Hon. Teresa Sanchez-Gordon (Ret.)

Profile

JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE

  • 2000 – 2017    Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court, Stanley Mosk Civil Courthouse
    – Independent calendar court, 2001-2017
    – Handled cases in the areas of class actions, insurance coverage, business, employment, professional liability (legal and medical), among others
    – Site Judge, long cause felony and civil calendar, Alhambra, 2000
  • 1997 – 2000    Judge, Los Angeles Municipal Court
    – Presiding Judge, 1999-2000, East Los Angeles
    – Presided over a direct misdemeanor calendar
    – Elected in 1996, elevated upon court unification in 2000

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Personal Injury
  • Employment
  • Business & Commercial
  • Professional Liability (Legal and Medical)
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Real Estate

LEGAL EXPERIENCE

  • 1990 – 1996    Deputy Federal Public Defender, Office of the Federal Public Defender
    –  United States Courthouse, Central District
  • 1988 – 1990    Director, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor
    Labor Immigrant Assistance Project
    –  Helped immigrant workers obtain legal status under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

HONORS & AWARDS

  • Woman of the Year Award, Los Angeles County Commission on Women
  • Abriendo Caminos Award, Latina Lawyers Bar Association
  • Hispanic Woman of the Year Award, Mexican American Opportunity Foundation
  • Outstanding Alumna Achievement Award, People’s College of the Law
  • Distinguished Judges Award, Presiding Judges Association, Los Angeles Municipal Court
  • Adelita Award, Dolores Huerta Foundation

EDUCATION

  • J.D., People’s College of the Law
  • Immaculate Heart College

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • Founder, Latina Lawyers Bar Association
  • Board Member, Mexican American Bar Foundation
  • Executive Board, California Judges Association
  • National Association of Women Judges
  • President, California Latino Judges Association
  • Faculty Member, Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER)
  • Judicial Delegate to Mexico headed by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

  • Board Member, Proyecto Pastoral at Dolores Mission Church
  • Mentor, YMCA
  • Chairperson for the Board of Directors, Mexican American Opportunity Foundation
  • Frequent host to students at the courthouse
  • Lecturer at community and school forums on court/community issues

LANGUAGES

Judge Sánchez-Gordon is fluent in Spanish and is readily available to assist counsel with Spanish-speaking clients.

PERSONAL

Prior to her election to the bench, Judge Sánchez-Gordon began her professional career as an elementary schoolteacher in Los Angeles after graduating from Immaculate Heart College. While a schoolteacher, she attended People’s College of the Law in the evenings and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1988.

Judge Sánchez-Gordon was born in Mexico and raised in East Los Angeles. She is the eldest of eleven children. She now resides in Silver Lake with her husband, attorney Walter L. Gordon, III. Together, they are proud parents and grandparents.

Representative Cases

ADA

  • Dispute between disabled patron and restaurant. Plaintiff uses a wheelchair and alleged he was unable to patronize restaurant without experiencing difficulty, discomfort, and embarrassment due to the poor layout and construction. Causes of action were violation of Health & Safety Code sections 19955 et seq. and violation of the Unruh Act.

