants seeking a portion of the funds were the families of the two deceased individuals and an injured individual who claimed a traumatic brain injury caused his physical and mental deterioration.
  • Dispute over damages sustained in an auto collision between a shared ride company and another vehicle in which liability was admitted.
  • Auto accidents involving soft tissue where liability was admitted but damages were in issue.
  • Action for wrongful death brought by the family of a deceased pilot following a
    helicopter crash. The survivors alleged that the helicopter had a defective design of
    which the manufacturer had knowledge and defendants alleged pilot error.
  • Action for wrongful death due to asbestos exposure against manufacturers of
    products containing asbestos brought by Plaintiff whose spouse died of
    mesothelioma.
  • Action in which Plaintiff alleged his lung cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos.
  • Action for products liability against a motor scooter manufacturer following a twovehicle
    accident alleging a defective design and warning defects in the scooter
    caused plaintiff a severe leg injury requiring amputation.
  • Action for wrongful death brought by the family of a man who was struck and killed
    by a car driven by a law enforcement officer as the deceased stood on the freeway
    shoulder awaiting a tow truck following an accident.
  • Action against a governmental agency and its representative for negligent training
    and supervision following the sexual assault of a minor incarcerated in a juvenile
    facility.
  • Action by a patient against an acupuncturist for intentional tort (sexual assault) and
    negligent infliction of emotional distress.
  • Dispute over whether a school district was liable for injuries sustained by a student
    during weight training class.
  • Action brought by a freight trucker for negligence and OSHA violations against
    defendant lighting warehouse after lighting poles fell on him causing injuries.
    Plaintiff alleged the cause of his injuries was that the warehouse had insufficient staff
    to properly load the poles onto the truck. The plaintiff also sought recovery from the
    trucking company that employed him for failure to maintain a workers’
    compensation policy.
  • Action for defamation and slander against members of an organization Plaintiff was
    investigating for misdeeds while he was president. Plaintiff alleged the members of
    the organization ousted him from his position and then accused him of criminal
    activities including assault and misappropriation of funds.
  • Action for negligence and premises liability allegedly arising over injuries suffered by
    the Plaintiff visitor when Defendant homeowner fell on him.
  • Action brought by an extra on a television show who slipped on a sound stage.
    Defendant studio claimed it was an alternate employer along with the producer of
    the television show and that the claim was therefore exclusively covered under
    workers’ compensation.
  • Lawsuit for negligence with admitted liability in which injuries suffered by the
    Plaintiff dancer were in dispute.
  • Action brought by a tenant who slipped and fell on apartment stairs that he claimed
    were negligently maintained and in need of repair.
  • Action for negligence brought against a retailer for a slip and fall in the parking lot
    causing a knee fracture and chronic pain.
  • Action brought against a stone dealer by a granite fabricator whose arm was crushed
    by granite slabs that he alleged the stone yard employees negligently loaded onto
    his truck.
  • Action brought against a cable provider by an 86 year old man who sustained injuries,
    while riding his bicycle, from a dangling cable belonging to and maintained by the
    cable provider.
  • Action brought by the parents of a student regarding corporal punishment by a
    teacher at school. Plaintiffs alleged assault, battery and intentional infliction of
    emotional distress. Defendant teacher cross-complained for defamation.
  • Action brought by a tenant against a landlord for nuisance, constructive eviction,
    breach of warranty of habitability and negligence based upon a claim of exposure to
    mold mycotoxins.
  • Premises liability action in which plaintiff, who was invited to a friend’s company
    event where there was a rock climbing wall, sustained injuries when he fell. Plaintiff
    claimed his fall was due to the negligence of the operators; defendants claimed
    assumption of the risk.
  • Action for negligence by an individual against the roofing company that plaintiff
    alleged failed to fix a roof leak that he asserted was the cause of the wet floor on
    which he tripped.
  • Dispute over damages sustained in an auto collision between a shared ride company and another vehicle in which liability was admitted.