BUSINESS

  • Plaintiff deposited $10 million in an account with defendant, his investment portfolio manager. Defendant invested plaintiff’s money into gold, silver, oil and gas. Plaintiff closed the account in 2015 and had a total gain of $1.2 million, but alleges that he should have had a gain in excess of $8.2 million if the money had been properly invested. He sued for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, constructive fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and unfair business practices.
  • Plaintiff entered into a loan agreement with defendant, providing defendant with $300,000 which was to be repaid in two years. Defendants failed to timely pay back the loan. Plaintiff sued for breach of contract, open book account, account stated, unjust enrichment, and constructive trust.
  • Dispute involving investment partners who had been friends for years. The partners purchased a property together, but plaintiff was not named on the deed as an owner. Plaintiff alleged that he worked for years to find the best use for the property and located a deal for $17.5 million and defendants subsequently negotiated the deal excluding plaintiff.
  • Dispute between plaintiff fabric supplier and defendant fashion company. Defendant purchased fabric from plaintiff and plaintiff delivered the fabric. The checks that defendant remitted for payment were not honored by the bank.
  • Plaintiff, a doctor, sued for fees that he was allegedly owed by respondent. Respondent refused to arbitrate as required by the parties’ agreement.
  • Plaintiff’s property burned down in a fire. Plaintiff obtained property insurance through the defendant, and believed the insurance policy was issued and sent defendants payments for the insurance. Plaintiff received notice that the policy would be cancelled and notified defendant. Defendants agreed to take care of the matter, and plaintiff continued to pay for the policy. Defendants did not make payment on the policy, and it was canceled prior to the fire, leaving plaintiff without insurance. Plaintiff alleged negligence, breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, negligent misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud.
  • Plaintiff purchased a Cadillac manufactured by defendant. The vehicle then had to be taken in for repairs five times during the warranty period. None of the defects were successfully repaired. Plaintiff demanded that defendant replace the vehicle, and defendant refused. Plaintiff alleged violation of the Song-Beverly Act, violation of implied warranty of habitability, negligence, and strict liability.
  • Breach of contract action. Defendant gave plaintiff a promissory note for $50,000. Defendant did not pay the note. Plaintiff alleged a single cause of action for breach of contract and sought repayment of the loan plus interest and attorneys fees.
  • Plaintiff resides in a gated community where access to the property for nonresidents is controlled. Plaintiff stated this was a substantial factor in his decision to reside there. Plaintiff alleges that the leasing office permitted a process server on the property to serve plaintiff, let the process server remain on the property unattended for several hours, and gave the process server information about plaintiff. The complaint alleged negligent infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract.
  • Plaintiff non-profit corporation owned a property which a former board member deeded to a company owned by defendant. Plaintiff discovered the fraudulent deeds and retained defendant attorney to represent it in litigation over the property. Plaintiff alleges that its attorney entered into a settlement agreement without plaintiff’s approval. Its attorney was then terminated and formed a company investing in defendant company. Plaintiff lost all litigation and not notified of the distribution of funds from sale of the property and did not receive any.

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EMPLOYMENT

  • Employment dispute wherein plaintiff was terminated from his employment as a gardener with defendant. Plaintiff alleged harassment and discrimination based on his national origin, and claimed that his employer retaliated against him when he reported the incidents.
  • Failure to accommodate action against an employer by an employee who had a disability with his feet and requested being able to sit. Plaintiff was required to take a leave, as he was told that he could not work with restrictions. Plaintiff alleges that he was harassed and disciplined for taking leave, and eventually terminated. He claims disability discrimination and harassment, retaliation, failure to accommodate, interference with CFRA, and wrongful termination in violation of public policy.
  • Dispute involving an alleged violation of the Fair Labor Standard Acts. Plaintiff was employed by defendant from July through December 2011, worked 15 hours a day, 7 days a week, and was never paid.
  • Civil rights matter in which plaintiff was employed by a security firm providing security to Los Angeles County facilities. Plaintiff wrote a book in 2007 and was removed from his duties as a result of the book. He asserted his First Amendment right to write the book and was then reinstated. Plaintiff alleged that his subsequent troubles with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) were done in retaliation for writing the book and has made finding work difficult for the plaintiff.

ELDER ABUSE

  • Plaintiff moved her mother into an elder care home. The home attempted to have the mother sign blank documents giving them access to her money and to her medications. After ongoing disputes between plaintiff, her mother, and the home, the home filed an action against plaintiff and an unlawful detainer action against the mother. Plaintiff then alleged SLAPPback, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, defamation, breach of fiduciary duty, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent misrepresentation.

INSURANCE

  • Dispute between policyholder and insurance company. Plaintiff was involved in a hit-and-run accident, and believed that his insurance company would cover the damage incurred. Insurance company denied the claim for damages. Plaintiff alleged breach of contract, implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and negligence.