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Real Estate-Landlord/Tenant

  • Pre-litigation dispute over breach of lease and misrepresentation relating to contracts involving the development of land for growing cannabis in California.
  • Dispute between commercial tenant and landlord over an option to purchase, whether the landlord was able to sell the property to a third party, and which party was responsible for contamination remediation.
  • Easement dispute in which neighbor claimed nuisance.
  • Commercial tenant in a textile dye and finishing company claimed a right of first refusal to purchase a property. He filed an action for breach of contract and specific performance to compel the owner to sell him the property because, in reliance on the promised right of first refusal, he invested thousands of dollars to improve the property. The owner claimed tenant was in default on its rent, affecting the right of first refusal, and additionally that tenant caused hazardous substances on the property so that if the owner allowed tenant to purchase the property it was not owner’s responsibility to remediate the hazardous substances.
  • Landlord sued for breach of commercial lease involving buildout for a gym. Tenant alleged misrepresentation by the landlord as to gym customer parking as required by the city.
  • Lessee in short term rental of an estate home asserted the owner was liable for breach of lease, negligence and bodily harm from mold and water intrusion.
  • Numerous cases involving multiple tenants in multi-unit apartment buildings suing current and former landlords for habitability, negligence and nuisance. Allegations included housing violations, substandard conditions, water leaks, mold, cockroaches, vermin, lack of hot water, broken screens and windows and other substandard conditions.
  • Homeowner claimed construction defect and disgorgement for contracting without a license where homeowner claims that a flooring contractor acted as a general contractor and did not complete the work in a timely manner. Flooring contractor cross-complained for defamation, breach of contract, indemnity and contribution by sub-contractors, and asserted that it acted as a construction manager only as well as a licensed flooring contractor, not as a general contractor.
  • Construction defect, including allegations of breach of contract, misrepresentation and construction defect by the homeowner, breach of contract by the general contractor against homeowner and for indemnification by the subcontractors.
  • Sellers attempted to cancel purchase-sale agreement. Buyers claimed fraud and breach of contract.
  • Pre-litigation dispute in which claimant maintained that landlord failed to fix water leaks maintain the premises, resulting in mold. Claimant alleged that as a result, she and her children developed respiratory ailments.
  • Alter-ego liability was alleged against the landlord by Plaintiff tenants who obtained a judgment against the management company for breach of habitability.
  • Several disputes over the enforcement of purchase-sale agreements or the return of deposits
  • Dispute between the county assessor and a company that purchased hotel property
    regarding the property tax assessment. The primary disagreement was over the
    valuation approach taken by the purchaser versus the valuation method used and
    adopted by the assessor.
  • Action for fraud, concealment, breach of fiduciary duty and negligent
    misrepresentation against the broker and seller alleging failure to disclose in the
    Transfer Disclosure Statement CC&Rs that would prevent Plaintiff from construction
    of the property in the way he planned, and alleging he made his intentions known to
    the real estate broker during the sale proceedings but that the broker and seller did
    not properly disclose the CC&Rs.
  • Commercial unlawful detainer brought by a retail mall lessor.
  • Commercial unlawful detainer in which tenant business defended asserting breach
    of lease for failure of the landlord to have construction of the building complete by
    the start date of the lease, and retaliatory eviction.
  • Breach of lease, intentional interference with prospective advantage, intentional
    interference with contractual relations, constructive eviction, breach of covenant of
    good faith and fair dealing. The property in dispute was a multi-acre large parcel
    commercial horse facility used for boarding, lessons and summer camp. Lessee
    alleged a failure to disclose a serious horse disease on the property, issues regarding
    water to the property, zoning and building permits.
  • Action for declaratory relief, damages for negligence and injunctive relief. The prior
    owner of a multi-family dwelling obtained an easement for ingress and egress from
    the prior owner of the adjoining property, now owned by plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges
    that rather than using the property as zoned by the City, the defendants used the
    property as a motel or boarding house for short stay rentals. The renters allegedly
    blocked the easement with their vehicles, parked on the easement, made loud noise,
    engaged in drinking and in physical altercations on the easement. Plaintiffs, among
    other things, sought to extinguish the easement.
  • Dispute with the city over the just compensation for a sewer backup on plaintiff’s
    property and whether the city was liable for an alleged loss in the fair market value
    of the house.
  • Dispute for quiet title against a claim of adverse possession.
  • Action followed the foreclosure of a partially completed condominium construction
    project after default on a construction loan. One dispute was over the right to the
    settlement proceeds as between the purchaser of the condominium project at a nonjudicial
    foreclosure and the original investors following the settlement of a lenderliability
    lawsuit between the bank that issued the real estate loan and the
    condominium developer whose condominium project went into foreclosure
    allegedly due to misdeeds by the bank. Another dispute was whether there was an
    oral agreement between the condominium developer and the purchaser of the
    project not to interfere with the foreclosure or challenge title to the property.

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