LEGAL MALPRACTICE

  • Plaintiff, who is incarcerated, alleges that he was abandoned by his attorneys at his criminal trial.
  • Plaintiff retained defendant attorneys to represent her in a family law matter based on defendant’s representation of their expertise in the area. Plaintiff alleges that her lawyers had no expertise and did a poor job of representing her. As a result, she was required to pay her ex-husband’s attorneys fees and had an unfavorable result. She sued for negligence and intentional tort.
  • Fee dispute between plaintiff attorneys and defendants. Attorneys alleged that defendants failed to pay their bill and alleged breach of contract, common count, and fraud. Defendants cross-complained for legal malpractice, alleging that the attorneys pressured her into signing a retainer letter without providing her time to obtain independent counsel to review the letter. The attorneys were unsuccessful in stopping her foreclosure action and bringing a predatory lending claim, and therefore did not provide services within the standard of care.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

  • Decedent underwent lung transplant surgery at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. During surgery, a surgical stapler allegedly malfunctioned and tore one or more major blood vessels. Decedent’s wife and daughter allege that the staple gun misfire was a substantial factor in causing decedent’s injuries and post-surgery complications that ultimately resulted in his death. Decedent’s family sued Cedars Sinai for medical malpractice and sued the staple gun manufacturer for product liability.

PERSONAL INJURY

  • Plaintiff’s son was killed in a train/pedestrian accident when he was struck by a train. Plaintiff alleges that the defendant railroad negligently maintained the warning arms and flashing lights, the warning arms and flashing lights were habitually ignored by residents because they were inadequate, and that defendant knew the cross-traffic was ignoring the warning systems.

PROBATE, ESTATES & TRUSTS

  • Plaintiff purchased a home by making the down payment and his parents financed the remainder. Plaintiff’s father died, and he sold the home so that his mother could refinance her own home. She agreed to pay him the money he lost in the sale and gave him a promissory note which was supposed to be secured by a deed of trust on her property. The mother put her property in a trust. The mother’s other son, defendant, had her resign as trustee and he took over. He filed criminal financial abuse charges against plaintiff, who was a beneficiary of the trust, to avoid repaying the promissory note.

REAL ESTATE

  • Dispute involving plaintiffs and defendants who were engaged in a joint venture in real estate. Defendant permitted plaintiff to occupy the property without paying rent. Defendant eventually tried to evict plaintiff, who counter-claimed for withheld security deposits. The complaint alleged permissive waste, breach of oral contract, negligent misrepresentation, equitable indemnity, and fraud.
  • Breach of contract dispute involving plaintiff who rented a residence weekly from defendant and paid for the rental in advance. Plaintiff alleged that the residence he agreed to rent was unavailable and he was given a dilapidated unit instead, with no refund of the difference in the price of rent. Plaintiff alleged fraud and negligent misrepresentation, among others.
  • Dispute involving a real estate purchase of a single family home. Plaintiff claims that she discovered extensive termite damage in the home, the extent of which was not disclosed until after the purchase was completed. Plaintiff sued for failure to disclose, fraud and intentional misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, and violation of Business & Professions Code 8516(b)(6) and 8516(b)(7).
  • Dispute between landlord and tenant in a commercial office space. Landlord moved defendant to a comparable office space at landlord’s expense and 180-day notice, as was allowed by the lease. Landlord offered to move tenant to an adjacent suite next door in order to accommodate a major construction project. Tenant objected to the move and denied landlord and its construction workers access to the premises. Landlord alleged a single cause of action for declaratory relief.
  • Quiet title action arising out of the bank’s attempt to foreclose on plaintiff’s home.
  • Defendant’s business had a fire, which then spread to plaintiff’s business next door and burned it completely. Plaintiff alleged a single cause of action for negligence.
  • Habitability dispute between landlord and tenant. The property was subject to multiple inspections by county agencies and cited for multiple violations, including bed bug infestations, electrical, plumbing, window, wall and ceiling defects, and inadequate security. The violations were not corrected.
  • Unlawful detainer action against a subtenant who allegedly breached the terms of the lease by using space in addition to the agreed upon subleased space by placing and maintaining numerous storage or shipping containers and other items of personal property thereon. Plaintiff tenant demanded that subtenant remove all containers and items of personal property or deliver up possession of the subleased space.

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